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Lehigh faculty, staff, and students often travel abroad to perform research, work with collaborators, attend conferences, and otherwise engage in scholarly activity.  This guidance is intended to advise faculty, staff, and students of the existence of export control regulations, the potential impact of those regulations on faculty, staff, and students international travel, particularly with respect to such travel with electronic devices, the obligation of faculty, staff, and students to comply with such regulations and, more generally, best practices regarding device and data security while traveling.  Lehigh strongly recommends borrowing a "clean" loaner laptop from Library and Technology Services for work/research-related international travel. Information on how to do so is listed below:


LTS Loaner Laptop Program

  • Request a loaner laptop by submitting a request at:
  • The request will be processed and LTS will reach out to you when the laptop is ready for pickup.
  • Please reserve a laptop at least one week prior to your travel to allow time for setup
  • The loaner laptop program is free to faculty and staff, however, the individual borrowing the laptop will be responsible for replacement costs due to damage, loss, or theft.
  • Loaner laptops are typically allowed for 1 week -  for international travel, LTS will allow a laptop to be borrowed for up to 2 weeks.  If your travel is longer than 2 weeks, please provide information as to how long the laptop is needed.
  • Either Windows 10 or Macintosh laptops are provided.

Steps to Take Before International Travel

  • Consult with the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) regarding any export control obligations. 
    • Export control requirements can extend to:
      • Equipment
      • Data, including data received under obligations of confidentiality and with access control restrictions, such as export control terms and conditions, restrictions on foreign national participation, and confidential unclassified information (CUI)
      • Electronic devices, including laptops, tablets and smartphones
    • ORI will help confirm whether an export license is needed to take any equipment, data, or device with you. If a license is needed, ORI will initiate the license process with the appropriate U.S. government agency.
  • If you are participating in export-controlled research, consult ORI to confirm compliance with your Technology Control Plan.


  • If you are taking any device with encryption capability, consult with the Department of State regarding any import regulations specific to your destination. 
    • Because encryption can be used for illegal activities, some countries severely limit the import of computing devices that are encrypted and/or require that encrypted devices be registered with the government before importation occurs. 
    • Each country maintains its own regulations that can change frequently. Failure to abide by country-specific import regulations can result in device confiscation, fines, or criminal penalties in the destination country.


  • Secure a loaner laptop from LTS following the process outlined above.
    • Lehigh strongly encourages any faculty member traveling abroad for work purposes to use a loaner laptop.
    • Devices taken abroad may be subject to review by the government of your destination country. This may mean customs officials seize your device, make a copy of it, and retain that copy after the device is returned to you. 
      • This may result in data breaches if your device has any stored data.
      • You may or may not be allowed to be present while this inspection occurs. 
      • Your device may be compromised during this process. 

Please visit ORI’s website for additional information on export controls and international travel. Purchasing’s website contains information on booking international travel; Lehigh requires use of its travel agent when booking international travel.