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Traveling Internationally

When you travel internationally, there are both export control and security related issues you should consider before you leave.

What to Know About International Travel and Conferences

  • ​​​​​Anything you take out of the U.S. is an export, including data on laptops and cell phones, and is subject to US export control regulations
  • Items subject to the EAR, depending on where they fall on the Commerce Control List (CCL), may require a license or an applicable License exception. See guidance document on EAR temporary license exceptions for more information
  • You must have a license to take defense articles or technical data subject to the ITAR out of the United States
  • Without an ITAR license, providing technical data about defense articles at international conferences is an export control violation
  • Accessing controlled technical data or technology remotely from a foreign country can also be an export control violation. If you expect to need to do this while abroad, contact the Export Controls team to create an action plan.

Before You Travel Abroad

  • Special consideration when planning a trip to Cuba: There are strict travel rules when you are travelling to Cuba. Please review the Guidance Document on Cuba Travel well in advance of your trip. Note that you may need a letter from Purdue in order to travel, so plan well in advance.
  • Determine if the items you are bringing with you qualify for a license exception
  • Remove any controlled Technical Data or Technology from your electronic devices (For security purposes, consider removing any unpublished research data from your devices)
  • Remember that US Customs and foreign customs agents may be authorized to search and retain electronic devices without probable cause.
  • Contact the Export Controls Team prior to traveling to a Country/region subject to U.S. Comprehensive Sanctions
  • University personnel should be aware of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and how it affects payment to foreign government officials

Tips for Presenting at International Conferences

  • Be careful of what you say during Q&A sessions or in conversations. Providing any information about the design, development, engineering, manufacture, production, assembly, testing, repair, maintenance, modification, operation, demilitarization, destruction, processing, and use of defense articles is an export control violation.
  • In presentations at conferences, stay within the realm of published material if possible.
  • Be wary of thumb drives and other portable media you may be given at international conferences. Malware can be introduced into your devices by USB flash drives.

Useful Websites for International Travelers

Purdue University, Office of Risk Management’s International Travel Field Guide:
Includes useful information and suggestion about all aspects of international travel.

U.S. State Department’s Travel Advisories:
Consolidated list of all country locations and the applicable travel advisories, maintained by the U.S. Department of State.

U.S. State Department’s Country information:
Includes information about specific countries. Includes:

  • U.S. embassies and consulates,
  • entry and exit and visa requirements,
  • Health and safety and,
  • Local Law and Customs.

Relevant Guidance Documents

Need Help?

Contact the Purdue Export Controls team by email at, by phone at (765) 494-6840, or in person on the 10th floor of Young Hall (155 S Grant St.).

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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