Export Controlled Items

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The U.S. government controls the export of a wide variety of physical items (equipment, materials, systems) across several lists.  Additionally, any technical data / technology which provides information about the development, production, or Use of a controlled physical item is also controlled, as is certain software associated with these items. 

Items developed or modified for military or space applications are controlled under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and will likely need a license to be exported. Controlled goods, technical data, and software subject to the ITAR are considered Defense Articles and are listed on the U.S. Munitions List (USML). When determining whether or not a particular item is export controlled, the USML must be searched first. 

A broader set of commercial or "dual use" goods, technology, and software are controlled under the Commerce Control List (CCL) which is part of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The Commerce Control List Index can be a helpful guide to indicate what types of goods and technology are controlled generally; however, this index is not comprehensive and does not serve as a substitute for searching the full CCL. 

For a list of export controlled chemicals, click here.

Examples of Export Controlled Items

Export Controlled Items, Technology and Software

This list provides example items, including but not limited to the following, that likely carry export control restrictions. Note: this list is not intended to be all-inclusive.

  • Arms and ammunition
  • Biological agents
  • Body armor and protective gear
  • Cameras
  • Ceramic based materials & fibers
  • Chemical warfare precursors
  • Countermeasure technology for controlled goods
  • Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) equipment
  • Composite materials and structures
  • Computers (rad hard, high temp, high performance, digital, systolic, neural & optical)
  • Cryptographic enabling systems, equipment, integrated circuits, software or technology
  • DACs (Digital-to-analog converters)
  • Digital array / digital signal processors
  • Electromagnets, superconductive
  • Electro-optical materials & integrated circuits
  • Endangered species
  • Epitaxial growth equipment
  • Explosives detection equipment
  • Fiber optic cables and filaments
  • Field programmable gate arrays (FPGA)
  • Field programmable logic arrays (FPLA)
  • Fingerprint and identification retrieval
  • Focal plane arrays
  • Frequency analyzers / signal analyzers
  • Gallium organo-metallic compounds; Gallium nitride (GaN) “substrates”
  • Gas centrifuges
  • Gas monitoring/filtration devices
  • GPS technology
  • Gravimeters
  • Gyroscopes
  • High strength materials
  • Infrared sensors & cameras
  • Integrated circuit computer-aided-design (CAD) software
  • Lasers and sensors
  • Laser acoustic detection equipment
  • Laser diodes
  • Lithography equipment and software
  • Marine vessels
  • Mass spectrometers
  • Metals or carbon coated fibers
  • Microwave circuits & frequency extenders
  • Military communications systems/high frequency radio apparatus
  • Military electronics/ruggedized components
  • Missile technology
  • Multichip integrated circuits
  • Navigation systems, equipment & components
  • Neural network integrated circuits & computers
  • Night vision or infrared cameras and equipment
  • Nuclear materials and technology
  • Optical components & equipment
  • Optical lens or photonics instruments or components
  • Oscilloscopes
  • Quantum cryptography
  • Radar equipment
  • Reinforced composite materials
  • Remotely operated vehicles
  • Resin impregnated fibers
  • Satellite parts & components
  • Select agents (and other pathogens)
  • Semiconductors and microprocessors
  • Sensors
  • Silicon carbide (SiC) substrate blanks
  • Solid-state imaging devices
  • Solid-state power semiconductor switches, diodes, or modules
  • Sonar
  • Sonobuoys and submersible vessels
  • Source code for restricted items or encryption
  • Spectrometers
  • Superconductive materials, devices or circuits
  • Telecommunications and encryption software
  • Test equipment for semiconductor devices
  • Thermal imaging cameras
  • Toxicological agents
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
  • Waveform digitizers
Critical and Emerging Technologies

In addition to items / technology / software previously specified as export controlled, there are a number of areas that have been designated by the US government as "Critical and Emerging Technologies." Researchers working within these areas can expect that items / technology / software related to these areas not currently under export control are more likely to become controlled in the future.

For more information, please see the 2024 report by the National Science and Technology Council on Critical and Emerging Technologies

  • Advanced Computing
  • Advanced Engineering Materials
  • Advanced Gas Turbine Engine Technologies
  • Advanced and Networked Sensing and Signature Management
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Biotechnologies
  • Clean Energy Generation and Storage
  • Data Privacy, Data Security, and Cybersecurity Technologies
  • Directed Energy
  • Highly Automated, Autonomous, and Uncrewed Systems (UxS), and Robotics
  • Human-Machine Interfaces
  • Hypersonics
  • Integrated Communication and Networking Technologies
  • Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Technologies
  • Quantum Information and Enabling Technologies
  • Semiconductors and Microelectronics
  • Space Technologies and Systems