International Travel and Conferences

Click here for information regarding the ban on electronic devices for U.S. inbound travel

What To Know About International Travel and Conferences

  • ​​​​​Anything you take out of the U.S. is an export, including data on laptops and cell phones, and is subject to US export control
  • You must have a license to take ITAR-controlled articles or technical data out of the US
  • Providing information about defense articles at international conferences is an export control violation

Before You Leave

  1. Determine if you qualify for TMP or BAG license exceptions
  2. Remove any ITAR-controlled, highly restricted, or EAR-controlled technical data from your laptop and cell phone
  3. Contact export control if you are traveling to an OFAC-sanctioned country
  4. Determine if you are subject to additional import and export controls at your destination

Tips for Traveling with Data

  • US Customs is authorized to search and retain electronic devices without probable cause
  • Do not travel with private data that you do not want others to see (e.g. medical records, financial records, photos, data from research)
  • Have a copy of your data in the US in case it is lost during inspection
  • Take electronic devices with ordinary software and minimal data to reduce the likelihood of a lengthy or disruptive search

Tips for Presenting at International Conferences

  • Be careful of what you say during Q&A sessions or in conversation. Providing any information about the design, development, engineering, manufacture, production, assembly, testing, repair, maintenance, modification, operation, demilitarization, destruction, processing, and use of defense articles is an export control violation.
  • In presentations at conferences, stay within the realm of published material if possible. Exercise caution during Q&A sessions.

More information about travel documentation and restrictions available here.

More information about international conference presentations available here.

Need help?

Contact the MIT Export Control Compliance Team at, or by phone at 617-253-2762 (Janet Johnston).