Export Controls Handbook

F. Administrative Procedures and Other Issues

F.1. Processing Time

When possible and depending on the total volume of export permit applications, from the date a complete export permit application is received, every effort is made to process an application destined to Open Policy Countries within 10 business days and those to other countries within 8 weeks. Open Policy Countries are like-minded countries and belong to the same export control regimes as Canada (and have effective export controls).

Incomplete export permit applications (e.g. without supporting documentation) may be returned to the applicant without action.

F.2. Status Enquiries

Applicants may obtain information regarding the processing of permit applications by contacting the Export Controls Division by telephone at 613-996-2387 or by email to tie.reception@international.gc.ca and citing the Ref ID number generated byEXCOL. Callers should allow at least 10 business days from the time of submission of an export permit application before enquiring as to its status.

F.3. Policy Review

Once the control status of the goods or technology proposed for export is known, each export permit application is reviewed for consistency with Canada's foreign and defence policies.

If, in the course of the review, it is determined that the items proposed for export are not controlled and/or that no export permit is required, the applicant will be notified in writing and the application will be closed.

Other export permit applications are examined in detail, with particular attention being given to the country of destination, the intended use, and the consignees and/or end-users of the product. Where concerns exist about a proposed export, a decision may be referred to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

F.4. Consultations

The purpose of intra- and inter-departmental consultations is to fully assess the risks and implications of proposed exports with respect to Canada's foreign and defence policies (see section B). Various Canadian government departments and agencies, including various divisions within Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, may be involved in the consultation process.

F.5. Military Goods and Technology

With respect to military goods and technology, Canadian export control policy has, for many years, been restrictive. Under present policy guidelines set out by Cabinet in 1986, Canada closely controls the export of military items to:

  • countries which pose a threat to Canada and its allies;
  • countries involved in or under imminent threat of hostilities;
  • countries under United Nations Security Council sanctions; or
  • countries whose governments have a persistent record of serious violations of the human rights of their citizens, unless it can be demonstrated that there is no reasonable risk that the goods might be used against the civilian population.

F.6. General Export Permits

General Export Permitsare, by order, issued generally to all residents of Canada by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. General Export Permits allow the export of certain items from Canada to certain eligible destinations by means of a simplified administrative procedure (i.e. citing the relevant General Export Permits on your Customs Declaration form) as opposed to the standard procedure of having to obtain an individual export permit.

When exporting items listed on the Export Control List where a General Export Permit applies, the exporter must cite the appropriate General Export Permit number in the relevant box on the appropriate form prescribed by the Canada Border Services Agency(see section H). However, some General Export Permits contain conditions that must be adhered to in order to use them. In some cases, the use of a General Export Permit is conditional upon an exporter undertaking to report on actual volumes of exports or on specific final consignees made against the General Export Permit.

General Export Permits have been issued for specific items and specific destinations. The current list of General Export Permits is available on the Export and Import Controls website or by contacting the Export Controls Division. For additional details on how to use a General Export Permit, please contact the Export Controls Division (information about General Export Permit No. 12 is found in section D.4).

F.7. Controlled Goods Program

The Controlled Goods Program, managed by the Controlled Goods Directorate of Public Works and Government Services Canada, was established in 2001 to administer the Defence Production Act and the Controlled Goods Regulations. Generally speaking, companies or persons having access to or who possess, examine, or transfer "controlled goods" as defined in the Schedule to the Defence Production Act, including related technology, within Canada, must be registered with the Controlled Goods Directorate. If an exporter is not registered, an export permit application cannot be issued and the application will be held in abeyance until there is evidence that the exporter has registered (unless proof is provided that a Controlled Goods Directorate exemption applies).

For information on the Controlled Goods Program, please refer to:

Controlled Goods Directorate (CGD)
Public Works and Government Services Canada
c/o Central Mail Room
Place du Portage, Phase III OB3
11 Laurier Street, Gatineau, Quebec, K1A 0S5
(Visitors go to: 2745 Iris Street, Ottawa, Ontario)
Telephone: 1-866-368-4646 (toll-free)
Fax: 613-948-1722
Internet: Controlled Goods Program

F.8. Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

In addition to export controls imposed under the Export and Import Permits Act, the exports of nuclear and nuclear-related items are also controlled by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commissionunder the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and Regulations. Therefore, the exports of Export Control List Groups 3and 4items also require licenses from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. There are also nuclear and nuclear-related items not listed in the Guide that are controlled under the Nuclear Safety and Control Actand Regulations and require licenses from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission prior to exportation. Information on the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission's export licensing requirements may be obtained by contacting:

Office of International Affairs
Non-Proliferation, Safeguards and Security Division
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
280 Slater Street
P.O. Box 1046, Station B
Ottawa, ON K1P 5S9
Telephone: 613-995-0369 or 1-800-668-5284
Fax: 613-995-5086
Internet:Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

Exports of Group 3 and 4 items can only occur when export authorizations are obtained from both the Export Controls Division and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

In the case of Group 3 items, in order to obtain such authorizations, an exporter shall submit an export permit application along with the appropriate supporting documents to the Export Controls Division, which will forward all pertinent information to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

In the case of Group 4 items, separate applications must be submitted to the two organizations.

