Export Controls Handbook

A. Introduction

A.1. What is an export permit?

The Export and Import Permits ActFootnote 1 authorizes the Minister of Foreign Affairs to issue to any resident of Canada a permit to export items included on the Export Control List or to a country included on the Area Control List, subject to certain terms and conditions.

An export permit describes, among other things, the quantity, description and nature of the items to be exported, as well as the final destination country and final consignee.  Unless otherwise stated, an export permit may authorize multiple shipments, up to the expiry of the permit and as long as the cumulative total of the quantity or value of items exported does not exceed the quantity or value stated on the permit.  An export permit constitutes a legally-binding authorization to export Export Control List controlled goods or technology as described.Footnote 2

“Do I need an export permit?”  This is the first question about export controls facing an exporter.  Factors such as the nature, characteristics, origin, or destination of the goods or technology being exported (also referred to in this document as “items”), affect export permit requirements.  As such, certain situations require that an exporter first obtain an export permit from the Export Controls Division of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada before these items can be exported legally.  To help understand the decision process involved, please refer to the flowchart on the next page.

A.2. What are the Export Control and the Area Control Lists?

The Export Control List identifies specific goods and technology that are controlled for export from Canada to other countries, regardless of their means of delivery (including, for example, shipment of goods, electronic transfer or transmission of information, provision of technical or consulting services, etc.).  A Guide to Canada’s Export ControlsFootnote 3, which lists the goods and technology controlled on the Export Control List, is available on the internet at www.exportcontrols.gc.ca.

Exports of goods or technology on the Export Control List may be exempted from the requirement to obtain an export permit if they are being shipped to certain countries.  For example, in most cases, controlled exports to final consignees in the United States are exempt from permit requirements.  Further information about the Export Control List is available in section C.

The Area Control ListFootnote 4 is a list of countries to which the Governor-in-Council deems it necessary to control the export or transfer of any goods or technology. Further information is available in section D.1.

A.3. Fees

Permits to export most goods and technology on the Export Control List, including those destined to countries on the Area Control List, may be made free of charge.

There is a $14 fee for each permit to export goods described in Items 5101 to 5204 (Forest Products, and Agriculture and Food Products) of the Export Control List, with the exception of Item 5104 (Softwood Lumber Products), to which a $9 fee applies.  For more information about export controls for Agricultural and Food products (items 5201, 5203 and 5204 please contact  the Trade Controls Policy Division at tic@international.gc.ca , or the Softwood Lumber Division at softwood.boisdoeuvre@international.gc.ca.

Flow Chart: Export Permit Process Overview

B. Objectives of Export Controls

The principal objective of export controls is to ensure that exports of certain goods and technology are consistent with Canada’s foreign and defence policies.  Among other policy goals, export controls seek to ensure that exports from Canada:

  • do not cause harm to Canada and its allies;
  • do not undermine national or international security;
  • do not contribute to national or regional conflicts or instability;
  • do not contribute to the development of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons of mass destruction, or of their delivery systems;
  • are not used to commit human rights violations; and
  • are consistent with existing  economic sanctions’ provisions.

Canada’s export controls are not intended to hamper legitimate trade but seek to balance the economic and commercial interests of Canadian business with the national interest of Canada.

In addition to compliance with the Export and Import Permits Act, exporters of goods and technology that are subject to export controls have a responsibility to conduct due diligence verifications of actual and potential foreign customers and to provide all relevant information in an export permit application.  The Government of Canada’s reviews of permit applications to export goods and technology seek to ensure that exports from Canada will not be diverted to illegitimate end-uses or end-users that would be contrary to the policy goals stated above, or that could lead to considerable embarrassment or liability for the exporter.  In other words, this review can be seen as another step in the exporter’s due diligence process.

Most items on the Export Control List derive from Canada’s commitments to like-minded countries which participate in multilateral export control regimes or from Canada’s international obligations as a signatory to multilateral or bilateral agreements.  The export of other types of goods and certain activities may also be subject to United Nations trade sanctions or arms embargoes against particular countries or regions.

The four major multilateral export control regimes in which Canada participates are described below.  Participating governments negotiate common lists of goods and technology that are implemented by all, according to national legislation.  These lists evolve in response to changing international and technological circumstances.  Updates and amendments are made on a periodic basis.  Changes to Canada’s Export Control List are incorporated annually through a regulatory amendment process.

B.1. Wassenaar Arrangement (Groups 1 and 2 on the Export Control List)

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-use Goods and Technology was established in 1996 to contribute to regional and international security and stability,  by promoting transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technology, thus preventing destabilizing accumulations.

Participating States seek to ensure that transfers of these items do not contribute to the development or enhancement of military capabilities which undermine these goals, and to ensure that these items are not diverted to support such capabilities.  The Wassenaar Arrangement is also intended to enhance co-operation to prevent the acquisition of armaments and sensitive dual-use items for military end-uses, if the situation in a region or the behaviour of a state is, or becomes, a cause for serious concern to the Participating States.  The Wassenaar Arrangement is not directed against any state or group of states and does not seek to impede bona fide transactions.  The Wassenaar Arrangement also complements and reinforces, with minimal duplication, other export control regimes for weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.

Export Control List Group 1, which is comprised of dual-use items, pertains to goods and technology originally designed for civilian purposes, but that could have a military use. Export Control List Group 2, which is comprised of items that are specially designed or modified for military purposes and those that present a strategic military concern, includes items which Canada has committed to controlling for export as a result of its participation in the Wassenaar Arrangement.

