When Stanford faculty, staff and students travel abroad for research purposes, they may be subject to export controls or trade sanctions compliance requirements. This page discusses Stanford policies on traveling to foreign countries with digital storage devices and to Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)-sanctioned countries. 

Travel with Laptops and Other Digital Storage Devices

Stanford University faculty, students and staff engaged in research and traveling abroad temporarily with Stanford-owned laptops, smartphones or other digital storage devices must document their export compliance by reviewing and submitting, when applicable, Stanford's Annual TMP ("Temporary Exports") Certification.

Travel with Materials, Prototypes, Equipment and Components

Stanford personnel traveling outside the United States and shipping or hand carrying Stanford-owned or third-party-owned property must use the Stanford Export Controls Decision Tree or contact the university export control officer for guidance before travel.

Refer to the Reference Guide for more information. 

Stanford Policy

Any plans to travel on behalf of Stanford University to sanctioned countries listed at the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as shown below must be reviewed and approved by the university export control officer in advance of travel:

  • Cuba
  • Iran
  • North Korea
  • Sudan 
  • Syria
  • Crimea (region of Ukraine – not a designated State Sponsor of Terrorism (SST) but under comprehensive embargo)


An OFAC-sanctioned country travel compliance assessment will include, but will not necessarily be limited to, review of the traveler’s invitation letter (when applicable) and a detailed daily travel itinerary from departure through return. Travelers should provide those documents to the university export control officer when requesting an OFAC-sanctioned country license review.

Travel Reimbursement Requirements

To facilitate reimbursement for OFAC-sanctioned country travel, administrators should identify the university export control officer as an approver on the travel advance or travel reimbursement request. Stanford will not reimburse a traveler’s OFAC-sanctioned country travel expenses without the university export control officer's approval prior to departure.

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