International Travel and Collaborations

Plan Ahead to Avoid Problems

Working with the ORIA export control staff well ahead of an international trip is the best way to ensure that any technology or information can be taken out of the United States without a license and does not violate any export control laws. While most international travel does not present export control issues, it is your responsibility to ensure that proper licenses are in place for any controlled items. ORIA export control staffers can help you evaluate concerns and apply for licenses, but because the application process can take several months, plan ahead to avoid problems.

Because you, as an individual, and Georgia Tech can be held liable for improperly transferring controlled technology, it is important that you review federal regulations and know where to go for additional assistance.

Regulatory Exclusions

Before you discuss technology or present findings while traveling abroad, you should be able to verify that the information qualifies for a regulatory exclusion. Exclusions that are particularly relevant to the traveling academic community are: 

  • Published information and software: Information that is published and is generally accessible to the interested public in books or periodicals available in a public library or in bookstores is considered to be in the public domain and is excluded from export control laws. Similarly, information that is presented at conferences, meetings, seminars, trade shows or other open gatherings is excluded from regulation. Software is considered to be published information when it is available for general distribution. For more information on the published information exclusion, visit our Definitions page.
  • Published educational information: Most of the course materials taught in U.S. universities, published in the course catalog, and open to the public are excluded from regulation.


Exclusions do not apply when controlled equipment or biological samples are hand-carried or shipped internationally. Biological samples should never be transferred without prior authorization.

Computer Advisories

Any computers or laptops that contain non-commercial, special purpose, or encryption software should not be taken out of the United States. These items could be subject to seizure or customs duties or could be stolen. The ORIA export control staff can help you perform an export review and if necessary obtain a license and ship the items ahead of time. Consider these travel tips regarding laptop computers, cell phones, travel restrictions and advisories.