More information about the Wassenaar Arrangement is available on the internet at www.wassenaar.org.

B.2. Nuclear Suppliers Group (Groups 3 and 4 on the Export Control List)

Canada has a long-standing nuclear non-proliferation policy that is designed, among other objectives, to ensure that Canada’s nuclear exports are not used for any nuclear weapon purposes.  As a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons that came into force in 1970, Canada will not provide source or special fissionable material or equipment or material especially designed or prepared for the processing, use or production, of special fissionable material, to any Non-Nuclear Weapon State for peaceful purposes, unless the source or special fissionable material is subject to International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.

In the late 1970s, a group of nuclear supplier countries, including Canada, agreed on a set of guidelines for nuclear transfers to any Non-Nuclear Weapon State for peaceful purposes.  These became known as the Nuclear Suppliers Group Guidelines.  In 1992, the Nuclear Suppliers Group established a list of nuclear-related dual-use goods and technology that could make a major contribution to a nuclear explosive activity or a non-safeguarded nuclear fuel cycle activity.

Export Control List Group 3 includes items that are nuclear-specific.  Export Control List Group 4 includes nuclear-related dual-use items, i.e. items that are used in non-nuclear applications but that could also be used in a nuclear explosive activity or a non-safeguarded nuclear fuel cycle activity.

More information about the Nuclear Suppliers Group is available on the internet at: www.nuclearsuppliersgroup.org.

B.3. Miscellaneous Goods and Technology (Group 5 on the Export Control List)

Export Control List Group 5 includes U.S.-origin goods (refer to section D.5), anti-personnel land mines, blinding laser weapons and nuclear fusion reactors.  In addition to these are controls on a very limited number of goods that are subject to export controls for reasons of economic policy, such as certain forest, agricultural and food products.

Item 5504 covers “strategic goods and technology” and includes certain global navigation satellite systems, propulsion and space-related equipment, payloads, ground control stations, chemiluminescent compounds, radiation-hardened micro-electronic circuits, nuclear weapons test design and equipment, as well as related software and technology.

Group 5 also includes Item 5505 (Goods and Technology for Certain Uses – see  section C.3). This item is intended to be used to control exports that pose a significant risk to weapons of mass destruction proliferation, and not to unnecessarily hinder legitimate exports. It is assumed that exporters will conduct appropriate due diligence and that they will not do business with foreign entities involved with weapons of mass destruction.

B.4. Missile Technology Control Regime (Group 6 on the Export Control List)

The Missile Technology Control Regime was established in 1987 to address concerns about the proliferation of systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction, namely, chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.  Export Control List Group 6 includes items agreed upon by the Partners of the Missile Technology Control Regime that are used in, or could be used in, the proliferation of systems capable of delivering chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

More information about the Missile Technology Control Regime is available on the internet at www.mtcr.info.

B.5. Australia Group (Group 7 on the Export Control List)

The Australia Group was established in 1985 with the objective of preventing the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons.  The participants (national governments) in the Australia Group have developed common export controls on chemical substances and biological agents and related items that could be used in the production of chemical and biological weapons.  These export controls have been implemented in Canada on the Export Control List as Group 7.

More information about the Australia Group is available on the internet at www.australiagroup.org.

B.5.1. Chemical Weapons Convention/ Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention

Export Control List Group 7 also contains (as does Group 2, but to a lesser degree) chemicals and precursors controlled under the Chemical Weapons Convention.  Some of the Chemical Weapons Convention chemicals and precursors are also controlled by the Australia Group.

More information about the Chemical Weapons Convention is available on the internet at the website of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, www.opcw.org.

C. How to Use A Guide to Canada's Export Controls (including the Export Control List)

A Guide to Canada’s Export ControlsFootnote 5 (hereinafter referred to as the “Guide”), which includes all items controlled on the Export Control List, is available on the internet at www.exportcontrols.gc.ca.  The Export Control List is divided into the following seven Groups:

  • Group 1: Dual-Use List
  • Group 2: Munitions List
  • Group 3: Nuclear Non-Proliferation List
  • Group 4: Nuclear-Related Dual-Use List
  • Group 5: Miscellaneous Goods and Technology
  • Group 6: Missile Technology Control Regime List
  • Group 7: Chemical and Biological Weapons Non-Proliferation List

Each entry on the Export Control List is known as an Item and each Item is numbered.  The first digit of an Item number represents that Item's Group.  Items are further subdivided into more specific categories (or Sub-Items) with numbering schemes that vary somewhat between Groups. Sub-items are also identified by indentations in the text.

To identify a specific Export Control List item, the numbers and letters of each subsequent paragraph leading to that item are given.  For example, 1-6.A.5.d.1 is an Export Control List Item number addressing Semi-conductor lasers.

There are some terms on the Export Control List in double quotes and some in single quotes.  These quotes signify that the words or phrases contained in the quotes have specific definitions in the Guide.  Terms in single quotes are defined in technical notes that apply to the Export Control List item, while those in double quotes are defined in specific Definitions sections, which are located at the end of Groups 2, 4, 6 and 7.  Below is an example that illustrates Export Control List text.  This example may help demonstrate how the numbering system is structured and how items and sub-items relate to one another.

Example of ECL Text:

1-8.A. Systems, Equipment and Components

This large number is the main item number: Item 1-8.A.  It is part of Group 1 (Dual-Use Goods).