F.9. Canadian National Authority for the Chemical Weapons Convention

The Canadian National Authority for the Chemical Weapons Convention is responsible for the collection and monitoring of Canadian data dealing with the importation of Import Control List Item Number 74, Chemicals and Precursors, and the exportation of Export Control List Item 7-3. These items correspond to Schedules 1, 2 and 3 of the Chemical Weapons Convention. For further information, please contact the Canadian National Authority at 613-944-1913. Information about the Import Control List is available on the Export and Import Controls website.

F.10. Other Government Departments

It is possible that export authorizations may be required from other government departments or entities for other goods. These entities include, but are not limited to: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Canadian Wheat Board, Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Health Canada, Heritage Canada, and Natural Resources Canada. Exporters may obtain information relating to such controls by contacting the appropriate department or agency.

G. After Issuance of an Export Permit: Compliancewith Export Controls

It is the responsibility of exporters of sensitive goods and technology to ensure that they are aware of and comply with Canadian export controls.

G.1. Permit Issuance and Distribution

Once issued, export permits are sent to the applicant depending on the selected method of distribution, including by courier or surface mail. Recognized Users ofEXCOLmay download and print valid export permits directly fromEXCOL. Export permits for firearms are sent only by courier or mail.

Paper copies of valid export permits must be presented with other export reporting documents to the Canada Border Services Agencywhen the goods or technology are presented for export.

If a permit has been issued for multiple shipments, a copy of the export permit must be presented with every shipment. The exporter must quote the export permit number on the appropriate export reporting documentation at time of export. This and other requirements under the Customs Act administered by the Canada Border Services Agency are further described in section I.

The exporter must maintain records of, and retain copies of all documents with respect to, each shipment or transfer made under the authority of an export permit, including both General Export Permits and Individual Export Permits, for a period of six years from the expiry date of the permit.

G.2. Terms and Conditions

Exports may be made under the authority of an export permit no later than the expiry date of that permit.

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.

Some export permits are issued on with special, mandatory terms or conditions of use. Exporters must review permits to determine whether or not any conditions apply.

A persistent or repeated failure to fulfill the obligations of an export permit may result in a number of consequences, including suspension of export permits.

Two of the more common reporting conditionsare described below.

G.2.1. Quarterly Reporting

Export permits issued for Group 2items authorize the export of a maximum quantity and value of the goods and technology identified, to specific customers in specific countries. Multiple shipments are allowed. A report on actual shipments made against each export permit must be submitted on a quarterly basis; exporters should refer to the instructions on their export permit for more information.

Recognized Users ofEXCOLmay enter reports on-line. To view a list of permits that have been issued and that have reporting conditions, users should select “My Reporting Conditions” from theEXCOLMenu and may choose to view a list of all permits with reporting conditions or a list of only those permits with conditions that require immediate action. The last column displays an icon which indicates the status of reporting on a permit:

  • a red icon indicates that immediate action is required;
  • a yellow icon indicates that the relevant reporting period has ended and that you should report within a deadline set on your permit (typically, within 30 days of the end of the reporting period);
  • a green icon indicates that no action is required at this time.

An electronic form for entering the required information is available by clicking on the Permit Utilization tab. Step-by-step instructions are also provided there.

Exporters who are not Recognized Users ofEXCOLshould contact the Export Controls Division to request a quarterly reporting form. Information about becoming a Recognized User is available in section E.2.1 above.

G.2.2. Reporting the Return of Temporary Exports(including Demonstration Conditions)

All exports authorized by an export permit must be declared to the Canada Border Services Agency at the time of export using either a completed B13A Export Declaration or other acceptable form of export report (for more information visit the Canada Border Services Agency website). Temporary exports of controlled goods or technology, including those that are carried by hand, must also be reported in this way.

All export permits for temporary exports contain the following standard condition:

The exporter must report to the Export Controls Division (TIE), Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, 125 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0G2 the return of the goods to Canada and provide proof of re-entry no later than four weeks after the return of the goods to Canada.

