Ship Something Abroad

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We know that many FIU faculty and staff are shipping items abroad to support member of the international FIU community. Now more than ever, it is critical to ensure that Customs and export documents are completed correctly to avoid significant delays, lost shipments, and costly fines. Please do not hesitate to contact the Export Office or submit an International Shipping Export Review Form for help with your international shipment!

When is an international shipping export review required?

An international shipping export review is required when the shipment is bound for an international destination and one of the following is true:

  1. The shipment is going to Iran, Syria, Cuba, or North Korea (comprehensively sanctioned countries) or an entity with citizenship in one of those countries
  2. The shipment is going to China, Russia, or Venezuela (i.e. high-risk countries)
  3. The shipment is valued at >$2500 or more
  4. The shipment is going to a government, military, and/or intelligence agency (wherever located)
  5. The shipment contains items which are:
    • Developed for a military or military purpose
    • Related in any way to firearms, ammunition, weapons, and/or warfare
    • Developed for use for, by, or with a nuclear reactor, nuclear weapons, or nuclear material (including detection)
    • Radiation safety and/or detection equipment
    • Radiation-hardened equipment, materials, and/or items
    • For air, ground, body, or aquatic imaging
    • For signal processing, navigation, and/or geo-positioning
    • Novel, proprietary, composite. or engineered materials
    • Infectious or hazardous
    • A biological material (including, human/animal tissue, blood, reagents, cell lines, plasmids, vectors, or any material containing genetic material
    • Organic plants, animals, minerals, insects, and human remains (including fossils)
    • A chemical compound or mixture
    • Prescription medicines, drugs, vaccinations, and vaccination kits
    • Devices containing high-level encryption (including laptops, cell phones, and tablets)
    • Software (not including open-source, publicly available software)
    • Documents containing non-public technical data

Items that can ship WITHOUT review/approval:

Unless the following items are shipped to Iran, Syria, Cuba, and/or North Korea, or to a Restricted or Prohibited party (see below), they do NOT require an export review, approval, or license.

  • Basic laboratory supplies (test tubes, beakers, etc.)
  • Basic office supplies
  • Personal items such as clothing, toiletries, beauty products, etc.
  • Textiles
  • Household goods
  • Promotional items (ex. cups, pens, folders, sweatshirts)
  • Food products*
  • Artwork and artifacts*
  • Currency*
  • Documents containing published or publicly available technical data
  • Documents containing non-technical data

*These items do not require an export license for shipment to a non-sanctioned country, but often require specific import or other permits for the country of entry. 

Infographic for FIU International Shipping Review Process

The International Shipping Export Review Process

The fastest and easiest way to request an International Shipping Export Review is to use our simple form! The form will help us complete the following basic export/shipping analysis:

1. Is the shipment bound for a Sanctioned Country?

Comprehensively sanctioned countries currently include Cuba, Iran, Syria, and North Korea. Other countries may have sanctions and/or embargoes based on the items shipped, receiving party, etc. Shipments to Sanctioned Countries are generally prohibited unless a license exception or other authorization is available. Please contact the Export Office as soon as possible if you need to ship something to a Sanctioned Country.

2. Is the shipment going to a Restricted Party?

Prior to shipping, University personnel should determine whether the receiving party is a Restricted Party. The University uses Visual Compliance (VC) to perform Restricted Party Screening. If you or your department would like access to VC, please contact the Export Office. Shipments to Restricted Parties typically require an export license. Even where no license is required, specific documents must be filed and retained pertaining to that shipment. Please contact the Export Office as soon as possible if you need to ship something to a Restricted Party.

3. Is the shipment going to a Military End User in China, Russia, and/or Venezuela?

A “military end user” is any person or entity whose actions or functions are intended to support ‘military end uses’ (as defined in the regulations at 15 CFR 744.21), including the national armed services (army, navy, marine, air force, or coast guard), as well as the national guard and national police, government intelligence or reconnaissance organizations. (15 CFR 744.21(g)).

Under the recent changes, the definition of “military end use” was broadened to include “any item that supports or contributes to the operation, installation, maintenance, repair, overhaul, refurbishing, “development,” or “production,” of military items described on the USML; or items classified under ECCNs ending in “A018”; or under “600 series” ECCNs.” (15 CFR 744.21(f)).

While the definition of “military end user” has not changed, there will likely be more individuals and/or entities based in these three countries who the U.S. Government defines as engaging in activities that now constitute a military end use. Note than many individuals and entities from these countries, including research institutions, who are not defense identified per se, but perform work for or receive funding from the national military, may now fall under the military end user definition.