1-8.A.1 Submersible vehicles and surface vehicles as follows:,

This would be sub-item ‘1-8.A.1.’  The first level of sub-division is flush with the left margin.

a. Manned, tethered submersible vehicles designed to operate at depths exceeding 1,000 m;

Additional levels of sub-division are indented directly below the previous level.

b. Manned, untethered submersible vehicles having any of the following:

  • 1.Designed to ‘operate autonomously’ and having a lifting capacity of all the following:
    • a. 10% or more of their weight in air; and
    • b. 15 kN or more;

      This item is the fourth level of sub-division and would be identified as sub-item 1-8.A.1.b.1.b.

There are two main ways to locate specific items on the Export Control List:

  • Use the Index of the print version or use Adobe Reader's search capability to search through the Portable Document Format (.pdf) file of the Guide’s Export Control List which is available on the internet at www.exportcontrols.gc.ca to specifically find the item; or
  • Search through Groups that contain like items to find items that might apply to your items.

The first step should be a search through the Guide for the item.  At the back of the Guide is a detailed, but not exhaustive, Index.  By using the Index or performing a search of the electronic version of the Guide, readers can quickly find all of the important references that may exist concerning a specific good or technology.  Generic terms are generally used in place of common or trade terminology.

If an item  is not specifically mentioned in the Index, exporters are advised to review the pertinent sections of the Guide to find out if controls nonetheless apply because some Export Control List Items apply to broad types of goods or technology that are not listed by name and do not appear in the Index.  Item 5400 in Group 5 on the Export Control List is a good example of this.  No specific items are mentioned in Item 5400 but all U.S.-origin items, as defined therein, require an export permit when exported to any destination other than the United States regardless of the nature of the item.

C.1. Items Identified Under More Than One Group or Export Control List Item

Goods or technology identified in one Group or Item of the Export Control List may also be identified in other Groups or Items and each Group in the Guide must therefore be considered independently.  Exporters should ensure that they have reviewed the Guide in sufficient detail to assure themselves that all relevant Groups and Export Control List items have been considered.

C.2. Important Note on U.S.-Origin Goods

Exporters should note that the exports of all goods and technology of U.S.-origin, as defined in Item 5400 on the Export Control List, regardless of their nature and destination, require permits (refer to section D.4).

C.3. Items Destined to a Chemical, Biological or Nuclear Weapon or a Missile Application

In 2002, Canada implemented “catch-all” controls that cover the export of any items not listed elsewhere on the Export Control List.  Item 5505 on the Export Control List, Goods and Technology for Certain Uses, imposes a permit requirement on any item if it is determined that the item is likely destined to an end-use or end-user involved in the development, or production, handling,  operation, maintenance, storage, detection, identification, or dissemination of chemical or  biological weapons,  nuclear explosive or radiological  dispersal devices, or their missile delivery systems. Item 5505 applies to any good or technology that is exported from Canada, regardless of whether or not they are included in the Export Control List. Goods or technology may be subject to concurrent control under Item 5505 and under one or more other Items of the Export Control List.

Before exporting any items, exporters must be satisfied that their exports are not being transferred, directly or indirectly, to such an end-use or end-user.  If in doubt, the exporter should submit an export permit application that describes the circumstances of the transaction. Goods or technology controlled under Item 5505 may not be lawfully exported under the authority of a General Export Permit.

More information on this subject is available in Notice to Exporters SER-176Footnote 6, available on the internet at www.exportcontrols.gc.ca.

C.4. Advisory Opinions

Goods and Technology requiring an export permit for the purposes of export or transfer, as required under Section 13 of the Export and Import Permits ActFootnote 7, are included in the Export Control List, and published in A Guide to Canada’s Export ControlsFootnote 8.

In addition to self-assessment against the Index of the Guide, an exporter may also choose to obtain greater certainty in regard to the control status of a particular export under the Export and Import Permits Act by either applying for an advisory opinion or submitting an export permit application.

The advisory opinion (AO) process is a tool provided by the Export Controls Division as a courtesy to assist individuals with learning to navigate the Export Control List and understand the commodity assessment process.  The AO is not a legislated requirement and does not bind the Minister's discretion under the Export and Import Permits Act or its regulations.  To obtain a binding decision, an Application for Export Permit must be submitted.

Advisory Opinions are conducted as operational commitments permit.  If you have an urgent export requirement, it is recommended you complete and submit an Application for Export Permit.  For further information on how to apply for an export permit, please see section E of this Handbook.

Please ensure that your Application for an Advisory Opinion contains all of the necessary material for it to be processed.  In this regard, please refer to sections C.4.1 through C.4.4 below.

C.4.1. Limitations of an Advisory Opinion

  • An Advisory Opinion does not provide a legally binding document and does not bind the Minister's discretion in regard to permit issuance under the Export and Import Permits Act  or its regulations;
  • Does not establish whether an item is a “controlled good” under the Defence Production  Act  or  whether an individual or company must be registered under the Controlled Goods Program administered by the Controlled Goods Directorate  (for more information on the Controlled Goods Program, please refer to section F.9 below.);
  • Does not address the requirements of other statutes or regulations, such as the United Nations Act and the Special Economic Measures Act  (for more information on these statutes, please refer to section D.3 below.);
  • Does not address the likelihood of receiving an Export Permit;
  • Does not address issues that may be raised by virtue of particular destinations or particular consignees (for more information on the export process, please refer to sections D and E below.);
  • Is not conducted on generic descriptions, catalogues of items, company inventories, hypothetical situations, country destinations, interpretations of control text, etc.; and,
  • Is restricted to uniquely identifiable items (i.e., unique engineering / shipping configuration control nomenclature (product name, product number, part number, configuration / revision designation, etc.)).