The report of return consists of a copy of the completed B3 Canada Customs Coding Form or the CI1 Canada Customs Invoice. When temporary exports authorized by an export permit return to Canada, permit holders must declare these goods to Canadian customs authorities using the B3 or the CI1. Presentation of a completed B13A Export Declaration or other acceptable document showing that the goods originated in Canada facilitate processing of the B3 or the CI1 for returning temporary exports. A copy of the B3 or CI1 form should then be provided to the Export Controls Division to fulfill the reporting requirement.

G.3. Amendments of Export Permits

A Recognized EXCOLuser should submit a Permit Amendment Request using the on-line EXCOLsystem no later than 30 days before the expiry of an export permit (see section E.2 for information on how to become a Recognized User).

The following amendments may be requested through a Permit Amendment Request. Applicants should attach an electronic document that requests and provides a justification for the amendment, as well as attaching any other relevant supporting documents.

  • an increase in the quantity and/or unit value of exports defined on the export permit, up to a maximum increase of 50% (indicate per line item, if necessary)
  • extension of the expiry date by up to one year from the date of expiry of the original permit
  • minor changes to the addresses and contact details provided for consignees (for example, to correct typographical errors on the original application)

The following amendments may be requested through the Permit Amendment Request when the country of final destination is an Open Policy Country (see section G.1 for more information):

  • addition of other consignees in the same country of final destination as stated on the original permit (appropriate end-use assurances should be attached; see section E.4.2 for more information)

Amendments are authorized at the discretion of the Export Controls Division. Amendments may be refused, for example, in cases where the exporter has not yet fulfilled conditions imposed on the original permit.

Export permit amendments will not typically be issued to add new goods or technology. Exporters who wish to amend export permits in these circumstances should submit a new export permit application. Export permit amendments shall not be granted for export permits that have expired.

A Permit Amendment Request cannot be used to change information about the Applicant or Exporter. Changes in the name, address, or other contact details of the Applicant and Exporter must be requested in writing with appropriate supporting documents to the Export Controls Division. Any existing export permits that need to be updated must be clearly identified so that new export permits may be issued with the new corporate details.

Export permits are only valid for use by the Exporter named therein. Inconsistencies between the export permit and other customs or shipping documents, such as different exporter names and addresses, different goods or technology being exported and so on, may cause the export shipment to be subject to detention and/or penalties at the point of export under the authority of the Customs Act. Exporters must ensure they are in possession of a legally amended export permit before any export takes place.

Non-RecognizedEXCOLusers must submit a Permit Amendment Request in the form of a letter to the attention of “Permit Section” quoting the Exporter'sEIPANumber and the existing permit number, with the title “Permit Amendment Request”, no later than 30 days before the expiry of an export permit (see section E.2 for information on how to become a Recognized User). Requests may be faxed to 613-996-9933.

G.3.1. Changes to Applicantor Exporter name and/or address

Section 16 of the Export and Import Permits Act prohibits the transfer of a permit to another party who is not named on the permit. For this reason, when the Exporter's or Applicant's name and/or address have changed, the Export Control Division must be informed of these changes in writing and a new permit issued.

To request such changes, Applicants/Exporters should provide the Export Controls Division with a letter on company letterhead which contains the following information:

  • a brief overview which explains the reason for the requested change (for example, corporate acquisition, company relocation etc.)
  • current company name,EIPAand Business numbers
  • new name, address and, if applicable,new Business number
  • the effective date of the change.

All changes must meet the requirements set out in Section E of the Handbook (for example, as detailed under section E.3.1, an Applicant must be a resident of Canada). Requests should be submitted well in advance of the required change to ensure sufficient time for processing. Upon receiving such requests, the Export Control Division regenerates active permits to reflect the required changes. Active permits will be replaced with a permit ending in a new version number and the original permits will be automatically cancelled.

G.4. Inspection and Record-Keeping

Section 10 of the Export and Import Permits Act specifies important requirements related to record-keeping and to the inspection, audit, and examination of such records.

G.5. Offences and Penalties

Violations of the prohibitions defined in Sections 13-18 of the Export and Import Permits Act may result in prosecution. Some examples of offences under the Act are:

  • Exporting or attempting to export any goods or technology included on the Export Control Listexcept under the authority of and in accordance with an export permit, such as:
    • Export of goods or technology in excess of the quantities or values declared on the applicable export permit
    • Export of goods or technology to destinations or to consignees that are not listed on the applicable export permit
    • Failure to respect conditions included in an export permit
  • Exporting or attempting to export any goods or technology to any country included on the Area Control List except under the authority of and in accordance with an export permit
  • Exporting or attempting to export prohibited firearms, or certain prohibited weapons and devices, to any country that is not included on the Automatic Firearms Country Control List, except under the authority of and in accordance with an export permit
  • Furnishing false or misleading information or knowingly making any misrepresentation in an application for an export permit for the purpose of procuring its issue or in connection with any subsequent use of the export permit.

