International Travel

Hand-Carrying Items

Hand-carrying items for research or University work in your luggage when going abroad is an export. Depending on the item you are carrying and your ultimate travel destination, an export license may be required. Additionally, whether or not an export license is required, if the items you are carrying are valued over $2500, additional U.S. government paperwork needs to be filed through the Automated Export System (AES) for Electronic Export Information. Export Control will provide a review of your equipment and determine if an export license or license exception is available and if AES filing is required. Please contact us in advance of your travels as early as possible as export licensing may take 6 weeks or longer.

Click here for more information on the legal requirements for international shipping and hand-carrying.

Click here for more information on traveling with electronic devices.

"Tool Of Trade" (TMP) License Exception

Travelers are responsible for knowing how export controls apply when taking equipment, devices, software or technical data outside the U.S. In most situations, licensing is not required to take UCI owned items abroad under the TMP “tool of trade” license exception. However items such as laptops must remain under the traveler’s effective control during the trip.  Additionally, information and data taken on laptops, PDA’s or storage devices must qualify as public domain. Other items such as research samples and devices, systems or software originally designed for military or space applications (such as a camera with a focal plane array or a high end GPS), technology associated with strong encryption and controlled biological agents will not qualify for this exemption.

If U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials suspect that a regulated item or defense article has been or will be exported without a license, they may, examine files and software on laptop computers as well as baggage. In addition, inspectors in other countries may detain and copy hard drives. Prior to leaving the U.S. international travelers are encouraged back up their hard-drives, remove all non-essential data from their devices.

More information

Sanctioned Countries

The Department of the Treasury, through its Office of Foreign Asset Control, administers economic and trade sanctions that may restrict or require licensing for activities involving specific countries, individuals and entities. Before considering travel to conduct research or educational activities in a sanctioned country, check with the Export Control Officer at

Click here for more information on travel to or research in sanctioned countries.  

Fast Facts

Institutional Information
  • UCI DUNS #:04-670-5849
  • UCI EIN #: 95-2226406
  • NIH Profile: 577504
  • NSF Code:0013144000
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