C.4.2. Advisory Opinion Letter Disclaimers

  • Legal considerations: This letter is provided as general advice based on the data submitted.  The process involved in the provision of Advisory Opinions (AOs) is of a distinct nature from that involved in the assessment of an export permit application; it does not entail any degree of data verification and internal government consultation, such as would normally occur during an export permit application process.  Consequently, AOs contain no reference to, nor are they indicative of, the prospects of the Minister subsequently issuing an export permit for the item(s).  Furthermore, this letter does not bind the Minister’s discretion under the Export and Import Permits Act or its related regulations.  Where an export permit application is subsequently submitted, the Minister may nonetheless issue or refuse to issue a permit, or return the export permit application with an indication that a permit is not required.  If an applicant requires a binding decision, an export permit application should be submitted for processing to Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.
  • Controlled Goods Program (CGP): An applicant should be aware that although the AO process may include the technical assessment of a uniquely identifiable commodity against the Export Control List for export in accordance with the Export and Import Permits Act, it does not indicate whether the item is a “controlled good” under the Defence Production Act nor whether registration with the Controlled Goods Directorate (CGD) is required.  Information on the CGP, the schedule of “controlled goods” under the Defence Production Act, and clarification of the terms 'examine', 'possess' and 'transfer' may be found on the Public Works and Government Services – Controlled Goods Directorate websiteFootnote 9.
  • Economic Sanctions: An applicant should be aware that other legislated authorizations may be required for exports to particular destinations subject to Canadian Economic Sanctions, as provided for under the United Nations Act or the Special Economic Measures Act.  Information related to these sanctions can be obtained from the Canadian Economic SanctionsFootnote 10 web page, or by contacting the Economic Law Section (JLHB) of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.
  • ECL Item 5505 – Goods and Technology  for Certain Uses (Catch All): An applicant should be aware that ECL item 5505 controls the export of goods and technology  not controlled elsewhere in the ECL, to certain countries of concern, when the  items  are intended for certain uses or end-users.  (For more information, please refer to section C.3, above.)
  • Other Government Departments: As an exporter, you should be aware that other government departments and agencies may require additional export authorisations related to your export.  You should contact your internal export compliance officer, or your legal counsel to confirm whether any additional authorisations are required.
  • Post-AO Modifications: Notwithstanding the foregoing, any modifications subsequently made for any reason to the uniquely identified commodities assessed under an AO application would require a re-evaluation for control status under the ECL.
  • Export Control List Changes: The technical assessment provided under the Advisory Opinion is based on the Export Control List in force at the time of the assessment.  Amendments to the Export Control List are published in the Canada Gazette.  It is the individual’s responsibility to conduct the due diligence required to confirm whether any intervening changes may have affected the control status of their particular goods or technology to be exported or transferred.

C.4.3. AO Applications - Supporting Information

In order to assist the Export Controls Division in properly assessing the control status of the identifiable commodity for which the applicant requires advice, it is highly recommended that applicants refer to the following list to guide them on information which should be included in an application for an AO, as applicable, in order to receive the most accurate advice possible:

  • Identify the specific variant for which a technical assessment is requested and provide the unique engineering / shipping configuration control nomenclature that uniquely identifies the specific item (product name, product number, part number, configuration / revision designation, etc.).
  • Provide technical information sufficient to fully describe the technical characteristics / capabilities of the item.  This may take the form of product descriptions, marketing brochures, technical specification sheets, etc.
  • Is the item part of a larger assembly or end-item?  What is the larger  assembly?  What is the ultimate end-item?  Provide details.  In many instances, an exploded view drawing from a maintenance manual or parts manual highlighting the item under assessment in relation to the larger assembly and ultimate end-item can be extremely useful.
  • Was the larger assembly or ultimate end-item specially designed or modified for military, nuclear, or space use?  Provide details.
  • What was the item under assessment originally designed for?
  • Was the item under assessment specially designed or modified for military, nuclear, or space use?  Provide details.
  • Is the item a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) catalogue part?  If it is a COTS catalogue part, provide details including the catalogue front cover, applicable pages (highlighting the specific item) and part number reference material (including appropriate prefix and suffix references) cross referenced to the specific part for assessment.
  • Are there different variants of the item?  Are any of the variants for military, nuclear or space use?  If so, how do the commercial and other variants differ (e.g., functionality, mechanical, environmental, marking identification, etc.)?  Provide details.
  • Has the item been modified in any way (hardware or software) to meet a specific end-use or end-users' requirements?  Describe the modifications.
  • Does the item contain any United States origin items controlled under the U.S. Munitions List of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)? Provide details. (Note: Your U.S. suppliers can provide this information).
  • Where was the item originally manufactured?
  • If the item was originally manufactured in the U.S.:
    • Under what export authority (e.g., Dept. of Commerce (DoC) Export Control Classification Number (ECCN), Dept. of State (DoS) Licence, etc.) was the item exported to Canada? Provide details (e.g., DoC Commodity Classification Automated Tracking System (CCATS) ruling with ECCN, DoS licence, etc.) from the original manufacturer.
    • Has the item been further processed or manufactured outside the US so as to result in a substantial change in value, form or use of the items, or in the production of new items? Provide details.
  • If the item was originally manufactured in the European Union (EU) or has been imported from the EU, under what EU export authority was the item exported from the EU (e.g., EU licence with the applicable EU Control List commodity code).  Provide details.
  • Has a technical assessment of the item or similar item been previously received, whether by means of an Advisory Opinion, Export Permit, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Detention, or other Canadian government ruling?  Provide details.
  • If the applicant has reviewed the Export Control List and believes that certain section(s) may apply, provide a compliance spreadsheet / matrix of the item’s technical capabilities / characteristics against each of the technical criteria delineated in the ECL Item(s) that may be applicable.

