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Report on exports of military goods from Canada - 2018

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

The 2018 Report on the Export of Military Goods is tabled in the Parliament of Canada to ensure transparency around Canadian arms exports. It provides information on the export of military goods and technologies from Canada for the 2018 calendar year. This report has been produced voluntarily since 1990. The last edition covered 2017 and was tabled in Parliament on June 8, 2018.

2018 was a landmark year for Canadian arms control. December 2018 marked the passage in Parliament of Bill C-47, An Act to amend the Export and Import Permits Act and the Criminal Code (amendments permitting the accession to the Arms Trade Treaty and other amendments), which will result in a number of measures to strengthen Canada’s export controls system. The Bill and its regulations are expected to enter into force in mid-2019, and will enable Canada to accede to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) this year. Section 3 provides further information on these measures.

This report covers exports in 2018 of goods and technology designed for military purposes. It does not include data on exports of dual-use or other sensitive items controlled for export. Data for this report is assembled following the end of the calendar year, and verified against information received from Canadian industry. Information on how military items are defined for the purposes of export controls is provided below.

Global Affairs Canada does not currently collect data on most military exports to the United States. Proposed regulations to implement Bill C-47 will introduce a requirement for permits for the export of ATT-listed full-system conventional weapons to the U.S. For those items that currently require a permit for export to the U.S., data on the number and value of permits utilized was included for the first time in the 2017 Report and is included again this year. Future editions of this report will contain additional information on military exports to the U.S. of Arms Trade Treaty items.

Information on Canadian exports of military goods is also captured in two other key reports: the Annual Report on the Administration of the Export and Import Permits Act which is tabled in Parliament (a legal requirement of the Act); and Canada’s submission to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA). Once Canada becomes a member of the ATT, relevant information will also be available through Canada’s annual report to the ATT Secretariat.

Global Affairs Canada welcomes suggestions on how to improve future editions of this report. To submit any suggestions, please contact the Export Controls Policy Division at Global Affairs Canada:

Summary of Key Data

Table 1: 2018 – Total Value of Exports for Military Goods and Technology by NATO and AFCCL Destinations Footnote 1

NATO Destinations$566,399,663.7027.38%
Non-NATO AFCCL$1,393,058,279.2667.35%
Total Non-U.S. Exports of Military Goods and Technology$2,068,556,027.43100.00%

Chart 1: 2018 - Exports of Military Goods and Technology by NATO and AFCCL DestinationsFootnote 2

Chart 1 - see table 1 for text version

Table 2: 2018 – Export Permits Utilized and Actual Value (in CAD) of Exports by RegionFootnote 3

RegionNumber of PermitsValue of Exports
AfricaFootnote 454$14,945,789.11
Americas (not including the U.S.)39$8,558,017.00
Middle East415$1,332,109,395.54

Chart 2: 2018 - - Export Value of non-U.S. Military Goods and Technology – Percentage by Region

Chart 2 - see table 2 for text version

Table 3: 2018 – Canada’s Top Ten Non-U.S. Destinations for Military Goods and Technology

DestinationTotal ValuePercentage
Saudi Arabia$1,281,689,195.5061.96%
United Kingdom$75,197,399.543.64%
United Arab Emirates$25,337,956.771.22%

2. Canada’s Policy on Military Exports

Export Controls

The Government of Canada has taken action to strengthen Canada’s export controls, which are among the most rigorous in the world and are in line with those of our principal allies and partners in the major export controls regimes. A key priority of Canada’s foreign policy is the maintenance of peace and security. To this end, the Government of Canada strives to ensure that, among other policy goals, Canadian exports are not prejudicial to human rights, peace, security or stability in any region of the world or within any country.

This policy is implemented primarily through Canada’s system of export controls, as legislated by the Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA). This law requires those who wish to export from Canada any items included on the Export Control List (ECL) to obtain, prior to shipment, an export permit issued by Global Affairs Canada.Footnote 5  The ECL includes military, dual-use, and strategic goods and technology, all U.S.-origin goods and technology, and a limited number of items that are controlled for economic reasons and in compliance with Canada’s international trade agreements and obligations.

Canada prohibits the export of arms and related materiel to countries that are under United Nations Security Council arms embargos via the United Nations Act, and also has autonomous sanctions in place against specific countries under the Special Economic Measures Act, Footnote 6 which prohibit the export of specific goods and technology to those countries and/or to listed individuals and entities within those countries.   

Canada also prohibits the sale of automatic firearms to countries that are not on Canada’s Automatic Firearms Country Control List (AFCCL) as established under the authority of the EIPAFurthermore, the EIPA also provides for an Area Control List (ACL), a list of countries to which the Governor-in-Council deems it necessary to control the export or transfer of any goods or technology. More information on the ACL and AFCCL can be found in Annexes A and B.

Canada’s ECL is based on our participation in the major export control multilateral regimes (explained further in Annexes D and E). Canada’s export controls are not meant to hinder international trade unnecessarily, but to regulate and impose restrictions on exports in response to clear policy objectives. As outlined above, these objectives include ensuring that Canadian export controls are consistent with Canada’s foreign and defence policies, including respect for human rights and international peace and security.

