U.S. export control laws and regulations, which are administered by the Departments of State, Commerce, and Treasury, regulate the transfer of technologies, materials, information, and services to non-U.S. persons, entities, and territories. In the context of higher education, they apply most frequently to international collaborations, foreign travel, and otherwise shipping/carrying items to other countries.
Harvard University's Export Control Policy describes the obligations of university personnel to comply with export control laws and regulations, under which certain activities involving non-U.S. persons, places, and entities are prohibited, either altogether or without a government-issued license. An export license may be required to export any item to specific foreign persons and entities, or to transfer certain items, technologies, and information to anyone in specific countries. Before undergoing activities involving non-U.S. persons, places, or entities, including hosting international visitors on campus, Harvard personnel should contact their local export control administrators to conduct a screening. If it's determined that an export license is needed, the export control adminstrator will work with the Office of the Vice Provost to apply for a license from the government, according to University's Export License Review and Approval Policy.