C.4.4. How to apply for Advisory Opinions

Having reviewed the AO Limitations, AO Letter Disclaimers, and AO Application Supporting Information sections, an AO request may be submitted through our online EXCOL system, or directly at the EXCOL website.  Once there, choose “Apply for... Advisory Opinion” on the left-hand menu bar.  Please ensure that your submission includes as many AO Application Supporting Information elements as possible.

D. Destination and Origin Considerations

D.1. Area Control List

The export or transfer of any goods or technology (including technical data, technical assistance and information necessary for the development, production or use of a good) to countries on the Area Control ListFootnote 11 is controlled and must be authorized by an export permit issued by the Minister of Foreign Affairs under the authority of the Export and Import Permits Act.

At the time of printing, the Area Control List comprised two countries: Belarus, which was added on December 14, 2006, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), added on July 14, 2010.

Policy guidance on exports to these countries is published in the following Notices to Exporters, which are available on the internet at www.exportcontrols.gc.ca:

D.2. Automatic Firearms Country Control List

Canada has inter-governmental defence, research, development, and production arrangements with countries on the Automatic Firearms Country Control ListFootnote 14.  Certain prohibited firearms, weapons, devices, or components thereof that are included on the Export Control List may be exported only to destinations on the Automatic Firearms Country Control List and only to consignees that are government or authorized by government.  These must be authorized by an export permit issued by the Minister of Foreign Affairs under the authority of the Export and Import Permits Act.

The following goods and their components and parts, as defined in Section 4.1 of the Export and Import Permits Act and Section 84 of the Criminal Code, are subject to the Automatic Firearms Country Control List, when these items are also included on the Export Control List:

  • an automatic firearm, whether or not it has been altered to discharge only one projectile with one pressure of the trigger;
  • any firearm that is prescribed by regulation to be a prohibited firearm;
  • any weapon, other than a firearm, that is prescribed by regulation to be a prohibited weapon;
  • any component or part of a weapon, or any accessory for use with a weapon, that is prescribed by regulation to be a prohibited device;
  • a cartridge magazine that is prescribed by regulation to be a prohibited device.

At the time of publication, the Automatic Firearms Country Control List was comprised of the following countries:

  • Albania
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Botswana
  • Bulgaria
  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Kuwait
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Colombia
  • Republic of Korea
  • Romania
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

D.3. Export Prohibitions

Certain export prohibitions have been implemented under the authority of the Export and Import Permits Act.  Furthermore, the Parliament of Canada has enacted legislation authorizing the imposition of trade and economic sanctions through the United Nations Act and the Special Economic Measures Act.  The Minister of Foreign Affairs is responsible for the administration of these laws.  The latest information on Canada’s economic sanctions can be found on the internet at:

www.international.gc.ca/sanctions/index.aspx?lang=eng

At the time of writing, countries listed in Table 1 were subject to prohibitions on certain exports.  Exporters are advised to be aware of these and/or  any applicable sanctions if they are exporting to or otherwise doing business in/or with any of the countries named.  Sanctions do not necessarily take the form of export restrictions, nor do they necessarily apply to any country as a whole.

Exporters should also note that certain individuals and entities have been designated as terrorists under the Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on the Suppression of Terrorism and the United Nations Al-Qaida and Taliban Regulations, which both implement United Nations resolutions.

D.4. Canadian Export Controls on U.S.-Origin Goods and Technology

Export controls are generally defined with respect to technical characteristics, irrespective of the country of manufacture of an item. Section E.4.3 provides information on exports of military goods and technology that are of U.S.-origin.

However, Export Control List Item 5400 controls exports of the following:

All goods and technology of   United States origin, unless they are included elsewhere in this List [the Export Control List], whether in bond or cleared by Canada Border Services Agency, other than goods or technology that have been further processed or manufactured outside the United States so as to result in a substantial change in value, form or use of the goods or technology or in the production of new goods or technology.

For example, any goods or technology that are not controlled elsewhere on the Export Control List and that have been manufactured or created in the United States, imported into Canada, and are proposed for export without any value added in Canada, are controlled by Export Control List Item 5400.  For the purpose of ECL Item 5400, the clause “all goods and technology of United States origin” means items that are manufactured/created in the United States. “Origin” does not mean from where the items were last exported to Canada.

Exports that are controlled by Item 5400 must be authorized by an export permit.  Two types of export permits are possible in this case, depending on the destination of the items:

  • Exports of Export Control List Item 5400 goods and technology to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria or to any destination on Canada’s Area Control List require individual export permits.
  • For all other destinations, General Export Permit No. 12 (GEP 12) applies.  No individual export permit application is required.  The exporter must simply quote "GEP 12" on the Export Declaration (B13A) or other export reporting documentation for presentation to the Canada Border Services Agency when the goods are tendered for export.  For more information about General Export Permits, see section F.6.

Exporters are advised to apply for an export permit if there is any doubt about the application of Item 5400 to their exports.  Exporters will be notified in writing if their items are, or are not subject to export controls.