Military Goods and Technology

The military goods and technology described in this report are those included in Group 2 (Munitions List) of the ECL. Items listed in Group 2 are “specially designed or modified for military use.”

Group 2 (Munitions List) goods and technologies include such items as ground vehicles, firearms, ammunition and imaging equipment made specifically for military use. The full list of these items is included in Table 8. Other controlled items appearing elsewhere on the ECL(such as dual-use and strategic items) are not featured in this report as they are not specially designed for military use.

Military goods and technology listed in Group 2 of the ECL generally are exported for one or more of the following purposes:

Canada’s defence, security and aerospace industries provide the Canadian Armed Forces, as well as the armed forces of our allies and partners, with the equipment, munitions and spare parts necessary to meet operational needs. It also makes a valuable contribution to the nation’s prosperity and employs tens of thousands of Canadians, develops high-technology products and is closely integrated with counterparts in allied countries.

Export Permit Assessment Process 

Under export control policy guidelines approved in 1986 by Cabinet, Canada closely controls the export of military goods and technology to countries:

Additional policy goals of Canada’s overall export controls regime include:

Bill C-47, which is expected to enter into force in mid-2019, introduces several explicit assessment criteria and a substantial risk test, as laid out in Article 7 of the Arms Trade Treaty. These criteria are already being used to assess export permit applications, and include an evaluation as to whether the item could be used to:

All applications to export goods or technology are carefully reviewed against the criteria listed above, including the ATT criteria, through wide-ranging consultations among geographic, human rights, international security and defence-industry experts at Global Affairs Canada (including at Canada’s overseas diplomatic missions), the Department of National Defence,  Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, and, as necessary, other government departments and agencies. Any concerns raised through this process are then closely evaluated, including whether a substantial risk exists with respect to any of the ATT criteria. Through this process, export permit applications are assessed for any risk they pose with respect to the policy objectives laid out above.

A key consideration in the review of each application is the end-use and end-user of the exported article. Careful attention is paid to end-use documentation in an effort to ensure that the export is intended for a legitimate end-user and will not be diverted to ends that could threaten the security of Canada, its allies, other countries or civilians. Where a risk is identified, additional end-use assurances or transparency measures may be sought before a permit is issued.

Notes on the Export of Firearms

In terms of the quantity of permits issued, most firearms exports from Canada are intended for sporting or other recreational use and not for military purposes. Permit applications are assessed for the risk that items may be diverted into the illegal arms trade or used to fuel local violence. Canadian diplomatic missions and other sources may provide information about destination countries’ firearms control laws, procedures and enforcement practices, and are often called upon to validate import permits and licences, end-user assurances, and consignee information.

Certain prohibited firearms, weapons, devices, or components thereof that are included on the Export Control List may be exported only to countries listed on the Automatic Firearms Country Control List and then only to consignees that are government entities or are authorized by government entities. Footnote 8 The full list of countries on the AFCCL may be found in Annex B.

Note that the changes in Bill C-47 to Canada’s export controls framework will not amend any legislation, regulations or policies related to firearm ownership and domestic transfers in Canada.

International Cooperation on Military Trade

Multilateral action is an important means of promoting international peace and security. Canada supports and participates in a range of arms control and non-proliferation activities, working closely with partners who share our objectives.Footnote 9  

Further information can be found in:

Annex D

Annex E

3. Developments in 2018

In October 2018, the Government announced a review of arms exports to Saudi Arabia. It was also announced that no new export permits for Saudi Arabia would be approved during this review.

Bill C-47: An Act to amend the Export and Import Permits Act and the Criminal Code

In April 2017, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, introduced Bill C-47, “An Act to amend the Export and Import Permits Act and the Criminal Code (amendments permitting the accession to the Arms Trade Treaty and other amendments)”. Bill C-47 makes the legislative amendments required by the ATT to regulate arms brokering in Canada and by Canadians abroad. It was further strengthened in 2018 to create a requirement for the Minister of Foreign Affairs to take into account the assessment criteria identified in the ATT, and to add the substantial risk test. It received Royal Assent on December 13, 2018.

Arms Trade Treaty Assessment Criteria and Substantial Risk Test

Under the changes to the Export and Import Permit Act in Bill C-47, the Minister of Foreign Affairs shall be legally required to take into account the Arms Trade Treaty assessment criteria for both export and brokering permit applications for the potential that the goods or technology specified in the application:

Under the amended Act, the Minister shall not issue an export or brokering permit if, after taking into account all relevant considerations, including available mitigating measures, he or she determines that there is a substantial risk that the proposed transaction would result in any of the negative consequences referred to in the ATT assessment criteria. For there to be a substantial risk, there should be a connection, based on compelling evidence, between the negative consequences and the specific goods or technology proposed for export or brokering.

The Government acted on concerns raised during Parliament’s study of Bill C-47 and amended the legislation so that ATT assessment criteria, which were originally intended to be placed in regulation, were included directly in the Act. Canada is one of the few countries to have legislated the specific considerations identified in Article 7 of the ATT. Going beyond the Treaty’s requirements, Bill C-47 placed gender-based violence and violence against women and children on equal footing with the other ATT considerations. In addition, the government added a risk test (mandated by the ATT) directly into the Act. The substantial risk test and the above ATT assessment criteria will be applied to export and brokering permits for strategic goods and technology included in the Export Control List and in the Brokering Control List.

