USC Office of Compliance

What Are You Taking With You?

You can bring your laptop, as long as it does not contain any export-controlled documents or non-commercial, special purpose encryption software.  If the laptop contains only the commercial encryption software that is standard for the computer, then you do not have an export controls issue (unless traveling to an OFAC-sanctioned country).  If you have something other than standard commercial encryption software on your laptop or you are traveling to an OFAC-sanctioned country, do not bring it with you before consulting with Office of Compliance.
Export-controlled information
If the information you intend to bring with you is published and publically available, you do not have any export control concerns.  However, if the university has accepted restrictions on the free dissemination of the information received or generated in the course of a research project, or has agreed to research personnel access restrictions (usually on the basis of nationality), then export control regulations apply, and an export license may be required prior to taking the information outside the United States.  If you plan to bring information abroad where you know the university has accepted restrictions on dissemination or access, contact the Office of Compliance before doing so.

Biological and Chemical Materials
Taking biological or chemical samples with you on an international trip constitutes an export under U.S. export regulations.  For example, materials that could be used for manufacture of biological or chemical weapons, chemicals that are used as propellants, and high explosive materials may require specific export licenses depending on the country to which you are travelling.  Also, there may be specific health and safety requirements to follow in order to safely transport these materials.  If you intend to bring biological or chemical materials with you on an international trip, consult with the Office of Compliance before doing so.