Box 1: Exports of Controlled U.S. Goods and Technology

The US Government imposes re-transfer conditions on certain U.S.-origin goods and technology even after they have been exported from the United States.  Under U.S. law, U.S. export controls may apply extra-territorially, which means that they apply even after the goods or technology in question are outside the United States  and out of the possession of U.S. persons or entities.

The two main U.S. export control systems are managed, respectively, by the Export Administration Regulations (commonly referred to as the EAR), administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (see www.bis.doc.gov for more information), and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (commonly referred to as the ITAR), administered by the U.S. State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (see www.pmddtc.state.gov for more information).

As a condition of authorizing exports of certain goods or technology to a Canadian company, the U.S. Government may require the Canadian company to obtain explicit re-export authorization before exporting the items from Canada to a third destination.

When certain goods or technology are exported from the United States, invoices and shipping documents should contain a destination control statement which forbids, for example, further transfers to any country other than the specified destination “without the prior written approval of the U.S. Department of State” [ITAR Section 123.9(b)] or which prohibits “diversion contrary to U.S. law” (EAR Section 358.6).

Canadian exporters are advised to contact their U.S. suppliers or the U.S. Government for more information about re-export authorizations which may be required.

D.5. Exports to the United States

Export permits are not required for many of the goods and technology listed in the Export Control List if they are destined to a consignee in the United States.

Items that do require an export permit to the United States are defined on the Export Control List (there is a statement that the control applies to “All Destinations”).  Those items that require individual permits to the United States, at the time of writing, are listed in the table below for reference convenience.

However, this exception does not apply to shipments that transit the United States to third destinations.  If exports are destined to bonded or sufferance warehouses located in the United States, they are considered “in transit”. Exporters are advised to obtain written assurances from their U.S. consignees that U.S. export controls will apply should the goods be subsequently exported from the United States.

If uncertain as to whether an export permit for the U.S. is required, an exporter should submit an export permit application to the Export Controls Division.

Export Control List Items that require permits for export to the United States

Group 2(Munitions List)

Group 3(Nuclear Non-Proliferation List)

  • all items

Group 4(Nuclear-related Dual-Use List)

  • all items

Group 5(Miscellaneous Goods)

  • 5101
  • 5102
  • 5103
  • 5104
  • 5201
  • 5203
  • 5204
  • 5501
  • 5502.1
  • 5503
  • 5504.2.h

Group 6(Missile Technology Control Regime List)

  • 6-1
  • 6-2

Group 7(Chemical and Biological Weapons Non-Proliferation List)

  • 7-3
  • 7-13

Notes

Note *

Exceptions apply to some exports of firearms to the U.S. Please consult section J.

Return to Note * referrer

Summary of Export ProhibitionsNote **

Country: Belarus
Effective Date and Source: December 14, 2006: EIPA
Export Prohibition: See Area Control List (section D.1 of this Handbook).
Exceptions: Certain humanitarian goods, including food, clothing, medicines, medical supplies, information material, casual gifts and personal effects belonging to persons leaving Canada for Belarus

Country: Burma (Myanmar)
Effective Date and Source: December 13, 2007: SEMA, Special Economic Measures (Burma) Regulations
Export Prohibition: Arms embargo including prohibitions on exporting arms and related material; technical and financial assistance to military activities; prohibition on general categories of transactions, services and dealings on properties of designated persons wherever situated.
Exceptions: Certain protective or non-lethal military clothing and equipment when intended for use by media, humanitarian, human rights or other listed personnel; payments required under contract entered into before a party was designated under the Regulations; dealings related to humanitarian or development assistance and dealings required to move financial assets away from designated persons

Country: Central African Republic
Effective Date and Source: June 19, 2014, UN Act – UN Central African Republic Regulations
Export Prohibition: Arms and related materials; provision of technical assistance related to military activities
Exceptions: Supplies for the support of or use by MICOPAX, MISCA, BINUCA and its guard unit, MINUSCA, the African Union Regional Task Force, the French forces and European union operations deployed in Central African Republic; non-lethal military equipment for humanitarian or protective use and related technical assistance or training approved in advance by the Committee of the Security Council; protective clothing, including flak jackets and military helmets temporarily exported by UN personnel, representatives of the media and humanitarian and development workers and associated personnel for personal use; small arms and other related equipment for use in international patrols providing security in the Sangha River Tri-national Protected Area; arms and related materials for Central African Republic security forces as approved by the Committee of the Security Council

Country: Côte d'Ivoire
Effective Date and Source: May 3, 2005: UN Act – UN Côte d’Ivoire Regulations
Export Prohibition: Subject to certain conditions, protective clothing: certain non-lethal military equipment intended for humanitarian or protective use.  Arms and related material and technical assistance intended solely for the support of UNOCI and the French armed forces in support of UNOCI, or for their use; or for evacuation of foreign nationals; or for restructuring defence and security forces.

Country: Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)
Effective Date and Source:August 11, 2011 and November 28, 2013: SEMA, Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Imposing Sanctions on the Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) , July 14, 2010: EIPA November 9, 2006: UN Act, Regulations Implementing the UN Resolution on the DPRK
Export Prohibition: All goods and technical data. See Area Control List (section D.1 of this Handbook); brokering or other intermediary services in the class of prohibited services or assistance; prohibition on financial services with respect to activities already prohibited; transfers of bulk cash (any amount of currency whose total value is greater than $10,000 CDN)
Exceptions: Generally, exports that respond to humanitarian needs or circumstances and settlers’  effects belonging to persons leaving Canada for DPRK; stabilization and reconstruction assistance and activities; financial or other support provided by the Government of Canada and non-commercial remittances.

Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
Effective Date and Source: October 19, 2004 and October 4, 2005 (amendments): UN Act – UN DRC Regulations
Export Prohibition: Arms and related material; technical assistance related to military activities.
Exceptions: Subject to certain conditions, non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use, and related technical assistance; arms and related material and related technical assistance intended solely for support of, or use by, the MONUC.

Country: Egypt
Effective Date and Source: March 23, 2011, December 14, 2012  and February 28, 2014 (amendments): Freezing Assets of Corrupt Foreign Officials (Tunisia and Egypt Regulations)
Export Prohibition: Dealings with designated persons

Country: Eritrea
Effective Date and Source: April 22, 2010 – Regulations implementing the UN Resolutions on Eritrea
Export Prohibition: Arms and related material; technical, training, financial or other assistance related to military activities or to the supply, sale, transfer, manufacture, maintenance or use of arms and related material

Country: Guinea
Effective Date and Source: Dec 18, 2009: EIPA (DFATD News Release No. 393 of Dec 18, 2009)
Export Prohibition: Military and strategic items intended for use by the armed forces, police or other governmental agencies of Guinea.

Country: Iran
Effective Date and Source:February 22, 2007, May 17, 2007, and April 17, 2008 (amendments): UN Act – Regulations Implementing the UN Resolution on Iran. July 26, 2010, October 17, 2011 and November 21, 2011, January 31, 2012, December 11, 2012 and May 29, 2013: SEMA, Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations
Export Prohibition: UN sanctions - Certain items, materials, equipment, goods and technology which could contribute to Iran’s uranium enrichment-related reprocessing or heavy water-related activities or to the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems, technology related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons; arms and related materials; certain items in Group 1 and 2 of the ECL. Dealings with "designated persons" (entities and individuals). See Section on “prohibitions” in the Regulations Implementing the UN Resolutions on Iran and the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations for details on prohibited exports.
Exceptions: A person wishing to sell certain goods and technology which are otherwise prohibited for export may apply to the Minister for a certificate to exempt those products from the application of the prohibition under certain circumstances.

Country: Iraq
Effective Date and Source: October 19, 2004: UN Act – UN Iraq Regulations
Export Prohibition: Arms and related material.
Exceptions: Arms and related material that are required by the Government of Iraq, or by a multinational force under unified command, to serve the purposes of Resolution 1546 (2004).

Country: Lebanon
Effective Date and Source: September 18, 2007, January 29, 2009 (amendment): UN Act – Regulations Implementing the UN Resolution on Lebanon
Export Prohibition: Arms and related material; technical assistance related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of arms and related material.
Exceptions: Arms and related material and related technical assistance authorized in advance in writing by the Government of Lebanon or by the UN Interim Force in Lebanon.

Country: Liberia
Effective Date and Source: July 12, 2001, June 17, 2004 and January 29, 2009 (amendments): UN Act – UN Liberia Regulations
Export Prohibition: Arms and related material; technical assistance related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of arms and related material.
Exceptions: Subject to certain conditions, non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use, and the provision of related technical assistance; arms and related material or technical assistance that is intended solely for the UN Mission in Liberia or for an international training and reform program for the Liberian armed forces and police.

Country: Libya
Effective Date and Source: September 22, 2011 and September 30, 2013: Regulations Amending the Regulations Implementing the UN Resolutions on Libya and Taking Special Economic Measures
Export Prohibition: Arms and related material; technical, financial or other assistance related to military activities.  Prohibitions on dealings with designated persons.
Exceptions: Non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use and related technical assistance and training; protective clothing and equipment, including flak jackets and military helmets temporarily exported by United Nations personnel, representatives of the media and humanitarian and development works and associated personnel, for their personal use only; non-lethal military equipment intended solely for security or disarmament assistance to the Government of Libya, and related technical assistance, training and financial assistance and other sales or supplies of arms and related materials, or provisions of assistance or personnel as approved in advance by the Committee of the Security Council.

Country: Pakistan
Effective Date and Source: May 28, 1998: EIPA (DFAIT News Release No. 136 of May 28, 1998)
Export Prohibition: Military goods and technology identified in Group 2 of the Export Control List. -

Country: Russia
Effective Date and Source: March, 17, 2014, as amended in March 19, 2014, March 21, 2014, April 28, 2014, May 4, 2014, May 12, 2014, June 21, 2014, July 24, 2014, August 6, 2014, September 16, 2014, December 19, 2014 and February 17, 2015: SEMA: Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations
Export Prohibition: Dealings with designated persons; restrictions on certain sectors like the financial and energy sectors
Exceptions: Certain transactions in respect of diplomatic missions, UN agencies, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Canadian NGOs in certain circumstances

Country: Somalia
Effective Date and Source: March 12, 2009 and June 8, 2012: Regulations Amending the Regulations Implementing the UN Resolutions on Somalia
Export Prohibition: Arms and related material; technical, financial or other assistance related to military activities. Dealings with "designated persons" (entities and individuals).
Exceptions: Subject to certain conditions, protective clothing temporarily exported to Somalia by UN personnel, representatives of the media and humanitarian and development workers and associated personnel for their personal use only; non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use; supplies intended solely for the support of or use by the protection and training mission in Somalia established by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and Member States of the African Union; supplies intended solely for the support of or use by the African Union Mission in Somalia; supplies intended solely for the purpose of helping develop security sector institutions.