Other developments in Canada’s export control program resulting from Bill C-47 include:

Bill C-47 is anticipated to come into force, along with the corresponding package of regulations, in the summer of 2019.

Brokering Controls

Another key development in Canada’s export controls program will be the establishment of new brokering controls. Article 10 of the ATT requires signatories to take measures to regulate the brokering of arms taking place under its jurisdiction. With Bill C-47, Parliament agreed to control the brokering activities of persons and organizations in Canada, and also of Canadians abroad (citizens, permanent residents and organizations).

Brokering will be defined as “arranging or negotiating a transaction that relates to the movement of goods or technology included in a Brokering Control List from a foreign country to another foreign country.” The Brokering Control List, which comprises all items for which a permit will be required prior to engaging in a brokering transaction, includes full-system conventional arms (as defined in Article 2 of the ATT) and all items listed in Group 2 (Munitions List) of the ECL, as well as ECL items, including dual-use items, with a likely weapons of mass destruction end-use.

The following are excluded from control: transfers between affiliates of a corporation, and transactions undertaken by Canadians abroad who are directed by their non-Canadian employer. However, these exemptions do not exist where the item being brokered is a full-system conventional arm within the scope of the ATT. Additionally, administrative and auxiliary services, such as transport, financing and insurance, among others, will not be captured by the new brokering controls. The Government is also developing a general brokering permit to streamline the authorization of brokering involving transactions to low-risk countries (see Annex F).

For more information about the forthcoming controls please consult the brokering regulations.

Future editions of this report will include data on the types, values, and destinations of the controlled military items subject to Canada’s brokering controls.

Reporting on ATT Items Exported to the United States

During the debates on Bill C-47 and ATT accession, a number of parliamentarians and civil society stakeholders asked for increased transparency in reporting on controlled exports to the United States. At the same time, industry stakeholders noted that the easy movement of most controlled items between Canada and the United States is vital to the preservation of Canada’s close defence relationship with the U.S. and to the viability of Canada’s defence, security and aerospace industries. In response to this discussion, the Government of Canada committed to looking at ways to increase transparency while maintaining the competitiveness of Canadian businesses.

Therefore, as part of the regulatory package to implement Bill C-47, Canada is proposing a regulatory amendment that would create a new Group in the ECL (Group 9), which would list all items that fall under the scope of the ATT and impose a permit requirement to export these items to the United States (there already exists a permit requirement to export these items to all other destinations). These items are defined in Article 2 of the ATT as the following full-system conventional arms:

The amendment to the ECL will be accompanied by a new General Export Permit (GEP-47: Export of Arms Trade Treaty Items to the United States). This will allow Canadian exporters to use the General Export Permit instead of applying for individual permits when exporting Group 9 items to the U.S. The GEP would require exporters to notify the Government of Canada of their intent to use the GEP and to report twice a year on any permanent exports (i.e. items that will not be returned to Canada within two years) of Group 9 items. Together these two regulatory amendments will allow Canada to increase transparency in the reporting of military exports without unduly burdening Canadian businesses.

For more information about these regulations please consult the Export Controls website.

Public Consultations on the Strengthening of Canada’s Export Controls Regime

In preparation for the entry into force of Bill C-47, Global Affairs Canada is reviewing its regulations, policies and procedures to ensure they are in line with and support Canada’s accession to the ATT.  As part of this review, the Government of Canada conducted public consultations between December 13, 2018, and January 31, 2019, to seek input from Canadians on the proposed strengthening of Canada’s export controls program.

The objectives of this consultation were to:

Stakeholder feedback was collected by way of an online questionnaire as well as through webinars, one-on-one meetings, teleconferences, and in-person group sessions held across Canada in: Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Richmond, BC. Government officials held 13 in-person consultation sessions, 2 webinar sessions (with over 190 participants), and 17 one-on-one meetings with stakeholders from industry and civil society.

Export and Import Permits Act Judicial Reviews

There were two ongoing judicial reviews in relation to Group 2 (Munitions List) export permits during the 2018 calendar year:

Daniel Turp c. La Ministre Des Affaires Étrangères (1st Judicial Review)

In a Judgment rendered on July 6, 2018, Justice Nadon of the Federal Court of Appeal re-confirmed the legality of the decision of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to issue export permits for Light Armoured Vehicles to Saudi Arabia, thereby dismissing Mr. Turp’s appeal. On September 28, 2018, Mr. Turp filed an application for leave to appeal with the Supreme Court of Canada which was denied by the Supreme Court on April 11, 2019.

 Daniel Turp c. La Ministre Des Affaires Étrangères (2nd Judicial Review)

In a Judgment rendered on January 9, 2018, Justice Martineau of the Federal Court dismissed a motion by the Minister to strike Mr. Turp’s second application for judicial review of the Minister’s decision to export Light Armoured Vehicles to Saudi Arabia. The proceedings are currently stayed.

