Are You A Faculty or Staff Member Doing Research Internationally?

International research requires special care, whether you are going overseas or whether a foreign national is coming to Berkeley. Considerations include the following (in alphabetical order, not order of importance, so please read them all):

Anti-Boycott Laws.  The U.S. Department of Commerce is responsible for oversight of laws prohibiting individuals and entities from participating in boycotts not approved or sanctioned by the U.S. government. The Export Administration Act requires that requests to participate in such boycotts or to conduct activities in any of the boycotting countries be formally reported to the Department of Commerce and/or IRS. Contact the Research Administration Compliance Office at 642-0120 for more information.

Contracts. The process for international contracts is the same as for domestic contracts, only more complex. Among the additional issues requiring consideration are legal jurisdiction, currency (if the contract involves money), and indemnification and insurance. To determine which office to work with, go to the Contracting at Berkeley web page.

Country Embargoes and Targeted Sanctions. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is responsible for enforcing all U.S. embargoes and sanctions. UC’s International Collaborations webpage contains additional information. Be sure to research this issue thoroughly if you are collaborating with anyone from the following countries: Belarus, Burma (Myanmar), Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Liberia, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, any Balkan countries that comprised the old Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe.

Ethics. In February 2016, Princeton University Press published a report entitled Doing Global Science: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in the Global Research Enterprise. If you are working with human subjects, be sure to consult the campus's Institutional Review Board (IRB), the Committee for Protection of Human Subjects.

Export Controls. Export controls may apply to advanced software and technology, research data, and other sensitive assets. If you plan on taking or sending potentially export-controlled materials outside the U.S., consult the campus Research Administration Compliance Office at 642-0120.

Foreign Bank Accounts. Employees wishing to open a foreign bank account should contact the Controller’s Office at or 643-9803.

Foreign Bank Account Reporting. The U.S. Treasury Department may require U.S. citizens with a financial interest in or signatory authority over a financial account in a foreign country to report such accounts on a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts.Contact the Controller’s Office at or 643-9803 for assistance.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) prohibits bribery of foreign officials. The term “foreign official” generally includes any employee or contractor of a foreign government, and may include individuals employed by foreign universities. Contact the UC Berkeley Office of Legal Affairs at 642-7122 for more information.

Human Subjects. If your research involves human subjects, please review the Committee for Protection of Human Subjects' policy on International Research. Contact the Committee for Protection of Human Subjects at or 642-7461 for more information.

Import Controls and International Shipping.  If you are importing goods from another country, you must adhere to U.S. import regulations, and may need to enlist the services of a freight forwarder to arrange transport or provide customs brokerage services, especially for shipments arriving by sea. The University of California has a strategic sourcing contract with American Cargoservice, Inc.( for international freight forwarding and customs brokerage services. American Cargoservice has been empowered with a power of attorney by the University of California Regents.

On-Campus Research with Foreign Nationals. Federal rules prohibit nationals of certain countries from receiving controlled information and/or controlled technologies without a license, exception, or exemption, even if those individuals are otherwise authorized to work within the United States. Contact the Research Administration Compliance Office at 642-0120 for more information.

Tax Reporting. The University and its employees may be taxed in foreign countries. Contact the Controller’s Office at for tax advising and unrelated business income tax coordination or for foreign tax form processing

Travel Insurance. You and your travel companions (people sharing your itinerary, such as your spouse and children) are covered by the University’s travel insurance program while engaged in University-related travel. (Pre-trip cancellation is not included in the coverage.) To register for coverage, go here. Contact Risk Services for more information.