Export Controls

In accordance with the Export and Import Permits Act, the Trade Controls Bureau is responsible for issuing permits and certificates for various products included on the Export Control List (ECL).

Arms Export Statistics

There are two different sets of statistics on arms exports published by the Government of Canada. The two sets of statistics are collected from different databases, are used for different purposes, and are not compatible.

Global Affairs Canada compiles and releases an annual “Report on the Export of Military Goods from Canada,” which provides statistics on the export of goods and technology identified on the “Munitions List” section of Canada’s Export Control List (ECL). Items on the “Munitions List” are used mostly by military and police forces for reasons of defence and security.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Statistics Canada collect information on ALL items exported from Canada, and classify these items using categories negotiated by the World Customs Organization (WCO). The WCO chapter on “Arms and Ammunition” includes some items that appear on the “Munitions List.” However, it also includes items not on the “Munitions List” (for example, paintballs, ammunition used to frighten birds at airports, flare guns, and certain equipment for oil and gas exploration). CBSA and Statistics Canada information is made available on Industry Canada’s website as “Trade Data Online” and on Statistics Canada’s website as the “Canadian International Merchandise Trade Database.”

Key Information and Services

  • Memorandum for Action dated October 10, 2017: Export Permit Suspension (May 7, 2018)
  • Amendments to Bill C-47: Update.
  • Canada prepares to join the Arms Trade Treaty: Find information related to proposed changes to Export Controls to enhance rigour and transparency and accede to the Arms Trade Treaty.
  • Export Controls Handbook: The main reference tool to assist exporters with questions about the administration of Canada's export controls (except export of logs). Includes how to obtain the necessary permits for the export or transfer of controlled items and how to comply with the requirements of the Export and Import Permits Act and its related regulations.
  • A Guide to Canada’s Export Control List: Detailed list of military and strategic goods and technology that are subject to export controls, including dual-use, munitions, nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear-related dual-use, miscellaneous goods and technology, missile technology control regime, and chemical and biological weapons non-proliferation lists.
  • Advisory Opinions: Find out how to apply for an advisory opinion in order to determine the control classification of your product against the Export Control List
  • Export Controls Online (EXCOL): Web-based application for submitting online applications for export permits and international import and delivery verification certificates, as well as to request amendments, submit online quarterly utilization reports for military goods, and print selected permits in your office.
  • Export and Import Controls System (EICS): Secure web interface and an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) interface to support the application, approval, and processing of import/export permits. The system also features import/export quota management functionality.
  • Destination Considerations: This includes the Area Control List, Export Controls to Certain Destinations, Prohibitions on Military Exports and Canadian Economic Sanctions.

Controlled Products

Products subject to export controls include the following - further information may be obtained by selecting one of these:

Recent Updates to Regulations and Notices

Important Information

  • Amendment to the Automatic Firearms Country Control List
  • Information Update: Exports to Iran
  • Report on Exports of Military Goods from Canada - 2016

    Statistics relating to the export of military goods and technology, including conventional arms and ammunition, can be found in the "Report on Exports of Military Goods from Canada" published by Global Affairs Canada.  These statistics are based on the export of military goods and technology as identified in the Munitions List (Group 2) of Canada’s Export Control List, which reflect commitments made in the multilateral Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies and commitments made in the Organization of American States, as well as certain additional unilateral controls implemented by Canada.  Canada’s export control regime, including the Export Control List, is established and administered under the authority of Canada's Export and Import Permits Act.

    Other statistics regarding the export of arms and ammunitions can be found on other government sites such as Industry Canada and Statistics Canada's "Trade Data On-Line". This data is compiled based on categories of items negotiated at the World Customs Organization for the purpose of applying global customs tariff codes. The "arms and ammunitions" category of items negotiated via the World Customs Organization does not, in many cases, reflect what many countries would consider conventional arms and ammunition. (For example, goods such as flare guns used in oil and gas drilling, ammunition to frighten birds at airports, etc. may be listed under some harmonized coding). The Canadian Commercial Corporation also generates their own export data based on contracts between Canadian suppliers and military end-users. Again, these statistics may include items which are not strictly military in nature, such as storage containers.