Penalties for contraventions of the Export and Import Permits Act or the Regulations are set out in Section 19 of the Act. Penalties can be, for an offence punishable on summary conviction, a fine of up to $25,000 or imprisonment for up to 12 months, or both; and for an indictable offence, a maximum fine set by the court or imprisonment for a maximum of 10 years, or both.

In accordance with Section 20 of the Act, where a corporation commits an offence under the Act, any officer or director of the corporation who directed, authorized, assented to, acquiesced in, or participated in the commission of the offence, is a party to and guilty of the offence and is liable on conviction to the punishment provided for the offence whether or not the corporation has been prosecuted or convicted.

In accordance with Section 21 of the Act, the export permit applicant, who must be a Canadian resident, may be held responsible for any offences committed by a non-resident exporter.

G.6. Report Illegal Exports

If you wish to pass on information about possible violations of the Export and Import Permits Act, please contact the Export Controls Division, a local detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or a Canada Border Services Agency office. Telephone numbers can be found at the front of this document or in the blue pages of your local telephone book under “Government of Canada”. Your call will be handled in confidence.

G.7. Disclosures of Non-Compliance

The Export Controls Division recognizes that, on occasion, responsible exporters inadvertently fail to comply with the Export and Import Permits Act. We encourage all exporters in such situation to disclose any incidence of non-compliance to us as soon as possible.

The Export Controls Division looks favourably upon disclosures if, after considering the information provided, we are satisfied that the exporter has fully cooperated and that no further action is warranted. Depending on the gravity or overall circumstances of a case, we may nonetheless refer it to the Canada Border Services Agency or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for further review.

G.7.1. Disclosure Procedures

Any voluntary disclosure must be accompanied by a cover letter, signed by a senior company officer and addressed to the Director, Export Controls Division, Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, 125 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G2, which clearly states that its purpose is to disclose non-compliance with the Export and Import Permits Act. Included in the cover letter or in accompanying documentation must be the following:

  • Details of the products concerned (including technical specifications for assessment of export control status)
  • Dates of all shipments, mode of transport, and port of exit
  • Quantities and values of each shipment for each product concerned (including copies of the B13A or Canadian Automated Export Declaration submitted to the Canada Border Services Agency, as well as copies of bills of lading, freight forwarding, shipping or commercial invoices)
  • Contract of sale between the exporter and the final consignee
  • For each export shipment in question, a statement as to whether the export took place intentionally
  • Description of the circumstances underlying each export shipment in question
  • Description of steps taken or processes and procedures put in place to ensure that where required, export permits will be obtained in future, and
  • Any other documentation that the exporter believes is relevant to the purpose of the disclosure.

Disclosures should be submitted in writing. You should contact the Export Controls Division for advice on the most appropriate means of submitting a disclosure of non-compliance.

H. Customs Procedures (Canada Border Services Agency)

For detailed information about Canada Border Services Agency procedures, please consult the following documents:

Exporters must report electronically or in writing to an export reporting office all goods being exported from Canada. Certain exceptions apply. It is the responsibility of the exporter to cite the permit number in the appropriate field of the Export Declaration(Form B13A) or other export reporting documents.

The exporter is responsible for ensuring that export permits are submitted to the Canada Border Services Agency when items are tendered for export, i.e. for each shipment. Each shipment will be recorded by the Agency until the export permit expires or the quantity/value of the export permit has been reached, whichever comes first. However, it should be noted that it is the responsibility of the exporter to keep records and not to ship beyond the quantity or value limits of the export permit.

If no permit is required (e.g. if an export permit application has been made and the technical assessment has determined that the items are not controlled), this should be stated on the export documentation. In this case, the Export Controls Division may issue a letter stating that the technology or goods are not controlled for export.

For more information, please refer to the Canada Border Services Agency's “Exporting Goods from Canada: A Handy Guide for Exporters”. The “Quick Reference Table” outlines documentary requirements for exporters.

H.1. Enforcement

Border Services Officers, before allowing the export of any item, must satisfy themselves that the exporter has fully complied with, and not contravened, the provisions of the Export and Import Permits Act and Regulations, or any other Act of Parliament.

Under the authority of the Customs Act, Border Services Officers may exercise certain powers, respecting search, detention, seizure, forfeiture and condemnation, with respect to any goods that are tendered for export or exported or otherwise dealt with contrary to this Act, to the Export and Import Permits Act and to relevant Regulations or any other Act of Parliament that controls the export of goods from Canada.