Permit Denials

In 2018, four applications for permits to export military, dual-use, and strategic goods or technology was denied for reasons pertaining to Canada’s foreign and defence policy.

It is important to note that each year, a number of permit applications are withdrawn at the request of the exporter if the company becomes aware, or is otherwise informed, of commercial, political or other types of risk that may affect their application and decides not to pursue the commercial opportunity. For the number of export permit applications withdrawn in 2018 please see Table 5.

Table 4: 2018 - Export Permit Denials of Military, Dual-Use and Strategic Goods and Technology Footnote 10

ECL Number


Reason for Denial


United Arab Emirates

Foreign and defence policy



Foreign and defence policy



Foreign and defence policy



Foreign and defence policy

4. Military Export Statistics

The statistics contained in this report are obtained from permit utilization reporting, which must be provided to Global Affairs Canada consistent with the conditions listed on export permits for military goods and technology. The data displayed below include the country of destination, a description of the goods exported and their value in Canadian dollars.

Further details related to export transactions (for example, names of exporting companies, values of individual contracts and transactions, and details of the specific technologies being exported) are protected due to the commercially confidential nature of such information.

Export controls apply to all foreign destinations. However, due to Canada’s close and long-standing military cooperation with the United States, including the 1956 Defence Production Sharing Agreement, which underpins the integrated nature of North America’s defence industry, Canada and the United States have reciprocal arrangements to ensure permit-free/license-free movement of most military items between our two countries. For Canada, this has meant permit exemptions for most Group 2 (Munitions List) exports destined to the United States. Consequently, Global Affairs Canada currently does not collect data on most exports of military goods and technology to the United States, except for the small sub-set of goods, such as prohibited firearms, related parts and ammunition, and select items controlled under ECL number 2-4, for which permits are required (see Table 11). Upon entry into force of Bill C-47 and its associated regulations, permits will also be required for the export to the United States of ATT-listed, full-system conventional weapons. A General Export Permit (GEP) will be created to authorize these exports on the condition that exporters report against any actual exports on a semi-annual basis.

Data on Canadian military exports may be available from other sources such as Statistics Canada. These figures are derived from data collected by the Canada Border Services Agency based on the Harmonized Commodity Description Coding System (HS), and may include non-military goods such as: commercial computers; civil-certified aircraft; guns and ammunition designed exclusively for industrial uses, such as the lighting of gas flares at oil wells; or other civilian equipment. Since there is no direct correlation between the commodity codes used by Statistics Canada and the ECL numbers, and because each source uses different methods of data collection, a meaningful comparison of the information from these sources is not possible.

An internationally accepted standard for statistics on worldwide military trade is United Nations Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA) (see Annex D). The Register quantifies the number of complete weapon systems permanently exported and does not include parts, components or the wide assortment of non-lethal support systems (such as radar equipment, simulators and software designed for military use) that make up a significant component of Canada’s military exports. Since 1991, Canada has consistently submitted annual voluntary reports to UNROCA. Once Canada becomes a State Party to the ATT, it will provide a similar public report on the export and import of ATT-listed full-system conventional arms. Based on the new regulatory changes, these reports will also include data on exports of full-system conventional arms to the U.S.

Global Affairs Canada also produces an Annual Report to Parliament on the “Administration of the Export and Import Permits Act,” which is a statutory requirement in the EIPA. This report provides an overview of permit data and service standards, which includes Group 2 (Munitions List) permits. Following tabling in Parliament, this report is also available at

Data Interpretation Notes

The following data interpretation notes apply:

i) Procurement contracts awarded by governments may have very high values and extended delivery schedules; a single contract may account for a large share of total military exports in a given year or over multiple years. Major changes in totals from one year to another may be explained by the beginning or end of a small number of large contracts.

ii) Other than Table 11, the data presented does not include exports of military goods to the U.S.

iii) The ECL item numbers used are explained with illustrative examples. The full ECL, which consists of detailed descriptions of all goods and technology controlled under the EIPA, can be found in “A Guide to Canada’s Export Controls”.

iv) Readers will notice that some of the totals vary between tables. For instance, Table 6 reports annual values of total exports of military goods and technology by destination country; whereas Annex G breaks down the value of exports to individual countries according to the ECL item number. However, the sum total of exports by ECL item number to an individual country calculated from Table 10 may be greater than the total value of exports to that destination reported in Table 6. This is because goods or technology included in a single export permit may be classified under multiple ECL item numbers. Table 9, Annex G and Chart 4; therefore, contain some double-counting, which inflates the actual value of total exports.

v) Table 8 references exports of “technology” controlled under item 2-22 of the ECL. Exports of this nature often cannot be easily quantified. For this reason, “lots” rather than unit quantities are commonly used where exports of technology may be transferred via different intangible means (such as through meetings or emails). For zero-value technology transactions, a nominal value (e.g. $50 or under) is assigned. The inclusion of such data within this report is consistent with past practice.

