Notice to Importers No. 1090 – Temporary requirements for importing restricted handguns into Canada until the coming into force of the proposed amendments to the Firearms Act under Bill C-21
Export and Import Permits Act
Serial No. 1090
Date: August 5, 2022
Table of contents
1. The purpose of this Notice is to advise importers of the introduction of new, temporary import control measures related to restricted handguns that will be in place until the proposed amendments to the Firearms Act under Bill C-21 come into force. Accordingly, from August 19 2022 until the coming into force of the proposed amendments to the Firearms Act under Bill C-21, the import of restricted handguns into Canada will require an individual import permit.
2. Restricted handguns are controlled by paragraph 70(1) of the Import Control List. Note that a permit is notrequired to import into Canada any firearm that is an “antique firearm” as defined in section 84(1) of the Criminal Code, or as prescribed in the Regulations Prescribing Antique Firearms.
3. The Minister of Foreign Affairs maintains the discretion to issue or deny permit applications on a case‑by‑case basis, which are approved only when the Minister is satisfied that such imports would be consistent with Canada’s security or policy interests.
4. With respect to the import of restricted handguns, applications for import permits and international import certificates will normally be denied by the Minister, unless for one of the following end uses:
- a) police, military, law enforcement/security services;
- b) movie/theatrical;
- c) to protect the life of an individual or other individuals pursuant to an Authorization to Carry issued by a Chief Firearms Officer under section 20(a) of the Firearms Act;
- d) for use in connection with his or her lawful profession or occupation pursuant to an Authorization to Carry issued by a Chief Firearms Officer under section 20(b) of the Firearms Act; or,
- e) to train, compete or coach in a handgun shooting discipline that is on the programme of the International Olympic Committee or the International Paralympic Committee and the individual provides a letter to a chief firearms officer from a provincial or national sport shooting governing body indicating
- (i) that the individual trains, competes or coaches in such a discipline,
- (ii) the specific discipline in which the individual trains, competes or coaches, and
- (iii) that the handgun that the individual seeks to acquire is necessary for training, competing or coaching in that specific discipline.
5. An import permit will normally be issued by the Minister to allow a restricted handgun for which a registration certificate was already issued to be returned to Canada.
6. The import of any restricted handgun into Canada without a valid import permit would constitute an offence under section 19 of the Export and Import Permits Act.
7. The following Import Controls web page explains the requirements of the import process, and also lists controls administered by other government departments.
8. Importers must prepare and submit the appropriate import permit application(s) for all restricted handguns that are being imported into Canada. For a step-by-step description of how to apply for an Import Permit for Firearms, Related Goods and Ammunition, please consult this website.
9. Prospective importers must prepare and submit their appropriate international import certificate application(s) for all restricted handguns that are proposed for import, if required by the exporting country. For a step-by-step description of how to apply for an International Import Certificate, please consult this website.
10. This Notice has been prepared for guidance and convenience of reference only. Global Affairs Canada does not provide legal advice on the foregoing. For all purposes of interpreting and applying the law, readers should consult the Export and Import Permits Act and its associated regulations. These publications are available online.
11. For further information, importers may contact us by using the coordinates below. Importers are invited to note the creation of a new, dedicated email address for queries related to firearms.
Export Controls Operations Division (TIE)
Trade and Export Controls Bureau
Global Affairs Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G2
Internet: Export and Import Controls
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