H.2. Examination and Detention

Canada Border Services Agency has the authority to examine goods that are about to be exported. If an examination is required, the exporter or the person in control of the goods at the time of the request (normally the freight forwarder or the exporting carrier) will be asked to bring the goods to a sufferance warehouse. In all cases, destuffing for examination purposes and other related fees are costs to the exporter.

Some shipments may be detained to confirm whether export controls apply to such shipments and if proper export permits have been obtained. Export shipments of goods or technology subject to export controls will be detained in the following circumstances:

  • additional information is required from the exporter and/or a controlling entity to determine if the goods or technology are controlled for export;
  • verification that the export permit presented is valid for the goods being exported or that a declaration of “No Permit Required” is valid;
  • the required export permit has not been presented;
  • discrepancies exist between the information provided on the export declaration and the export permit with regard to the description of the goods, quantity and unit of measure, or the destination;
  • the required export permit is not yet effective or has expired.

Items that have been detained by the Canada Border Services Agency may be referred to the Export Controls Division for a determination of control status. The Export Controls Division evaluates the export documentation submitted by the exporter at time of export and in many instances will contact the exporter to request additional documents or information. It is in the best interest of the exporter to make all requested information available as quickly as possible.

Exporters may enquire about the status of the control status determination process by contacting the Export Controls Division at telephone 613-996-2387 and providing the appropriate detention reference number assigned to the case by the Canada Border Services Agency.

Upon finalizing the control status of the items tendered for the specific export, the Export Controls Division will advise the Canada Border Services Agency of its findings. However, the exporter must contact the Agency regarding any further information or actions required on the specific detention.

Exporters with items under detention may apply for a permit to export the same items. Applications must be made through the normal channels as described, for example, in section E above, and must state clearly that goods had been detained in a prior shipment. However, issuance of an export permit for such items does not necessarily cause detained goods to be released to the exporter, nor does it absolve the applicant or exporter of any infractions or offences that may have been committed. Detentions may be lifted when the Canada Border Services Agency receives:

  • a valid export permit;
  • proof that an export permit was not required;
  • adequate clarification of the discrepancy between the export declaration and the export permit.

The Administrative Monetary Penalty Systemis a civil penalty regime designed to encourage compliance with customs legislation. The penalties are intended to be corrective rather than punitive. The initial amount and increments of these monetary penalties are established after giving due consideration to the type, frequency, and severity of each infraction. Most penalties are graduated and take the compliance history of the client into consideration.

Most contraventions will be dealt with using the Administrative Monetary Penalty System's penalties. However, because legislative requirements provide that certain goods may enter or leave Canada only under controlled conditions and that some infractions require greater deterrence, seizures and ascertained forfeitures continue to form part of the measures needed to address certain serious offences which may also include criminal prosecution.

A seizure is a legal action, the result of which calls for certain goods taken from offenders to become the property of the Government of Canada. It is invoked when reasonable grounds exist to conclude that legislative requirements pertaining to a suspected infraction call for the goods or the conveyance to be seized or when the mere possession of those goods without due justification is deemed to be unlawful. Seizures are subject to appeal within 90 days. Nearly all seized goods are ultimately destroyed or otherwise disposed of as prescribed by the relevant public authorities.

Ascertained forfeiture is the legal process used when seizure constitutes excessive punishment, or would be impractical or impossible, as in the case of goods that have already been exported. Used under basically the same conditions as a seizure, an ascertained forfeiture normally results in a monetary penalty equivalent to seizure of the goods. However, the Minister of Public Safety may prescribe a reduced penalty amount under certain circumstances. Like seizures, ascertained forfeitures are subject to a 90-day appeal period. Any outstanding amount not paid on time is subject to interest.

Seizure and ascertained forfeiture are the responsibility of the Canada Border Services Agency and the Export Controls Division will not enter into correspondence with exporters about such actions. Exporters whose shipments are subject to such legal action may apply for permits to export similar items. Applications must be made through the normal channels as described, for example, in section Eabove, and must state clearly that goods had been detained in a prior shipment. However, issuance of an export permit for such items does not absolve the applicant or exporter of any infractions or offences that may have been committed.

H.3. Useful Internet Pages

I. Applications to Export Firearms, Related Goods, and Ammunition

I.1. Specific Information

In addition to the general guidance on export permit applications provided in section E, exporters of firearms, firearms-related goods, and ammunition should note the following examples of common scenarios for the export of firearms.