vi) A multi-destination permit (or MDP) allows exports to multiple countries under a single permit. Group 2 MDPs only allow exports to like-minded countries that are members of the export control regimes to which Canada is party, and that have an effective system of export controls. MDPs are offered to exporters who have an exporting history with Global Affairs Canada. These exporters have implemented defined due diligence processes and procedures when planning, marketing and shipping ECL items to foreign clients  to ensure a reasonable level of assurance that goods or technology will not be exported to unauthorized or illegitimate end-uses or end-users. The values exported under MDPs are included in all the tables reporting the total value of military exports. However, Tables 2, 7, and 11, along with Chart 3, do not include the number of MDPs utilized per destination as a single permit can cover exports to multiple destinations.  

vii) The number of Group 2 permits issued in 2018 (reported in Table 5 as 3560) does not equal the number of Group 2 permits utilized in 2018 (reported in Table 7 as 2242) because a single permit issued in any given year can be valid for up to a period up to five years and be exported against during any of the years in which it is valid.

viii) Exporters are not required to submit permit utilization reports to Global Affairs Canada for Group 2 exports where no value is being transferred. Examples include exports where goods were sent to Canada for warranty repair, and are being returned to the original owner; exports where goods were sent to Canada for testing, demonstration or trials, and are being returned; the return to foreign owners of controlled goods borrowed or leased by a Canadian company (e.g., deactivated automatic firearms used as movie props); exports of faulty or discrepant material; or exports of goods for destructive testing. Exports of such nature are omitted from this report.  

Table 5: 2018 - Summary of Export Permits by all ECL GroupsFootnote 11

Without Action
WithdrawnCancelled or
Group 1
(Dual-Use List)
145156462013290Footnote 12
Group 2
(Munitions List)
Group 3
(Nuclear Non-Proliferation List)
Group 4
(Nuclear-Related Dual-Use List)
Group 5
(Miscellaneous Goods and Technology)
Group 6
(Missile Technology Control Regime List)
Group 7
(Chemical and Biological Weapons Non-Proliferation List)
OthersFootnote 1348175397360

Notes for Table 5

Returned without action: A permit application is returned without action by Global Affairs Canada if it is administratively incomplete, or if there is inconsistent information. A company that still wishes to pursue the export would be required to submit a new permit application.

Withdrawn: Permit applications may be withdrawn either at the request of the exporter (e.g., if the permit is no longer required because the commercial deal falls through or if the company becomes aware of political, commercial, or other types of risk that may affect their application, and decides not to pursue the opportunity), or by Global Affairs Canada (e.g., if the goods or technology proposed for export are not controlled, the items are controlled but a permit is not required for their export to the U.S., or if a General Export Permit applies). In 2018, a total of 17 applications for Group 2 (military) items were withdrawn by Global Affairs Canada because a permit was not required for one of the reasons listed above. The remaining 182 withdrawals were at the request of the company, because they had decided not to pursue the export opportunity.

Cancelled: An export permit that has been issued may be cancelled for administrative reasons (e.g., at the request of applicant as the permit is no longer required, or due to an error on the permit requiring replacement by a new permit), or by direction of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. An export permit that has been cancelled is no longer valid for the export of goods or technology.

Issued: Means a permit has been approved and issued. If a permit was issued in 2018 and is subsequently cancelled, it is only counted once in the cancelled column.

Denied: Means a permit that was denied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, either directly or further to policy direction received by officials. This occurs in fewer than 1% of cases annually, and is generally for reasons of Canada’s foreign and defence policy, as provided in the criteria for controlling the export of military, dual use and strategic goods outlined above. Information on denials is reported in Table 4.

Table 6: 2018 – Export Value of Military Goods and Technology to all non-U.S. DestinationsFootnote 14  

DestinationTotal Value ($CAD)Percentage
Brunei Darussalam$7,190.080.00%
Costa Rica$12,992.250.00%
Czech Republic$602,308.290.03%
Falkland Islands (Malvinas)$4,880.000.00%
French Polynesia$649.980.00%
Hong Kong$20,580.000.00%
Korea (South), Republic of$12,694,422.210.61%
New Caledonia$84,736.420.00%
New Zealand$5,326,300.260.26%
North Macedonia$700.000.00%
Russian Federation$2,526.920.00%
Saudi Arabia$1,281,689,195.5061.96%
South Africa$3,785,944.420.18%
Turks and Caicos Islands$12,799.000.00%
United Arab Emirates$25,337,956.771.22%
United Kingdom$75,197,399.543.64%

Chart 3: 2018 - Utilized Export Permits to non-U.S. Destinations of Military Goods and Technology - Percentage by RegionFootnote 15

Chart 3 - see table 6 for text version

Table 7: 2018 - Top Ten Destinations by Utilized Export Permits for Military Goods & Technology

DestinationNumber of Permits Utilized in 2018Percentage of Total
United Kingdom32714.59%
Korea (South), Republic of532.36%

Table 8: 2018 -Number of Utilized Export Permits for Military Goods & Technology by DestinationFootnote 16

DestinationNumber of Permits Utilized in 2018Percentage of Total
Brunei Darussalam30.13%
Costa Rica10.04%
Czech Republic110.49%
Falkland Islands (Malvinas)10.04%
French Polynesia10.04%
Hong Kong20.09%
Korea (South), Republic of532.36%
New Caledonia60.27%
New Zealand341.52%
North Macedonia20.09%
Russian Federation50.22%
Saudi Arabia361.61%
South Africa281.25%
Turks and Caicos Islands10.04%
United Arab Emirates301.34%
United Kingdom32714.59%

