Glossary of Terms

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

The United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the general and permanent rules and regulations published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government.

Commerce Control List (CCL)

A list of items under the export control jurisdiction of the Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce. The CCL is found in Supplement 1 to part 774 of the EAR.

Commerce Control List (CCL) Category

The CCL is divided into ten categories:

(0) Nuclear Materials, Facilities and Equipment, and Miscellaneous; (1) Materials, Chemicals, “Microorganisms,” and Toxins; (2) Materials Processing; (3) Electronics Design, Development and Production; (4) Computers; (5) Telecommunications; (6) Sensors; (7) Navigation and Avionics; (8) Marine; (9) Propulsion Systems, Space Vehicles, and Related Equipment.

Commerce Control List (CCL) Group

The CCL is divided into 10 categories. Each category is subdivided into five groups, designated by the letters A through E: (A) Equipment, assemblies, and components; (B) Test, inspection and production equipment; (C) Materials; (D) Software; and (E) Technology.

Controlled Exports

These are specific types of exports regulated by the federal government (e.g., commodity, biologics, equipment, software, encryption, technology, or technical information) sent from the U.S. to a foreign person or destination. 

Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)

Controlled Unclassified Information means unclassified information that does not meet the standards for National Security Classification under Executive Order 13536, as amended, but is pertinent to the national interests of the United States or to the important interests of entities outside the federal government, and under law or policy requires protection from unauthorized disclosure, special handling safeguards, or prescribed limits on exchange or dissemination.  

(1 CFR 602.3)

Deemed Export

The release or transmission of controlled exports to any foreign person in the U.S. Such a release of information is considered to be an export to the foreign national’s home country or country of current citizenship.

Defense Article

A defense article means any item or technical data designated in the USML (22 CFR 121.1). Examples include specified chemical agents, cameras designated for military purposes, specified lasers, and GPS equipment as noted above. It also means any technical data recorded or stored in any physical form, models, mockups, or other items that reveal technical data directly relating to the particular item or “defense article” listed in the USML.  (22 CFR 120.6)

“It also includes forgings, castings, and other unfinished products, such as extrusions and machined bodies, that have reached a stage in manufacturing where they are clearly identifiable by mechanical properties, material composition, geometry, or function as defense articles.  It does not include basic marketing information on function or purpose or general system descriptions.”

Defense Service

Defense service means the furnishing of assistance (including training) anywhere (inside the United States or abroad) to foreign nationals in connection with the design, development, engineering, manufacture, production, assembly, testing, repair, maintenance, modification, operation, demilitarization, destruction, processing, or use of defense articles, and the furnishing of any controlled “technical data” to foreign nationals anywhere. (22 CFR 120.9)

Denied Persons List

A list, referenced in Supplement No. 2 to part 764 of the EAR, of specific persons that have been denied export privileges, in whole or in part. The full text of each order denying export privileges is published in the Federal Register.

Dual Use

Items that have both commercial and military or proliferation applications. While this term is used informally to describe items that are subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), purely commercial items are also Subject to the EAR (22 CFR 734.2(a)).


EAR99 is a basket entry for items falling under the U.S. Department of Commerce jurisdiction but not listed in the Commerce Controls List. Those items generally consist of low-technology consumer goods.  They can be exported to most countries without a U.S. government authorization, except to embargoed countries (Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria) or to a person or entity listed on a Restricted Parties List.

Educational Information Exclusion

Information that is commonly taught in catalog-courses at an accredited U.S. institution of higher-education, or its related teaching laboratories, is not subject to export control laws and regulations.  The Education Information Exclusion does not apply to proprietary information and certain information deemed classified or sensitive by the federal government.

Empowered Official

An Empowered Official is a U.S. person who:

  1. is directly employed by the applicant or a subsidiary in a position having authority for policy or management within the applicant organization; and
  2. is legally empowered in writing by the applicant to sign license applications or other requests for approval on behalf of the applicant; and
  3. understands the provisions and requirements of the various export control statutes and regulations, and the criminal liability, civil liability and administrative penalties for violating the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations; and
  4. has the independent authority to:(i) Enquire into any aspect of a proposed export or temporary import by the applicant, and (ii) Verify the legality of the transaction and the accuracy of the information to be submitted; and (iii) Refuse to sign any license application or other request for approval without prejudice or other adverse recourse. (22 CFR 120.25)


A detailed description of how the ultimate consignee intends to use the commodities being exported.


The person abroad that receives and ultimately uses the exported or re-exported items. The end-user is not a forwarding agent or intermediary, but may be the purchaser or ultimate consignee.

