Requirements for exporting prohibited firearms

To what countries can I export prohibited firearms?

The Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA) places strict controls on the export of prohibited firearms and their specially designed components or parts and other weapons and devices. Under the Act, these items may only be exported from Canada to countries on the Automatic Firearms Country Control List (AFCCL). Furthermore, prohibited firearms, weapons and devices as controlled by the AFCCL may only be exported to the government or government-authorized consignees in those countries.

The export of prohibited firearms controlled under the AFCCL to a country on the AFCCL must be authorized in advance by an export permit issued by Global Affairs Canada. The Minister of Foreign Affairs maintains the authority to exercise discretion on a case‑by‑case basis over permit applications, which are only approved when the Minister is satisfied that such exports would be consistent with his legal obligations as well as Canada's foreign, defence and security policies.

Items controlled under the AFCCL are enumerated in section 4.1 of the Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA). These items include, but are not limited to, cartridge magazines that are prohibited devices, full-automatic firearms or firearms that have been prescribed to be prohibited firearms, and any components or parts of such firearms that are specially designed for them. 

Therefore, all firearms that have been prohibited effective May 1st 2020 under the Regulations Amending the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and Other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited, Restricted or Non-Restricted:

  1. are captured under section 4.1 of the EIPA and are eligible for export only to those destinations listed on the AFCCL, and;
  2. require an individual export permit. This also applies to the export of parts or accessories related to these firearms.

Please note that the Minister of Foreign Affairs is not authorized to issue an export permit for AFCCL goods destined to non-AFCCL countries.

The eligible destinations listed under the AFCCL to which all prohibited firearms and their specially designed components and parts, including the firearms newly prohibited through the Regulations Amending the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and Other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited, Restricted or Non-Restricted, may be exported are as follows:

The export of prohibited firearms to non-Automatic Firearms Country Control List destinations is not permitted, regardless of whether the exporter possesses an export permit issued prior the reclassification of that firearm.

How to apply for an export permit for prohibited firearms?

Generally, several parameters determine the requirements for an export permit under the EIPA.  We have compiled a reference guide for prospective applicants titled the Export and Brokering Controls Handbook explaining the requirements of the export process, including those controls administered by other government departments. Concerning firearms, sections D.2. Automatic firearms country control list and J. Applications to export firearms, related goods, and ammunition of the Handbook are of particular interest.

Exporters must prepare and submit the appropriate export permit application(s) for controlled goods, including prohibited firearms, their components or parts, and any accessories, that are proposed for export. For a step-by-step description of the application process, visit the Export Permit for Firearms, Related Goods and Ammunition page.

Each permit application is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Please be advised that export permit applications will be returned without action if they do not include supporting documentation that clearly outlines and documents the items proposed for export, the parties to the transaction, the end use of the goods and other pertinent aspects of the transaction as described in the Export and Brokering Controls Handbook. Export permit applications may be submitted using the Export Controls Online (EXCOL) system.

We are currently facing permit processing delays. Exporters are advised to submit their applications six months in advance of the time they wish to export.

Enquiries by email to TIE-Firearms.Armes-a-feu@international.gc.ca

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