Table 9: 2018 – Group 2 (Munitions List) of Canada’s ECL

ECL Item Illustrative ExamplesFootnote 17
2-1Smooth-bore weapons with a calibre of less than 20 mm, other arms and automatic weapons with a calibre of 12.7 mm or less and accessories
2-2Smooth-bore weapons with a calibre of 20 mm or more, other weapons or armament with a calibre greater than 12.7 mm, projectors and accessories
2-3Ammunition and fuse-setting devices, and specially designed components
2-4Bombs, torpedoes, rockets, missiles, other explosive devices and charges, and related equipment and accessories specially designed for military use; and specially designed components
2-5Fire control, related alerting and warning equipment, and related systems; test and alignment and countermeasure equipment specially designed for military use; and specially designed components and accessories
2-6Ground vehicles and components
2-7Chemical or biological toxic agents, riot control agents, radioactive materials, and related equipment, components and materials
2-8Energetic materials and related substances
2-9Vessels of war, special naval equipment and accessories, and components specially designed for military use
2-10Aircraft, lighter-than-air vehicles, unmanned airborne vehicles, aero-engines and aircraft equipment, related equipment and components, specially designed or modified for military use
2-11Electronic equipment, military spacecraft and components not controlled elsewhere
2-12High-velocity kinetic energy weapon systems and related equipment, and specially designed components
2-13Armoured or protective equipment and constructions and components
2-14Specialized equipment for military training or for simulating military scenarios, simulators specially designed for training in the use of any firearm or weapon controlled in 2-1 or 2-2, and specially designed components and accessories
2-15Imaging or countermeasure equipment, specially designed for military use, and specially designed components and accessories
2-16Forgings, castings and other unfinished products the use of which in a controlled product is identifiable by material composition, geometry or function, and which are specially designed for any products controlled in 2-1 to 2-4, 2-6, 2-9, 2-10, 2-12 or 2-19
2-17Miscellaneous equipment, materials, libraries and specially designed components
2-18Equipment for the production of products referred to in the Munitions List
2-19Directed energy weapon systems, related or countermeasure equipment and test models, and specially designed components
2-20Cryogenic and superconductive equipment, and specially designed components and accessories

Table 10: 2018 - Exports of Military Goods and Technology by ECL Item NumberFootnote 18

ECL NumberTotal ValuePercentage

Chart 4a: 2018- Exports of Military Goods and Technology by ECL Item Number and ValueFootnote 19

Chart 4a - see table 10 for text version

Chart 4b: 2018- Exports of Military Goods and Technology by ECL Item Number and ValueFootnote 20
(Without ECL Item 2-6: “Ground vehicles and components”)

Chart 4b - see table 10 for text version

Exports to the United States of Certain Group 2 (Munitions List) Controlled Items

As noted in the Introduction, Global Affairs Canada only collects data on military exports to the United States if the item requires a permit to be exported to the United States. These items are listed below.

Because most military goods and technology may be exported to the United States without obtaining an export permit, data on exports of military goods and technology to the United States was not provided in editions of the Military Report prior to 2017. In keeping with improvements made to the 2017 Report, information on the aggregate value of controlled exports and the number of permits utilized for export to the U.S. (i.e. those for which a permit was required) is reported below.

Within Group 2 (Munitions List) of the ECL, export permits are required to the United States in the following circumstances:

Goods exported from Canada to the U.S. are thereafter subject to U.S. export controls regardless of whether a Canadian export permit was required. Goods exported from Canada through the U.S. to a third country (i.e., transit/transshipment) require a Canadian export permit for the third country when they leave Canada.

Permits are also required for the export to the United States of certain goods controlled on other ECL Groups, including all items on Group 3 (the Nuclear Non-Proliferation List), all items on Group 4 (the Nuclear-related Dual-Use List), most items on Group 5 (Miscellaneous Goods and Technology), and certain items on Group 6 (the Missile Technology Control List) and Group 7 (the Chemical and Biological Weapons Non-Proliferation List).

As part of the Government’s commitment to increasing transparency on military exports, future editions of this report will also include data on exports to the U.S. of full-system conventional weapons as listed in the Arms Trade Treaty.

Table 11: 2018 – Number of Permits Utilized and Value Exported for certain Group 2 (Munitions List) Controlled Goods and Technology to the United States