Before starting an export permit application, applicants should have the following information available:

  • Firearms licence number (whether a business or an individual).
  • Registration certificate number (when applicable).
  • The following information for each firearm (if using the on-line application, drop-down menus are available in some fields from which the applicable information may be selected):
    • Make
    • Model
    • Type
    • Action
    • Calibre
    • Barrel Length
    • Serial Number (serial number ranges may be indicated if consecutively numbered firearms are to be exported) and
    • Legal Classification (non-restricted, restricted, or prohibited).
  • Descriptions of firearms-related goods include silencers, special gun mountings, clips (magazines), weapons sights and flash suppressors.
  • If cartridge magazines are proposed for export, the magazine capacity, the model of firearm and calibre for which the magazine is intended (this is required in order to determine whether the item is a prohibited device under Canadian law).
  • If ammunition is proposed for export, ensure that the noted unit value correctly reflects the unit of measure used, i.e. value per box if box is used, value per cartridge if cartridges are used as the unit of measure.

Exporters should be aware of Canada's Export Control List, in particular Group 2.

  • Firearms, their components and certain accessories are controlled under Export Control List Item 2-1 and 2-2;
  • Ammunition and related items are controlled Export Control List Item 2-3; and
  • Firearms-related goods including technology may be controlled elsewhere in Group 2.

It is recommended that exporters apply for export permits to export firearms by using the Export Controls On-line (EXCOL) secure website. Please refer to section E.2.3 above for more information on making an electronic application.

Paper application forms may also be used. Please refer to section E.2.4 above for more information on making a paper application. Forms that are not legible may be returned without action.

Canadian exporters should be aware of the firearms laws of the destination country. In order to prevent any disappointment or delays, it is strongly recommended that these requirements be thoroughly researched before booking any transport arrangements involving firearms.

If firearms transit a third country on the way to their final destination, whether they are in the possession and control of the owner or are being shipped separately, they may be subject to special requirements imposed by that third country. It is the exporter's responsibility to be aware of, and comply with, any such requirements.

I.2. Export Permit Requirements for Firearms

I.2.1. Exports to the United States

Both temporary and permanent exports of either Restricted or Non-Restricted firearms to the U.S. may be made without obtaining an export permit.

All exports of Prohibited firearms to any destination, including the U.S., must be authorized in advance with an export permit.

Applications to export Prohibited firearms to the U.S. must include a copy of the U.S. import permit that specifically identifies the firearm to be exported. Additional supporting documentation, such as a cover letter, registration certification for the firearm(s) in question and valid firearms licence, must be included in the export permit application, as described above.

However, for all types of firearms, a U.S. import permit must have been issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) prior to their entry into the U.S. Forms are available online on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms website.

For temporary imports into the U.S., Canadian applicants must complete Form 6NIA (ATF F 5330.3D), Application and Permit for Temporary Importation of Firearms and Ammunition by Non-immigrant Aliens. It can take up to 12 weeks to process an application, so it is advisable to apply for a permit well in advance.

For permanent imports into the U.S., applicants must complete Form 6 (ATF F 5330.3A), Application and Permit for Importation of Firearms, Ammunition and Implements of War.

I.2.2. Exports to Countries Other than the United States

In general, both temporary and permanent exports of either Restricted, Non-Restricted, or Prohibited firearms to countries other than the United States must be authorized in advance with an export permit.

Exception: Permanent exports of Restricted and Non-Restricted firearms that were temporarily imported into Canada by individuals who are non-residents of Canada and are returning to the country from which they came from do not require Canadian export permits. However, all such visitors must have a valid Non-Resident Firearm Declaration (CAFC909) for the duration of their stay in Canada.

I.2.3. Other Requirements

Individual visitors who are non-residents of Canada and who wish to leave a firearm in Canada permanently must pay duties and taxes and have it registered in Canada. If the firearm is sold or otherwise transferred to a Canadian resident, the parties must meet all legal requirements associated with transferring firearms. Visitors may not, under any circumstances, import or export Prohibited firearms.

Canadian exporters are required to report the permanent export of all firearms to the Canada Firearms Program of the RCMP. It is recommended that copies of the Export Permit, foreign import authorization and any waybill issued by the carrier be provided to the Canada Firearms Program to support the exporter's claim of permanent export. A photocopy of the foreign import authorization should be included with the package when shipped.

