Shipping Abroad

Shipping Abroad Questions?

Find out how export regulations impact specific international shipments, by contacting the Associate University Compliance and Privacy Officer, at 216.368.0833, or email

What CWRU Members Need to Do Before Shipping Abroad

Federal export control regulations can apply when regulated items are being shipped abroad. Before shipping a device, materials, or other items abroad, a CWRU employee trained in export compliance must determine whether an export license, or any other form of federal authorization, is needed prior to making the shipment. These are the steps that all CWRU researchers should follow when planning to make an outgoing international shipment of items or materials:

  1. The CWRU Principal Investigator works with the CWRU Technology Transfer Office to get a Material Transfer Agreement ("MTA") in place between CWRU and the overseas organization to receive the items or materials. The CWRU PI initiates this by submitting a completed MTA Review Form found here.

  2. Once the MTA is completed and signed by CWRU and the recipient organization, the Technology Transfer Office will forward a copy of the final contract to the PI. The PI should keep a copy of the final MTA for easy reference. Note that MTAs not only help to ensure compliance with the federal export laws, but they also protect investigators' intellectual property rights.

  3. The PI should contact the CWRU Environmental Health and Safety Office before making the overseas shipment. This step is necessary so that EHS can analyze the contents of the shipment in light of the export regulations and determine whether the shipment can proceed immediately, or whether federal pre-authorization is needed. The PI should provide EHS with a copy of the signed MTA so that EHS can match the requested shipment with the formal contract.

If you have questions regarding Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs), please contact the Technology Transfer Office (TTO).