ECLType of goodsNumber of Permits UtilizedValueNotes
2-1Smooth-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, and specially designed components therefor48$24,780,351- An export permit is required for all prohibited firearms regardless of destination - Both temporary and permanent exports of either Restricted or Non-Restricted firearms to the United States may be made without obtaining an individual export permit. Upon the entry into force, exports of Restricted or Non-Restricted firearms will be authorized by GEP-47 with a reporting requirement for those exports intended for police and/or military end-use.
2-2Smooth-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 therefor0
2-3Ammunition and fuze setting devices, and specially designed components therefor5$101,535,664- Both temporary and permanent exports of sporting ammunition to the United States may be made without obtaining an individual export permit. Upon its entry into force, such exports will be authorized under GEP-47.
2-4Bombs, torpedoes, grenades, smoke canisters, rockets, mines, missiles, depth charges, demolition-charges, demolition-devices, demolition-kits, "pyrotechnic" devices, cartridges and simulators (i.e., equipment simulating the characteristics of any of these items), specially designed for military use; Note that item 2-4 includes: Smoke grenades, fire bombs, incendiary bombs and explosive devices; missile rocket nozzles and re-entry vehicle nosetips.25$53,315,732- The description of this category is taken from control text agreed at the Wassenaar Arrangement. Canada does not manufacture or export “mines”. - Upon the entry into force of GEP-47, individual export permits will still be required for items controlled under ECL category 2-4a.

5. Service Standard Targets

Further to the information found in the Export Control Handbook, the processing time for applications for permits to low-risk destinations that contain all required supporting documentation is 10 working days, and for applications for permits to other destinations that contain all required supporting document is 40 working days. The performance target for achieving this standard is set at 90 percent. For a list of destinations considered low-risk please refer to Annex F.  

Applications to non-low-risk countries are subject to a more comprehensive assessment process, based on a risk assessment of the items being exported, along with the consignee country, and the intended end-use and end-user. The purpose of these intra- and inter-departmental consultations is to fully assess the risks and implications of proposed exports with respect to considerations around Canada’s foreign and defence policy, including human rights, and national security. Various Canadian government departments and agencies, including multiple divisions within Global Affairs Canada and Canada’s network of missions abroad, are involved in the consultation process.

When determining if an application has been processed within the allotted service standard, the Department takes into consideration whether the application has been submitted with all the required documentation. The processing time calculation only begins the moment a complete application has been received and no further clarification or supporting documents is required from the exporter. Please note that applications that are withdrawn, returned without action or denied are also counted towards the service standard.  

Tables 13 and 14 below show a decrease in the number of export permit applications processed within the service standard. This is attributable to a number of factors including the introduction of new and more rigorous governance and risk assessment processes, capacity constraints as the Government worked to implement a higher risk management threshold, and importantly the unpredictable international security environment and concomitant scrutiny.

More information on service standards can be found in the Export Controls Handbook.

Table 12: Export Permit Applications Processed (2017 and 2018) Footnote 21     

Expedited Assessment Process37093392
Comprehensive  Assessment Process28293241

 Table 13: 2018 - Global Affairs Canada Service Standards for all Military, Dual-use and Strategic Export Permit Applications

Applications Category and Service StandardNumber of Applications Meeting Service StandardNumber of Applications Not Meeting the Service StandardPercentage of Applications Meeting Service Standard
Expedited Assessment Process <10 days293777279.19%
Comprehensive Assessment Process <40 days245537486.78%
Combined Total5392114682.47%

Table 14: 2017 - Global Affairs Canada Service Standards for all Military, Dual-use and Strategic Export Permit Applications

Applications Category and Service StandardNumber of Applications Meeting Service StandardNumber of Applications Not Meeting the Service StandardPercentage of Applications Meeting Service Standard
Expedited Assessment Process <10 days325513795.96%
Comprehensive Assessment Process <40 days301322892.96%
Combined Total626836594.49%

6. Annexes

Annex A: Canada’s Area Control List (ACL)

The export or transfer of any goods or technology (including technical data, technical assistance and information necessary for the development, production or use of a good) to countries on the ACL is controlled and must be authorized by an export permit issued by the Minister of Foreign Affairs under the authority of the EIPA. Export permits are normally issued only for those goods and technology that respond to humanitarian needs or circumstances.

As of December 31, 2018, the ACL was comprised of one country: the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), which was added on July 14, 2010.

Guidance on exports to countries listed on the ACL is published in the following Notice to Exporters, which is available on the internet at:

Annex B:  Canada’s Automatic Firearms Country Control List (AFCCL)

Further to Section 4.1 of the EIPA, certain prohibited firearms, weapons, devices, or components thereof that are included on the Export Control List may be exported only to destinations on the AFCCL and only to consignees that are government or authorized by government. These must be approved by an export permit issued by the Minister of Foreign Affairs under the authority of the EIPA.

The following goods and their components and parts, as defined in Section 4.1 of the EIPA and Section 84 of the Criminal Code, are subject to the AFCCL, when these items are also included on the Export Control List:

At the time of publication, the AFCCL was comprised of the following countries:

For more information please see the regulation establishing the AFCCL

Annex C: Canada’s International Transfers (Government to Government Transfers)

From time to time, the Government of Canada, normally via the Department of National Defence, will provide surplus military equipment to foreign governments through sale or donation. When determining sales and donations to foreign governments, the Government of Canada considers a number of factors, including the nature of the goods, the country of origin, the applicable controls relating to its distribution and the applicable Government of Canada policies. Records pertaining to these types of transfers are kept by the Department of National Defence. The information presented here is also publicly reported in Canada’s submission to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA) and only covers government transfers of conventional arms as defined by UNROCA. This information will also be included in future reports to the ATT.