Exchange Visitor

A foreign national who has been selected by a sponsor to participate in an exchange visitor program, and who is seeking to enter or has entered the United States temporarily on a non-immigrant J-1 visa or who has obtained J status in the United States based on a Form DS-2019 issued by the sponsor. The term does not include the accompanying spouse and dependents of the exchange visitor.

Exchange Visitor Program

The international exchange program administered by the Department of State to implement the Act by means of educational and cultural exchange programs. When “exchange visitor program” is set forth in lower case, it refers to the individual program of a sponsor that has been designated by the Department of State.

Export (noun)

An export is goods or services transferred across national borders for the purpose of selling or realizing foreign exchange. 

Export (verb)

This is the act of transferring controlled exports (see definition above), transferring funds, contracting, and/or providing services to foreign persons or entities. Examples include the shipment of goods as well as the transfer of written documents or information via email, phone, fax, internet, and verbal conversation.

Export Administration Regulations (EAR)

The Export Administration Regulations (EAR), Title 15, sections 730-774 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), is a set of United States government regulations on the export and import of most commercial items and dual-use items and technologies. The U.S. Department of Commerce is responsible for implementing and enforcing EAR. 

Export Control

The set of laws, policies, and regulations that govern the export of sensitive items for a country or company.

Export Control Classification Number (ECCN)

A five-character alpha-numeric designation used on the Commerce Control List (CCL) to identify items and technologies for export control purposes. An ECCN categorizes items based on the nature of the product, i.e. type of commodity, software, or technology and its respective technical parameters. (15 CFR 774)


The person who has authority of a principal party in interest to determine and control the sending of items out of the country.

Export License

The approval documentation issued by an export agency authorizing the recipient to proceed with the export, re-export, or other regulated activity as specified on the application.

Foreign National

Any person who is not a citizen or Permanent Resident Alien of the U.S. Under the EAR, the term applies to “persons lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States and does not apply to persons who are protected individuals (i.e. has been admitted as a refugee or granted asylum). (See Immigration and Naturalization Act (8 U.S.C. 1324b (a) (3)). “Foreign national’ is not an ITAR term per se, but the ITAR does define the term “foreign person” as any
natural person who is not a lawful permanent resident or who is not a “protected individual”, and may also include any corporation, business association, partnership society, trust or any other entity, organization or group that is incorporated to do business in the United States. This also includes any governmental entity.

Form DS-2019, A Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-Nonimmigrant) Status

A controlled document of the Department of State that a sponsor issues to a potential Exchange Visitor Program participant (J-1) and his or her accompanying spouse and dependents (J-2) as permitted by regulations. This form, together with other necessary Department of State documents, permits the named foreign national, if required, to schedule an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate to seek to obtain a J visa to enter the United States as an Exchange Visitor Program participant or as an accompanying spouse and dependent.

Forwarding Agent

This is the person in the country of origin who is authorized by a principal party in interest to perform the services required to facilitate the export of the items from the country of origin. This may include air couriers or carriers. In routed export transactions, the forwarding agent and the exporter may be the same for compliance purposes under the EAR.

Fundamental Research

Fundamental Research (EAR and ITAR) means basic or applied research in science and engineering performed or conducted at an accredited institution of higher learning in the United States where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly in the scientific community. Fundamental research is distinguished from research that results in information that is restricted for proprietary reasons or national security reasons (EAR) or pursuant to specific U.S. government access and dissemination controls (ITAR).

Fundamental Research Exclusions

The EAR provides that university research normally will be considered as fundamental research unless the university or its researchers accept sponsor restrictions on publication of scientific and technical information resulting from the project or activity. The EAR specifically permits limited prepublication reviews by research sponsors to prevent inadvertent divulging of proprietary information provided to the researcher by the sponsor or to ensure that publication will not compromise patent rights of the sponsor. The citation for the official definition of fundamental research under the EAR is 15 CFR 734.8. The ITAR states that university research will not be deemed to qualify as fundamental research if: (1) the university or its researchers accept any restrictions on publication of scientific and technical information resulting from the project or activity; or (2) the research is federally funded and specific access and dissemination controls protecting information resulting from the research have been accepted by the university or the researcher. The ITAR citation is 22 CFR 120.11 (8).


Any article, natural or man-made substance, material, supply, or manufactured product, including inspection and test equipment, and excluding technology.

Intermediate Consignee

The person that acts as an agent for a principal party in interest for the purpose of effecting delivery of items to the ultimate consignee. 