Country: South Sudan
Effective Date and Source: October 23, 2014: SEMA- Special Economic Measures (South Sudan Regulations
Export Prohibition:Dealings with designated persons
Exceptions: Transactions in respect of diplomatic missions, UN agencies, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Canadian NGOs in certain circumstances.

Country: Sudan
Effective Date and Source: September 23, 2004 and May 2, 2005 (amendment): UN Act – Regulations UN Sudan Regulations
Export Prohibition: Arms and related material; technical assistance related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of arms and related material.
Exceptions: Subject to certain conditions, protective clothing: non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian, human rights monitoring or protective use, and related technical assistance; arms and related material and related technical assistance for a monitoring, verification or peace support operation, or that are provided in support of implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement or are brought into the Darfur region of Sudan, if their movement is approved by the Committee of the Security Council upon a request by the Government of Sudan.

Country: Syria
Effective Date and Source: May 24, 2011; amendments in , August 11, 2011, October 3, 2011, December 23, 2011, January 25, 2012, March 5, 2012, March 20, 2012, May 17, 2012, July 5, 2012, August 29, 2012, November 28, 2012 and January 29, 2014 : SEMA, Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations
Export Prohibition: Any item listed on the Export Controls List; chemicals that can be used as precursors to chemical weapons agents and dual-use equipment that can be used in a chemical weapons program; luxury goods and goods that can be used for internal repression; dealings with designated persons (entities and individuals)
Exceptions: Humanitarian efforts and goods, such as food and medical supplies or equipment; Stabilization and reconstruction assistance and activities; Democratization and development assistance; Financial or other support provided by the Government of Canada; Payments made by or on behalf of designated persons pursuant to contracts entered into prior to the coming into force of this person’s designation.

Country: Tunisia
Effective Date and Source: March 23, 2011; amendments in December 14, 2012 and February 28, 2014: Freezing Assets of Corrupt Foreign Officials (Tunisia and Egypt) Regulations
Export Prohibition: Dealings with designated persons

Country: Ukraine
Effective Date and Source: March 5, 2014: Freezing Assets of Corrupt Foreign Officials (Ukraine) Regulations. March 17, 2014; amendments on March 19, 2014, April 12, 2014, May 12, 2014, June 21, 2014, July 11, 2014, July 24, 2014, August 6, 2014, December 19, 2014 and February 17, 2015; SEMA: Special Economic Measures (Ukraine) Regulations
Export Prohibition: Dealings with designated persons

Country: Yemen
Effective Date and Source: September 26, 2014: UN Act: Regulations Implementing the UN Resolutions on Yemen
Export Prohibition: Dealings with designated persons

Country: Zimbabwe
Effective Date and Source: September 4, 2008: SEMA, Special Economic Measures (Zimbabwe) Regulations
Export Prohibition: Arms and related material; technical or financial assistance or other services related to the supply, sale, transfer, manufacture or use of arms and related materials.
Exceptions: Subject to certain conditions, non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use, and related technical assistance and training; protective clothing and equipment; arms and related material for use by a member of the Canadian Forces who is in or travels to Zimbabwe in the performance of official duties.

Notes

Note **

This table has been prepared for convenience of reference only and has no official sanction. For all purposes of interpreting and applying the law, users should consult the Acts as passed by Parliament.  More information is available at www.international.gc.ca/sanctions/index.aspx?lang=eng.

Return to Note ** referrer

Abbreviations used: EIPA – Export and Import Permits Act; SEMA – Special Economic Measures Act; MICOPAX - Mission for the consolidation of peace in the Central African Republic, led by the Economic Community of Central African States; MISCA -  the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic; BINUCA - the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic; MINUSCA - the United Nations Multidimensional
Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic; .UN – United Nations.  UNOCI -- United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire;  
MONUC -- Mission de l' Organisation des Nations Unies en République démocratique du Congo (Mission of the United Nations in the Democratic Republic of Congo); NGO - non-government organization

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Footnotes

Footnote 1

http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/E-19/index.html

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Footnote 2

For the purpose of this document, controlled goods means “goods or technology” included in the ECL .

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Footnote 3

http://www.international.gc.ca/controls-controles/about-a_propos/expor/guide-2013.aspx?lang=eng

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Footnote 4

http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-81-543/FullText.html

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Footnote 5

http://www.international.gc.ca/controls-controles/about-a_propos/expor/guide-2013.aspx?lang=eng

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Footnote 6

http://www.international.gc.ca/controls-controles/systems-systemes/excol-ceed/notices-avis/176.aspx?lang=eng&view=d

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Footnote 7

http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/E-19/index.html

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Footnote 8

http://www.international.gc.ca/controls-controles/about-a_propos/expor/guide-2013.aspx?lang=eng

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Footnote 9

http://ssi-iss.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/dmc-cgd/index-eng.html

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Footnote 10

http://www.international.gc.ca/sanctions/index.aspx?lang=eng

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Footnote 11

http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/showtdm/cr/SOR-81-543/?showtoc=&instrumentnumber=SOR-81-543

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Footnote 12

http://www.international.gc.ca/controls-controles/systems-systemes/excol-ceed/notices-avis/148.aspx?lang=eng

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Footnote 13

http://www.international.gc.ca/controls-controles/systems-systemes/excol-ceed/notices-avis/172.aspx?lang=eng

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Footnote 14

http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-91-575/page-1.html

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