Office of
Research Services

Export Control

The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is responsible for implementing and enforcing the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), which regulate the export and reexport of most commercial items.

We often refer to the items that BIS regulates as “dual-use” – items that have both commercial and military or proliferation applications – but purely commercial items without an obvious military use are also subject to the EAR.

The EAR do not control all goods, services, and technologies. Other U.S. government agencies regulate more specialized exports. For example, the U.S. Department of State has authority over defense articles and defense services. 

This publication is designed to give people who are new to exporting, and, in particular, new to export controls, a general understanding of our regulations and how to use them. However, nothing provided here can substitute for consulting the EAR. The EAR include answers to frequently asked questions, detailed step-by-step instructions for determining if a transaction is subject to the regulations, how to request a commodity classification or advisory opinion, and how to apply for a license. In using the EAR, you may want to first look at Part 732 for the steps you follow to determine your obligations.

Export Control Information

Export Control Rules of Thumb (PDF)