Laptops and GPS

Prior to any travel outside the U.S. Please check out the link below for Travel Alerts and Warnings:



UAH faculty, staff and students commonly bring their laptops, cell phones, GPS, PDAs, data storage devices and other electronic devices loaded with information and software (Devices) with them not only across campus, but also to other countries. Although taking Devices to international destinations seems routine, individuals doing so may be “exporting” the Device for possible violations of the U.S. export control laws and regulations. Such “exports” may require a license from the U.S. government. Export control regulations may also govern a UAH traveler’s use of another person’s Device while traveling, and a UAH traveler permitting someone else to use his or her Device while outside the United States.

Most international travel with Devices will not require a license. UAH travelers should be familiar with the applicable export control regulations, however, and strive to comply, because violations can result in the imposition of criminal sanctions and heavy civil penalties.

The licensing requirements can be summarized generally as follows: Individuals traveling with a Device that is routinely available from commercial vendors will probably not need an export license as long as the Device is kept under their immediate control when outside the United States, and is brought back to the United States within one year of the initial departure.

What this means is that a license could be required from the Departments of Commerce, State, or Treasury, depending on what you are taking and the country you are traveling to. Another aspect to consider is that a license could also be required if you are providing a defense service* to a foreign person. Direct access to ECCNs and other export-related information made available by manufacturers.

Fortunately, travel to most countries does not usually constitute an export control problem. In some cases, an exception or exemption to the license requirements is available.


Please review and complete the form below and return it to the Research Security Administration Office.

TMPForm (Microsoft Word)


Please Contact the Research Security Administration Office if you have any questions regarding export control issues related to your projects or travel outside the U.S. at 256-824-6444, or via email at or


*A defense service means the furnishing of assistance (including training) to foreign persons in the design, development, engineering, manufacture, production, assembly testing, repair, maintenance, modification, operation, demilitarization, destruction, processing or use of a defense article. A defense service also includes furnishing to foreign persons any technical data which is required for the design, development, production, manufacture, assembly, operation, repair, testing, maintenance or modification of defense articles.