Serial No. 74
Date: May 1, 1994
1. The purpose of this Notice is to increase awareness about the dangers posed by the proliferation of chemical and biological agents and weapons and the possible diversion of dual-use chemicals, biological agents and dual-use equipment that could be used in their manufacture; and, to provide information on Canada's export control program covering such products.
2. This Notice, which supersedes Notice to Exporters, Serial No. 55, Export Controls over Chemical Weapons, Precursors, Production Equipment and Technology, dated September 27, 1991, should be read in conjunction with the publication "A Guide to Canada's Export Controls", dated April 1994.
3. The Government of Canada has placed proliferation concerns at the top of its security agenda. The proliferation of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and their delivery systems has a destabilizing effect upon peaceful regional and global relationships, and is therefore deemed to constitute a continuing threat to the security of Canada and Canadians.
4. Canada no longer possesses chemical weapons. Some years ago Canada advised the international community of the destruction of the bulk of usable agents stockpiled for possible retaliatory use during the Second World War. A program, which was completed in 1991, was designed to destroy the small residual quantities of toxic materials in a manner consistent with Canada's high health, safety and environmental standards.
5. With respect to chemical and biological agents, Canadian policy is clear and unequivocal. Canada does not at any time intend to develop, produce, acquire, stockpile or use chemical or biological agents of weapons.
6. The fact that some countries continue to seek an offensive chemical and/or biological weapons capability requires that countries such as Canada continue to be concerned about the possible diversion of goods and technology that could potentially be used to produce these weapons. The use of chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980's and the discovery of a large Iraqi chemical weapons stockpile after the 1991 Gulf War led the international community to complete negotiations on the Chemical Weapons Convention which bans the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. This Convention was signed on January 13, 1993 by Canada and other nations and is expected to come into effect in 1995. Similar prohibitions with respect to biological weapons exist in the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, which Canada has signed and ratified.
7. With the end of Cold War tensions has come an increasing focus on the threat posed to regional peace and stability by the proliferation of equipment and technology associated with chemical and weapons. Stemming this proliferation has become a key objective of Canada and its allies.
8. Proliferation, therefore, remains a very real concern and to this end, vigilance should continue to be exercised by both government and industry.
9. Since 1985, Canada has held regular, informal consultations with a group of like-minded countries on measures to be taken at a national level to reduce the prospect of chemical or biological weapon use and proliferation. Known as the "Australia Group", these countries have made great progress in establishing a framework for control by raising awareness of the issues and in harmonizing national export control policies and procedures. In addition to Canada, other current participants in the "Australia Group" include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
10. Participants in these international consultations have also initiated dialogue at the national level with industry representatives. In Canada, consultations have taken place with the industries and organizations involved in the production and distribution of the chemicals, biological agents and dual-use equipment of concern. This dialogue has confirmed the Government's view that Canadian industry is determined to avoid involvement in chemical or biological agents and weapons proliferation, and that industry recognizes that such involvement would be detrimental to its reputation as well as to future business.
11. The export of chemical weapons and agents are specifically controlled as military items under Item 2007 of the Export Control List. At the same time, however, widely available industrial chemicals when combined with other chemicals can be used to produce chemical agents. Fifty-four (54) of these industrial chemicals, often referred to as "chemical weapon agent precursors", are identified and controlled under Item 7011 of the Export Control List.
12. Chemical agents and weapons production equipment and technology are specifically controlled as military items under Item 2018 of the Export Control List. However, Canadian industry should be aware that plant, production equipment and technology, not specially designed for chemical agent or weapon production, could be adapted to meet these non-civilian end-uses. These dual-use products could be suitable for adaptation or diversion to the manufacture of chemical agents or weapons and may be sought by certain countries aiming to develop chemical weapons capabilities.
13. Civilian equipment, not specially designed for chemical agent or weapon production, could range from individual items to entire chemical plants. Such equipment could include, for example, toxic gas detection systems, condenser systems, prefabricated storage containers, reactor vessels, pumps, valves, filters, agitators, heat exchangers, distillation columns and incinerators, especially if made from specific corrosion-resistant materials. Civilian equipment suitable or adaptable for dual-use applications is identified and controlled under Item 7012 of the Export Control List.
14. The export of related Process Technology is controlled under Item 7015 of the Export Control List.
15. The export of biological and toxin agents or weapons and related production equipment are specifically controlled as military items under ECL items 2007 and 2018. In addition, Canada, in conjunction with other Australia Group member countries, has implemented controls with respect to biological and toxin agents. These agents include human, plant and animal pathogens, in the form of viruses, rickettsiae, bacteria, toxins, fungi or genetically modified micro-organisms. These agents are specifically controlled by ECL item 7021.
16. Biological agents and weapons production equipment and technology are specifically controlled as military items under Item 2018 of the Export Control List. However, as with chemical weapons, Canadian industry should be aware that certain biological production equipment and technology, not specially designed for biological agents or weapon production,may be sought by certain countries for other than commercial/civilian purposes. These dual-use products could be suitable for adaptation or diversion to the manufacture of biological agents or weapons and may be sought by countries aiming to develop biological weapon capabilities.
17. Civilian equipment, not specially designed for biological agent or weapon production, could range from individual items to entire biological laboratories. Such equipment could include, for example, Level P3 or P4 containment facilities and equipment, fermenters, centrifugal separators, crossflow filtration equipment, freeze-drying equipment or aerosol inhalation chambers. Civilian equipment suitable or adaptable for dual-use applications is identified and controlled under Item 7022 of the Export Control List.
18. Any person wishing to export chemical or biological materials, equipment or technology falling under Items 2007, 2018, 7011, 7012, 7015, 7021 or 7022 of the Export Control List must have applied for and be in receipt of an export permit prior to exporting any of these goods from Canada, with the following exceptions:
19. Information on how to apply for export permits is contained in the publication "A Guide to Canada's Export Controls" dated April 1994, available from the Export Controls Division.
20. Canadian industry should be vigilant in its export dealings to ensure that chemical precursors, biological agents and related production equipment are exported only to legitimate civilian end-use. Companies should be alert to unusual enquiries. Potentially suspect elements in transactions are set out in Annex A. Substantial caution is called for in a situation where a number of such elements exist. Companies are encouraged to contact the Export Controls Division to provide information or to seek advice on any unusual circumstances. The Division supports industry's desire to maintain its good reputation and will endeavour to provide assistance in a timely fashion.
21. For assistance or advice contact:
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Export Controls Division,
Lester B. Pearson Building,
125 Sussex Drive,
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0G2