I.3. Additional Considerations

If the firearms, ammunition, or firearms-related goods or technology proposed for export are “controlled goods” as defined in Part 2 of the Defence Production Act, registration under the Controlled Goods Programmay be required. “Controlled goods” are listed in Groups 2, 6 or Item 5504 of the Export Control List. These include the following firearms or firearms-related goods:

  • prohibited firearms [as defined in paragraph (c) of the definition of “prohibited firearm” in subsection 84(1) of the Criminal Code] that are included on Export Control List Item 2-1 ("Smooth-bore weapons with a calibre of less than 20 mm, other arms and automatic weapons with a calibre of 12.7 mm (calibre 0.50 inches) or less and accessories, as follows, and specially designed components therefor");
  • any goods listed on Export Control List Items 2-2 ("Smooth-bore weapons with a calibre of 20 mm or more, other weapons or armament with a calibre greater than 12.7 mm (calibre 0.50 inches), projectors and accessories, as follows, and specially designed components therefor"); and
  • ammunition with a calibre of greater than 12.7mm that is included on Export Control List Item 2-3.

See section F.7. above for more information about the Controlled Goods Program.

See Box 1 and section E.4.7. above for information about “controlled goods” and U.S. Export Authorizations.

J. Import-related Documents

J.1. Import Permits

Canada has a range of goods over which it imposes import controls. These goods are listed on the Import Control List of the Export and Import Permits Act. More information is available on the Export and Import Controls website. Certain military goods and firearmsare controlled by paragraphs 70-73 and 91. Chemical Weapons Convention items are controlled by paragraph 74 of the Import Control List.

An Import Permit authorizes the import into Canada of certain goods that are controlled on the Import Control List and must be presented to Border Services Officers of the Canada Border Services Agencyat the time of import. Importers are advised to refer to the Import Control List to determine whether a specific good or goods require an Import Permit for entry into Canada.

Applications for import permits for these items must be submitted to the Export Controls Division. Application forms may be requested from the Export Controls Division.

Current policy allows for the waiver of an import permit for goods defined in paragraphs 70(1)(a) and 70(1)(b), firearms and their parts, when destined to sporting or recreational use.

J.2. International Import Certificates

Important note: An International Import Certificate is meant to allow a foreign supplier to obtain the approvals it needs from its own government to allow the export of goods or technology to Canada. An International Import Certificate IS NOT AN IMPORT PERMIT and does not necessarily authorize the importation of such goods into Canada. If an Import Permit is required, please consult the Export and Import Controls website.

The International Import Certificate is an end-use assurance document that formally recognizes that the Government of Canada is aware of, and has no immediate objections to, the proposed import of specific goods to Canada by the stated importer, for the stated end-use and end-user.

A Canadian-issued International Import Certificate may be required by an exporting country prior to that country authorizing an export permit/licence. Canadian International Import Certificates are issued to Canadian applicants, who in turn provide a copy to their foreign suppliers, who use the International Import Certificates to obtain a foreign export permit. The International Import Certificate is used by the export control authorities of the exporting state in their export permit/license issuance process. Once approved, the International Import Certificate is valid for use only if presented to the authorities of the exporting state within six months of its issuance by Canada.

J.2.1. How to apply for an International Import Certificate

Applications for International Import Certificates may be submitted online using Export Controls On-Line (EXCOL), click on International Import Certificate on the left-hand menu bar. A paper application form EXT1020 - Application for International Import Certificate - (PDF*, 95 KB) is also available on our website.

An application for an International Import Certificate must present an accurate and complete reflection of the proposed transaction. The International Import Certificate is a stand-alone document, meaning that the issued document will not be supplemented by attachments, invoices, statements, or letters at the time of issuance. The application should include the following information:

  • Description: Name of the goods, including, where possible, models, brand names, part numbers, serial numbers, and so on. Each type of product should be entered on a separate line on the application. The Import Certificate Regulations require that item descriptions must “describe the goods concerned in sufficient detail as to disclose their true identity and, in so doing, avoid the use of trade names, technical names or general terms that do not adequately describe the goods”.
  • Quantity: for each line item, state the number of units. Where quantity is given as a weight or volume, the unit of measure must be stated in the Description field.
  • Value: for each line item, state the value of the total quantity of units imported. Currency used for value must be indicated on the application (e.g. CAD, USD, EUR, GBP, or YEN).
  • End-User: applicants must state the End-Use and End-User of the goods in Canada. Goods imported under an International Import Certificate and incorporated into final goods for re-export may be subject to export controls.

J.2.2. International Import Certificates for Firearms, Firearms-Related Goods, and Ammunition

In addition to the general information above, applications for International Import Certificates relating to firearms, firearms-related goods, and ammunition should include the following information:

  • Description: You must include the make, model, type, action, calibre and Canadian legal classification of any firearm proposed for import. If cartridge magazines are proposed for import, the magazine capacity, and the model of firearm and calibre for which the magazine is intended should be noted in order to determine whether the item is a prohibited device under Canadian law. Cartridges and reloading components should be clearly noted as such and should also list the applicable calibre. Parts for firearms must be clearly described.
  • Quantity: Units of measure should be noted within the item description to correlate the quantity and value stated on the International Import Certificate application; e.g. quantity of gunpowder for reloading is noted in pounds; cartridge cases are noted as units; ammunition is noted in boxes of 20 (if quantity is expressed in number of boxes), and so on.
  • Supporting documents: Applicants may be requested to submit a copy of a valid Firearms Possession and Acquisition License or Firearms Business License to confirm their eligibility to receive the items proposed for import. International Import Certificates will not be issued to applicants who are unable to legally possess the requested materials in Canada. This documentation may be attached to the International Import Certificate application at time of submission to expedite the evaluation process.

