Skip to main content

Export Controls > International Travel > Traveling with Encrypted Devices

Traveling with Encrypted Devices

The Cornell IT Security strongly recommends all mobile computing devices be encrypted for general Cornell use. This includes computers, tablets, mobile phones, etc.

Cornell owned laptop computers are routinely equipped with encryption software and are subject to export control regulations under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). U.S. regulations permit the export of such computers under certain export license exceptions, however various countries have implemented prohibitions against importing the same computers and software. Under United States Law, no individual is permitted to export the software to a prohibited country or individual.

As mentioned above, certain countries, such as China, Israel, and Russia have restrictions on the import and use of encryption tools and do not allow cryptography tools to be imported or used within their borders without a license, or in some extreme cases, at all. Under these restrictions, any country can potentially confiscate systems mobile computing devices/ devices entering or leaving their borders. For that reason, Cornell strongly recommends traveling with loaner devices*. For a list of countries with encryption restrictions consult:


Since most travel is temporary in nature, U.S. export control regulations provide for an exception when traveling with devices. Travelers should complete, print and take with you, a copy of the TMP Exception Letter to self-certify your use of the exception. NOTE: THIS TMP exception cannot be used for high level encryption or for travel to embargoed or sanctioned countries. Please note that this is an exception to U.S. export laws, and does not apply to import prohibitions enforced by foreign countries.


EAR 15 CFR 740.9

Export Administrative Regulations (EAR) License Exception 15 CFR 740.9 Temporary imports, exports, reexports, and transfers (TMP) at


DEPARTMENT RESOURCES: If your department does not have a spare device (loaner) on hand that can be used for travel, please contact your IT Department to see if they have any spare devices for you to use during travel.

ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS: If travel to one of these countries is a frequent or routine occurrence and/or loaner device isn't a viable option, the IT Security Office offers a service to work with your IT support provider on alternative solutions. For additional information, please see:


To protect you while you travel abroad, and to help Cornell manage its non-U.S. compliance obligations, effective as of September 28, 2015, all staff, students, and faculty are required to pre-register any travel outside the U.S. in the International Travel Registry. See additional information at