Laptops (including tablets, smartphones and electronic storage devices)

It is always advised that you remove any export controlled technical data, non-mass market encryption or controlled software from your laptop prior to international travel. The following types of data may be considered export controlled technical data:

  • Information related to military or space technology that is not in the public domain
  • Proprietary information
  • Non-mass market encryption software

Simply departing the US with such information may require US government authorization in the form of an export license. 

Please note that U.S. Customs and Border Protection has the right to examine the electronic files on your computer, including personal contacts and files. Computer inspections may occur at the time of departure from the U.S. or upon arrival into the U.S. If a Customs Officer requests to search the contents of your laptop, it is in your best interest to allow the inspection and provide any requested assistance or passwords. Failure to comply may lead to detainment or seizure of your computer.

Duke researchers (P.I.s, faculty, graduate students, post-doctoral, etc.): You may take your Duke-issued laptop out of the United States without a license if:

  • The period of the trip is less than 12 months
  • The laptop and technology will remain in your effective control throughout the trip
  • You will return with the laptop
  • You do not intend to release or share any controlled technology while overseas
  • Your computer, technology, or software will not be directly or indirectly used for nuclear activity
  • Your laptop does not contain non-mass market encryption applications or software.  If your laptop contains these items, please contact the Office of Export Controls before departing for your trip.
  • The computer will not be used to support or assist foreign military or space programs
  • You take responsibility for preventing inadvertent releases.  You should use secure connections, a password to protect technical data, and a firewall while using your computer.
  • Contact Office of Export Controls if traveling with military/space-related technical data on your laptop