What Is a Deemed Export?


What Is a Deemed Export?


Transmissions or releases of information or software to anyone who is not a United States citizen or permanent resident are “deemed” to be exports of that information to that person’s country of citizenship. A deemed export can occur anywhere in the world, including inside the United States, and can occur in any format.

For example, if a researcher emails the results of an experiment to a colleague in China, the email is deemed to be an export of the data to China. Note that this is still an export to China even if the colleague is a US national. If the colleague in China is a German national, the email is also deemed to be an export to both China and Germany.

Deemed exports can also occur inside the United States. For example, if a researcher verbally discusses research data with a Kenyan grad student, that discussion is deemed to be an export to Kenya, even if the conversation takes place in the researcher’s lab in Urbana.

Because deemed exports involve sharing information and restrictions are based on nationality, they can be especially tricky for universities and university researchers. Fortunately, most information can be freely shared with most people from most countries. As with exports of tangible goods, most deemed exports do not require a license.

Generally, information that has already been published can be distributed freely. Information that cannot be distributed freely (and that likely requires an export license) includes information that is sensitive for national security reasons and proprietary or confidential data. If you have questions about whether you need a license to share data, please contact the Export Compliance Officer.

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