International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)

The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 CFR 120-130, are regulations promulgated and implemented by the Department of State that control the export of articles, services, and related technical data that are inherently military in nature, as determined by the State Department. These “defense articles,” “defense services,” and related” technical data” are listed on the Munitions List (USML), 22 CFR 121. Even some articles and technologies that are not readily identifiable as inherently military in nature-for example, research satellites-are included on the USML.

J Visa

J visa. A non-immigrant visa issued pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1101(15)(J). A J-1 visa is issued to an exchange visitor. A J-2 visa is issued to the exchange visitor’s accompanying spouse and dependents, if qualified under 214b of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended.

Munitions List

Articles, services and related technical data designated as defense articles and defense services pursuant to the Arms Export Control Act.

Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)

a contract by which one or more parties agree not to disclose confidential information that they have shared with each other as a necessary part of doing business together.

Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) of the US Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other threats to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United​ States.

Prohibited Party/Restricted Party

An individual, organization or entity appearing on any one of the U.S. government restricted party lists (e.g., the Department of Treasury Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN) or the Department of Commerce Entity List) as a “restricted party” prohibited from receiving U.S. technology or financial transactions and/or with whom U.S. persons are restricted from engaging in export of financial transactions.

Public Domain

Public domain means information that is published and that is generally accessible or available to the public: (1) through sales at newsstands and bookstores; (2) through subscriptions which are available without restriction to any individual who desires to obtain or purchase the published information; (3) through second class mailing privileges granted by the U.S. government; (4) at libraries open to the public or from which the public can obtain documents; (5) through patents available at any patent office; (6) through unlimited distribution at a conference, meeting, seminar, trade show, or exhibition, generally accessible to the public, in the United States; (7) through public release (i.e., unlimited distribution) in any form (e.g., not necessarily in published form) after approval by the cognizant U.S. government department or agency; and (8) through fundamental research in science and engineering at accredited institutions of higher learning in the U.S. where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly in the scientific community. Purchaser – The person abroad who has entered into a transaction to purchase an item for delivery to the ultimate consignee. In most cases, the purchaser is not a bank, forwarding agent, or intermediary. The purchaser and ultimate consignee may be the same entity. (ITAR; 22 CFR 120.11)


“Re – Export” means an actual shipment or transmission of items subject to export regulations from one foreign country to another foreign country. For the purposes of the U.S. EAR, the export or re-export of items subject to the EAR that will transit through a country or countries to a new country, or are intended for re-export to the new country, are deemed to be exports to the new country.

Specially Designated National (SDN)

Any person who is determined by the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury to be a specially designated national for any reason under regulations issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

T5 Country

These are sanctioned countries in which any interaction of any type is highly controlled and scrutinized by the U.S. federal government. The countries currently include Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, & Syria. 

Technical assistance

Technical assistance may take forms such as instruction, skills training, working knowledge, consulting services, and may also involve the transfer of technical data.

Technical data

Means information required for the design, development, production, manufacture, assembly, operation, repair, testing, maintenance, or modification of controlled articles. This includes information in the form of blueprints, drawings, plans, instructions, diagrams, photographs, etc. May take forms such as blueprints, plans, diagrams, models, formulae, tables, engineering designs and specifications, manuals and instructions written or recorded on other media or devices such as disk, tape, or read-only memories. The ITAR definition does not include information concerning general scientific, mathematical, or engineering principles commonly taught in schools, colleges, and universities, or information in the public domain (ITAR 20.10(5)).


Any specific information and know-how (whether in tangible form, such as models, prototypes, drawings, sketches, diagrams, blueprints, manuals, software, or in intangible form, such as training or technical services) that is required for the development, production, or use of a good, but not the good itself.

Technology Control Plan (TCP)

The technology control plan (TCP) is a document that outlines how technology will be restricted for the particular employee and program.  A TCP is now required when employing a foreign national under license, but this requirement may also appear in a license proviso.  The Directive of Defense Trade Control (DDTC) sometimes requests one with the license application.

Ultimate consignee

The principal party in interest located abroad who receives the exported or re-exported items. The ultimate consignee is not a forwarding agent or other intermediary, but may be the end-user.

U.S. Person or Entity

Anyone who is a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., or has refugee or asylum status in the U.S., wherever that person is located is considered a U.S. person. This also includes U.S. incorporated or organized firms and their foreign branches. 

United States Munitions List (USML)

This appears in the ITAR outlining articles, services, and related technology designated as defense and space related by the U.S. Department of State. 

Visual Compliance

A software used to screen people and entities against mandatory Restricted and Denied Parties lists maintained by the U.S. government and its allies, world organizations and law enforcement agencies.