You may be an exporter even if you don’t ship tangible items. As we start 2016 deemed export rules are worth re-visiting.
Engineering firms, software companies, researchers, manufacturers, and universities need to be aware of the “deemed export” rules. They may be engaged in export transactions without even knowing it. Here is some info from the BIS website.
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Deemed Export FAQs
An export of technology or source code (except encryption source code) is “deemed” to take place when it is released to a foreign national within the United States. See §734.2(b)(2)(ii) of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). For brevity, these questions and answers refer only to “technology” but apply equally to source code.
Technology is “released” for export when it is available to foreign nationals for visual inspection (such as reading technical specifications, plans, blueprints, etc.); when technology is exchanged orally; or when technology is made available by practice or application under the guidance of persons with knowledge of the technology. See §734.2(b)(3) of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).
Per Part 772 of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), “technology” is specific information necessary for the “development,” “production,” or “use” of a product. The General Technology Note states that the “export of technology” is controlled according to the provisions of each Category.” It further states that “technology required for the development, production, or use of a controlled product remains controlled even when applicable to a product controlled at a lower level.” Please note that the terms “required,” “development,” “production,” “use,” and “technology” are all defined in Part 772 of the EAR. Controlled technology is that which is listed on the Commerce Control List.
Assuming that a license is required because the technology does not qualify for treatment under EAR99 and no license exception is available, U.S. entities must apply for an export license under the “deemed export” rule when both of the following conditions are met: (1) they intend to transfer controlled technologies to foreign nationals in the United States; and (2) transfer of the same technology to the foreign national’s home country would require an export license.