Incomplete International Import Certificate applications (e.g. without supporting documentation) or those with vague and/or inaccurate item descriptions may take longer to process and/or may be returned to the applicant without action.

J.3. Delivery Verification Certificates

A Delivery Verification Certificateis issued by the Export Controls Division on behalf of the Government of Canada to provide official confirmation that imported goods or technology have been delivered to a consignee in Canada. A Delivery Verification Certificate may also be issued to confirm delivery of goods identified on an International Import Certificate. Your foreign supplier of controlled goods or technology may be required to provide a Delivery Verification Certificate to its government in order to fulfill the conditions of a foreign export permit.

Applications for Delivery Verification Certificates may be submitted online using Export Controls On-Line (EXCOL) (from the EXCOL home page, click on Delivery Verification Certificate on the left-hand menu bar). Paper application form EXT1046 - Application for Delivery Verification Certificate - (PDF*, 95.3 KB) is also available on our website.

An application for a Delivery Verification Certificate should include the following information:

  • Description: Name of the goods, including, where possible, models, brand names, part numbers, serial numbers, and so on. Each type of product imported should be entered on a separate line in the application.
  • Quantity: Number of units of each line item imported. Where quantity is given as a weight or volume, the unit of measure must be stated in the Description field.
  • Value: value of the total quantity of units imported for each line item in the application. Currency used for value must be as indicated on the application (e.g. CAD, USD, EUR, GBP, or YEN).

An application for a Delivery Verification Certificate should include the following supporting documents:

  • B3 Canada Customs Coding Form or CI1 Canada Customs Invoice, as submitted to the Canada Border Services Agency;
  • Canada Border Services Agency Customs Entry Recapitulation;
  • Entry waybill, manifest, bill of lading or cargo control document; and
  • Commercial invoice.

Information provided in the Delivery Verification Certificate application form must match or correspond closely to that provided on all supporting documents. In certain cases where the documents provided do not correspond exactly with the application, the applicant may be requested to provide additional information. If the information requested is not provided within a reasonable period of time, the application may be returned without action.

K. Further Information and Reference

K.1. Outreach Seminars

The Export Controls Division of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, in cooperation with other relevant departments and agencies of the Government of Canada, provides information seminars in several cities across Canada. These seminars review the responsibilities of Canadian industry in relation to military, strategic, and sensitive commercial goods and technology and typically cover the following issues:

  • International security and trade
  • Understanding the Export Control List
  • Applying for an export permit using Export Controls Online (EXCOL)
  • Understanding the application review process
  • Common errors made by exporters

K.2. Websites

K.3. Commonly Used Export Controls Acronyms

  • ACL – Area Control List
  • AFCCL – Automatic Firearms Country Control List
  • AG – Australia Group
  • AMPS – Administrative Monetary Penalty System
  • B13A – Export Declaration Form
  • CAED – Canadian Automated Export Declaration
  • CBSA – Canada Border Services Agency
  • CGP – Controlled Goods Program
  • CNSC – Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
  • CWC – Chemical Weapons Convention
  • DFATD – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, also known as the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development
  • DPA – Defence Production Act
  • DVC – Delivery Verification Certificate
  • ECL – Export Control List
  • EIPA – Export and Import Permits Act
  • EUC – End-Use Certificate
  • EUS – End-Use Statement
  • EXCOL – Export Controls On-Line
  • EXT-1042 – Application for Permit to Export Goods (printable form)
  • EXT-1719 – Information on Logs in Support of Federal Application EXT-1042
  • GEP – General Export Permit
  • ICL – Import Control List
  • IIC – International Import Certificate
  • IL – Import Licence
  • MTCR – Missile Technology Control Regime
  • NPT – Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
  • NSCA – Nuclear Safety and Control Act
  • NSG – Nuclear Suppliers' Group
  • OPC – Open Policy Countries – like-minded countries that belong to the same export control regimes as Canada and that have effective export controls
  • TIE – An administrative identifier for the Export Controls Division
  • UN – United Nations
  • WA – Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technology
  • WMD – Weapons of mass destruction

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