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Legal and Compliance Considerations for Global Travel

A number of U.S. laws govern a U.S. organization’s conduct in a foreign country, prohibit discrimination or impose reporting and compliance requirements. Relevant laws and compliance requirements can also vary greatly by country. Below is an overview of such legal and compliance topics.

The Office of University Counsel can provide advice and can recommend when outside counsel may need to be engaged.

Legal and Compliance Topics

U.S. export controls laws govern the transfer of controlled information, items, and technologies to foreign countries and foreign persons for national security purposes. Export control regulations can control everything from technology and data to economic transactions and business partnerships. Review the Export Control Guide for International Travel for more details.

Visit Export Control’s site on international travel and teleworking for a list of countries with additional restrictions and the comprehensively sanctioned countries. Travel to countries on this list requires additional review.

Customs Note

The U.S. Foreign Trade Regulations often require UNC travelers to file an Electronic Export Information (“EEI”) to the U.S. Census Bureau when hand-carrying any UNC-owned items internationally. Particularly, EEI fillings are required when traveling with UNC-owned items (including laptops and smart devices) that fall into one of the two categories:

  1. valued at the sum of $2,500 or higher, or
  2. that are being brought to Russia, China or Venezuela, regardless of the equipment’s valuation.

If you are taking any UNC-owned items that fall into either of these commonly required categories for EEI filings, please contact the export compliance office at to assist you in submitting an EEI prior to you leaving the United States.


The UNC Export Compliance Office can assist UNC faculty, staff, students, and other personnel navigate through U.S. export controls.

UNC is committed to acting ethically and in compliance with applicable laws at all times, including anti-corruption laws such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and laws in the jurisdictions in which the University operates. The FCPA generally prohibits providing anything of value to foreign officials to (i) influence the official in his or her official capacity; (ii) induce the official to do or omit to do an act in violation of his or her duty; or (iii) secure an improper advantage in order to assist in obtaining or retaining business.

For more information on the FCPA, please consult the U.S. Department of Justice overview of the statute or the more detailed guide provided by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.


If you have any questions about whether your proposed provision of a payment to a foreign individual may be subject to the FCPA, please seek guidance from the Office of University Counsel.

U.S. antiboycott laws encourage, and in some cases, require U.S. individuals and entities to refuse to participate in or cooperate with foreign boycotts that are not sanctioned by the U.S. government.


Should you receive any request to support an international boycott, please contact the Office of University Counsel prior to taking any action as antiboycott laws contain significant reporting requirements and impose significant criminal, civil, and tax penalties for non-compliance.

The Clery Act requires universities to report statistics for specific crimes on its campuses, as well as adjacent public property and certain leased or rented property.

Campus Security Authorities receive training on reporting these crimes. Individuals must submit Clery reports for Clery reportable incidents they become aware of, regardless of whether the incident occurs on the Chapel Hill campus or an international location.


To learn more about the Clery Act, visit the UNC Police website.

Title IX prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex in university educational programs or activities. Employees who are Responsible Employees under Title IX must share any reported violation of Title IX, including sexual violence and assault, with the University’s Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office. You can also report an incident online.


To learn more about Title IX, visit the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office website.

Pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act FY2019 (“NDAA 889”), the University, as a federal contractor, is prohibited from using telecommunications and/or video surveillance equipment or services produced by or provided by entities listed in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 48 C.F.R. 52.204-25.  It is the responsibility of each individual employee to ensure compliance with this prohibition when he/she is using telecommunications and/or video surveillance equipment or services for purposes of University work that are not provided directly by the University.  Particular diligence is necessary for locations outside of the United States. Additional information on NDAA Section 889 is available here.


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