Academic institutions warned to read new government guidance or ‘face penalties’ for accidentally breaching export control rules

students in a library

The below article has been contributed by the board of the Institute of Export & International Trade’s Export Control Profession and has been described as “essential reading for universities and academic institutions” by Roger Arthey, the board’s chair.

The Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) of the UK’s Department for International Trade has published new guidance on how the UK’s strategic export controls apply to academics, university researchers and their institutions.

The notice outlines the academic activities which require export licences, as well as how to obtain them and how to comply with their conditions.

You can read more about this new guidance here and read case study scenarios showing when a licence may be required in university teaching or research environments here.

‘Very timely’

Brinley Salzmann, director for overseas and exports at ADS Group Ltd, said the updated guidance was “very timely” as academics could “face penalties for unwittingly breaching” export control rules.

“It is very timely that the ECJU has released this guidance, given reports earlier this year that some 200 British academics from more than a dozen UK universities could face penalties for unwittingly breaching export control regulations and inadvertently helping the Chinese government’s weapons of mass destruction programmes,” he said.

Roger Arthey, the chair of the Institute of Export & International Trade’s Export Control Profession, warns: “Universities and other academic research institutions should study and implement this guidance to avoid the risk of penalties for inadvertently breaching export control regulations”.

Scheme for students

There are key sections in the notice on high-risk research, technology and software, international collaboration and transnational education.

The guidance also highlights the UK’s Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS), which applies to certain international students intending to study at postgraduate level in certain sensitive subjects.

The case studies provided by the ECJU show scenarios for overseas students studying in and outside the UK, and international collaborative research programmes.