export-controls 18 July 2019

Germany publishes guidance on innovation and export control

Germany’s export control regulatory authority, BAFA has published in English a document entitled ‘Export control in science and research,’ which, it says, is ‘aimed at professors, scientists and scientific staff at universities and non-university research institutions as well as representatives of these organizations working in the field of “export control and research activities”.’

It noted in a preface that the document ‘deals, in particular, with the rights and obligations that apply in this area,’ and that, ‘while scientific freedom is enshrined in the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (‘Grundgesetz’), research activities must nevertheless comply with the provisions of export control.’

The document has chapters on the risks of misuse, recognising ‘red flags’, lists of relevant goods, including software and technology, scientific freedom, and the competitive advantages of export control. It notes, inter alia, ‘that terminology in this area can be an issue: Your scientific classification of a research project as “basic research” does not necessarily automatically comply with the foreign trade classification. For example, research funded by industry is not usually considered to be scientific basic research under foreign trade law.’


Note that at the WorldECR Forum in London on 3-4 October, Branislav Aleksic, Export Control Officer and Legal Counsel at Fraunhofer, Europe’s largest application-oriented research organisation, will be presenting on his institution’s approach to meeting export control challenges.