The U.S. export regulations identify controlled technology by publishing control lists:
In order to understand what export restrictions apply to your technology, you must first determine which regulation(s) may apply. This is called the “export classification” process. Once you determine the export classification for your technology, you can proceed to the next step of determining if an export license or authorization is needed prior to exporting your commodity outside the U.S., or sharing your technology with foreign nationals .
There are two primary methods for obtaining an export classification: obtaining a vendor classification (preferred), or conducting one’s own self-classification (see below).
1. Preferred Method (for commercial technology): Vendor Classification. Start by requesting the export control classification from the manufacturer/vendor – typically they have the most knowledge about the technology of the item.
A. Email the vendor’s sales department as follows:
“We plan on procuring one of your products (insert model name and number here) and I need to determine export licensing requirements. What is the export classification of your product. Please provide the ECCN or USML category.”
Note on Foreign Vendors and Small Businesses
Foreign vendors will not be familiar with U.S. export regulations and smaller U.S. businesses may or may not conduct business internationally. However, it is still worth asking the question in case they do. If they do not, proceed to the secondary method below.
2. Secondary Method: Self-Classification. This involves the scientist, engineer, or researcher with expertise in the applicable technology working in conjunction with the Export Compliance Office reviewing the applicable export regulations and determining the accurate classification.
For Biological Items the scientist, engineer or researcher should complete the Self-Classification Questionnaire for Biological Items and forward it to exportcontrol.lbl.gov for the next steps.
For all other tangible or technical items the scientist, engineer or researcher should complete the Export Classification Questionnaire for Non-Biological Items and forward it to exportcontrol.lbl.gov for the next steps.