Research universities are subject to many of the same controls as
private enterprises. In this QAD Precision Report we look at how
desktop shipping helps universities to mitigate costly compliance missteps.
Universities are at the cross-roads between public service and
industry. On the one hand, a university’s core mission is to teach the
next generation of entrepreneurs, business leaders, doctors, lawyers,
journalists, scientists, and other professionals. On the other hand,
many of the innovations that we use every day began life as university
The intellectual property a university generates can include
prototypes, computer code, living tissues, cells or other biological
samples, research papers, and teaching materials to name a few. This
IP can be extremely valuable, and some IP may be subject to export
controls. This is particularly true if the research has a potential
In addition to technology, research universities share many
similarities with life sciences companies. Research materials and
samples can be delicate, temperature-sensitive or hazardous. Again,
these may be subject to export regulations or other restrictions.
Universities ship highly diverse goods from living cells, technology,
books, experimental drugs and athletic equipment. As a result, there
can be a lack of clarity of where export controls apply or where
exemptions, such as the Fundamental Research Exclusion, are
applicable. As a result, different schools, departments or research
laboratories may work independently and, in some cases, without enough oversight.
A university that is conducting research on technology that has
military or other restricted dual use applications, must comply with
regulations restricting the export of such technology. In the US, deemed
export restrictions may also apply if the research team includes
foreign nationals or if researchers are partnering with peers at
overseas academic institutions.
However, under US law certain science and engineering research is
exempt from export controls. This is the Fundamental Research
Exclusion or FRE. It is important to note that FRE does not apply to
all research a university may undertake. The research must meet a
number of conditions, which are as follows:
The research team or individual researcher must be conducting
basic or applied research
The research will publish the resulting information and share
this broadly within the scientific community
No restrictions apply to publication, including government
restrictions, non-disclosure agreements, or sponsor-approval
Another important consideration is that FRE only applies to
publishable results — not to inventions, technology or
equipment. Therefore, research conducted in disciplines such as
science, technology, engineering and mathematics, may overlap with
export controlled technologies.
Individual countries and political entities have different rules and
regulations regarding exports. In the US, for example, export controls
take into account goods or technologies that may impact national
security or foreign policy. The European Union also has robust
regulations regarding the export of military applications, dual-use
goods and a number of technologies. All of this means that
universities, like private enterprises, must take steps to ensure that
researchers do not violate their obligations under the applicable law.
However, a crucial difference between industry and academia is that
larger companies have both technological and staff resources to help
them mitigate compliance missteps. Most researchers are not experts in
trade compliance laws and export controls. Therefore, a university
benefits by putting in place institution-wide controls to ensure staff
and students comply with export controls when shipping research materials.
Ideally, universities need to integrate automated compliance checks
with shipping. Consequently, staff and students cannot ship research
materials or other goods without first completing compliance
screening. This ensures that the shipment does not violate in-country
regulations and export controls. This includes ensuring compliance
with sanctions, government and international Denied Party Lists (DPLs)
and licence controls. Furthermore, universities can ensure that all
shipments comply with their own policies and procedures regarding the
sharing of intellectual property.
Equally importantly, all researchers and university staff will not
only have performed due diligence, the system will create an
electronic audit trail to prove so.
Sounds great, but how do you do it? The answer is desktop shipping software.
As the name suggests, desktop
shipping software allows users to create a shipment and complete
compliance screening from a computer terminal.
With desktop shipping, universities can configure compliance checks
depending on the type of shipment. After all, sending athletic
equipment domestically before a big game is very different to shipping
an experimental drug to a research partner at an overseas institution.
Therefore, a comprehensive desktop shipping solution gives
universities the tools to maintain an ongoing and effective compliance
program for both inbound or outbound goods, whether they ship
domestically, internationally or both. As a result, universities
perform due diligence with in-country regulatory programs and
cross-border export requirements.
International shipping requirements are subject to change. Import
tariffs, packaging specifications, customs rules and compliance
regulations are not static, but most university shippers are not
experts in the rules pertaining to international shipping.
Nevertheless, they must comply with these regulations. Furthermore,
missing or incorrect documentation will result in your shipment
delays. Customs authorities may impose fines, but even worse,
sensitive samples may degrade or become useless should they not reach
their destination in a timely manner.
Desktop shipping software automates carrier compliant labeling,
generates appropriate shipping documents for global destinations and
enables electronic customs reporting. A best-in-class desktop
shipping solution will ensure that all of the documents required are
in the correct format and presented at the right time. This will
include international, regulatory and multilingual documentation, plus
the correct documents for shipping hazmat and/or dangerous goods.
As you can see from the above, desktop shipping allows universities
to ensure ongoing compliance with international shipping regulations
and export controls. There are also other significant benefits to
desktop shipping. We will list these here.
Desktop shipping software gives universities access to a multi
carrier network of parcel shippers, both domestic and global. As
a result, universities can add smaller, regional or specialist
carriers to their list of transportation partners, but still ship in
the same way from the central desktop shipping solution.
Muli carrier shipping can allow universities to make significant cost
savings. For example, both Europe and Asia have hundreds of specialist
and local carriers that may offer better rates, routes and services,
particularly in certain countries or regions.
With multi carrier shipping, users are able to seamlessly switch
between carriers and service levels. When presented with an option for
a lower cost service level that meets the shipment requirements, most
users consistently choose this option, resulting in lower overall
costs by not choosing unnecessary premium services.
Many large universities have hundreds of carrier accounts, split
between different campuses, schools, labs and facilities. As a result,
there is no leverage to negotiate for volume discounts. In fact, many
institutions simply have no visibility into how many parcels they ship
annually because this data is split across so many different accounts.
With desktop shipping, the university can centralize these accounts
and negotiate more favorable rates based on volume.
Desktop shipping software makes it easy to allocate shipments to the
correct cost center — whether that is a grant, a research group or
college. A further benefit is that this reduces the number of carrier
invoices that must be manually processed and paid. This saves
significant administrative costs and time.
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QAD Precision, a division of QAD Inc., provides industry-leading global
trade compliance, and multi carrier transportation
execution solutions from a single, integrated platform. An
ISO-certified company, QAD Precision assists companies to streamline
and transportation operations, optimize deliveries, and increase
logistics ROI. QAD Precision’s scalable and extensible solution easily
integrates with existing ERP and WMS solutions. Industry leaders in
every region of the world rely on QAD Precision’s global support
centers to leverage thousands of carrier services and manage millions
of global trade and shipping transactions every day. For more
information about QAD Precision, visit www.qadprecision.com.