When an individual or entity from China, Russia, and/or Venezuela is determined to be a military end user, or the individual/entity is engaging in a military end use, exports of the items and technical data  listed in EAR Supplement 2 to Part 744 require an export license from BIS. Currently, those license requests are under a presumption of denial, indicative of the scrutiny that BIS is applying to this category of transaction and the enforcement consequence of violating this new provision. 

For shipments going to China, Russia, or Venezuela, the Export Office will assist shippers in determining whether the receiving party is a “military end user” pursuant to BIS regulations. Where a receiving party is a military end user, the Export Office will help the shipper determine appropriate next steps.

4. What is the governing jurisdiction (ITAR or EAR) and classification (USML or EAR) of the item(s), software, and/or non-public technical data that will be shipped?

Classification determinations should be made by comparing the specifications and capabilities of an item (and in some cases its original design intent and origin) to the EAR’s Commerce Control List (CCL) or ITAR’s Munitions List (USML) as applicable. In some cases, this exercise is straightforward; in other more complex cases, it requires further analysis that requires consultation with a vendor or item provider, licensor (in the case of licensed software) and/or the faculty or staff member using the item for research or contract service. Export Control performs all classification activities; if you do not know the classification of the things you would like to ship, please contact Export Control for assistance.

5. Does the shipment require an export license?

Outbound shipments or transfer by any means (cargo shipment, courier, hand carried, electronic) of export controlled commodities (hardware, laboratory equipment, materials, research samples) or technical data (software, blue prints, schematics, manuals, information in any form) require analysis to determine whether export controls apply. This applies even where the purpose of exporting the item is to advance fundamental research abroad, for example, as part of field work to be conducted in another country or to facilitate an international collaboration. It is important to note that even where an item (commodity) is created in the University from commercially available components and data, or through technical know-how that is publicly available, the item itself may still require a license to export. Prior to shipment it is important to determine whether shipment is subject to export controls, and if so which jurisdiction (ITAR or EAR) and classification (USML or ECCN) applies. If you do not know the ECCN or USML category of the items you intend to ship, please contact the Export Office for assistance. Export license requirements depend on the classification of the items and the destination of the receiving party(s). When a shipment otherwise requires an export license, an license exclusion/ exemption may apply. The Export Office can provide assistance in determining whether a license is required, and if an exclusion/exemption is available.

Because a license can take at least 30 days to obtain, it is critical to address a potential export requirement as soon as possible to allow for sufficient processing time. The type of license, scope and duration will depend on which authorizing agency (ITAR- Department of State, or EAR- Department of Commerce) has jurisdiction over the license application or authorization. Please contact us as early as possible, so that we can provide assistance in advance of your intended shipping date.

6. Does the shipment require other authorizations or procedures?

Specific items may require regulatory approval from more than one agency. For example, certain drugs may require approval from the FDA as well as the Department of Commerce. Soil and agricultural products may require permits from the USDA/ APHIS. The Export Office can assist university personnel in shipping items abroad. Please contact us as early as possible, so that we can provide assistance in advance of your intended shipping date.

Shippers should also contact the Environmental Health and Safety department for shipments of Dangerous Goods, Hazardous Materials, and/or Controlled Biologics, which may require specific university approval and/or special procedures prior to shipment.

7. Does the shipment require an Electronic Export Information (EEI) filing?

Shipments of some items require an Electronic Export Information (EEI) statement prior to export. An EEI is the export clearance document that is submitted electronically (typically by the freight forwarder through the Automated Electronic Shipment system) and that is reviewed by Census, Customs and Commerce for export statistical purpose and license compliance.

Filing an EEI is required in the following situations:

  • For all exports of items that are destined to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria, regardless of value;
  • For all exports of items on the Commerce Control List to China, Russia, or Venezuela, regardless of value;
  • For all exports to an individual or entity that is a prohibited, restricted, or unverified party, regardless of value;
  • For all exports shipped under a Department of State (ITAR), Department of Commerce (EAR/BIS), and/or Department of Treasury (OFAC) issued license, or for shipments that require submission of a license application, regardless of value;
  • For all exports of commodities and mass market software when the value is over $2,500;

Certain exemptions from filing may be available pursuant to the EAR and/or the Federal Trade Regulations. The Export Office will assist with classification of items and application of license exemptions.

EEI filing may be done by the Export Office through AES, through an individual carrier (such as FedEx or UPS), or through a freight forwarder. For assistance in filing an EEI statement, please contact the Export Office.