Canada’s international transfers in 2018 were:

More information on the sale and donation of surplus equipment.

Annex D: United Nations Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA)

Canada continues to actively promote greater transparency in the trade of conventional arms. In 1991, Canada was a founding contributor to UNROCA, which is an international, voluntary transparency mechanism under which Member States of the United Nations supply information to the Register on imports and exports of seven categories of conventional arms.

The Register is updated annually and makes a significant contribution to transparency, confidence-building and enhanced global security. Since the inception of the Register, more than 90 countries on average have made annual submissions to it; of these, about 70 have done so consistently, including Canada. As a result, the Register has become an important and authoritative source of information. The Register tracks data on the following seven categories of conventional arms: battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large-calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, and missiles and missile launchers. This same information will also be included in future reports to the Arms Trade Treaty.

Canada is also one of a growing number of countries that voluntarily submit data to the Register on military holdings and on procurement through national production. In addition, Canada is one of several Member States that voluntarily supplies information on imports and exports of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) to the Register as part of their annual report. This information goes beyond the voluntary minimum currently recommended by the UN.

Further information is available at the following links: 

Actual Exports from Canada of Conventional Arms and SALW in 2018

The following table represents actual exports of conventional arms and SALW as defined by UNROCA reporting best practices, from Canada, during the 2018 calendar year, against export permits issued by Global Affairs Canada, for military, security or police end-use in the destination country.

Editions of the Report on the Exports of Military Goods from Canada and reports to UNROCA prior to 2016 listed total quantities of conventional arms and SALW that were authorized for export under permits issued in the course of the reporting year. This practice (i.e., reporting the “maximum allowable exports under issued permits”) was not optimal, as it does not allow for the tracking of actual, versus potential, transfers of conventional arms and SALW. Since 2016, Canada reports actual exports/transfers of reportable conventional arms and SALW that occurred during the reporting year.

Table 15: 2018 – UNCAR: Actual Exports from Canada of Conventional Arms and SALW

 Conventional WeaponsSmall Arms (1)Light Weapons
DestinationACVLCAsPistolsRifles & CarbinesAssault RiflesLMGsOtherHMGsHH/UB GLs
ECL Item (2) 2-62-22-12-12-12-12-12-22-2
Afghanistan  18     
Botswana    250    
France 2 33     
Netherlands   8829    
Saudi Arabia127  1634     
United Kingdom   331340    
United States     14(3)  
Total1382 50061119 14  



1. All bolt-action and semi-automatic rifles are reported under “Rifles & Carbines”. Full-automatic firearms that are not submachine guns and that do not fall into the Light Machine Gun or Heavy Machine Gun category are reported under “Assault Rifles”.

2. For illustrative examples of ECL items listed under Group 2 (Munitions List) see Table 9 on page 23. Please note that as only full systems are reported to UNROCA, the values presented in Table 10 (which reports all exports, including parts and components) may not correspond to the units items exported, as reported in this chart.

3. Tasers exported for police end-use in the United States.

Annex E: International Cooperation on Military Trade

The major multilateral export control regimes in which Canada participates are described below. Participating governments negotiate common lists of goods and technology that are implemented by all, according to national legislation. Each participating government takes its own licensing decisions in accordance with applicable domestic law. These lists evolve in response to changing international and technological circumstances. Updates and amendments are made on a periodic basis. Changes to Canada’s Export Control List are incorporated through a regulatory amendment process.

Wassenaar Arrangement - Export Control List Groups 1 and 2

Most items have been included on the ECL because of Canada’s commitments to international partners that participate in multilateral export control regimes or because of Canada’s obligations as a signatory to international agreements that seek to control and monitor the movement of sensitive goods and technology.

The control regime that deals with the military and dual-use goods and technology covered in Group 2 (Munitions List) of the ECL is the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, founded in 1996. The “Initial Elements” define the objectives of the Wassenaar Arrangement as, inter alia:

“to contribute to regional and international security and stability, by promoting transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies, thus preventing destabilising accumulations.”

Through national policies, the Participating States seek to ensure that transfers of items covered by the common control lists do not contribute to the development or enhancement of military capabilities that have the potential to undermine regional and global security and stability. Participating States also commit to take every precaution to ensure that such goods and technologies are not diverted to illegitimate end-uses.

More information about the Wassenaar Arrangement and its 42 Participating States.

Nuclear Suppliers Group - Export Control List Groups 3 and 4

Canada has a long-standing nuclear non-proliferation policy that is designed to, among other objectives; ensure that Canada’s nuclear exports are not used for any nuclear weapon purposes or their development. As a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons that came into force in 1970, Canada will not provide source or special fissionable material or equipment or material especially designed or prepared for the processing, use or production, of special fissionable material, to any Non-Nuclear Weapon State for peaceful purposes, unless the source or special fissionable material is subject to International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.

In the late 1970s, a group of nuclear supplier countries, including Canada, agreed on a set of guidelines for nuclear transfers to any Non-Nuclear Weapon State for peaceful purposes. These became known as the Nuclear Suppliers Group Guidelines. In 1992, the Nuclear Suppliers Group established a list of nuclear-related dual-use goods and technology that could make a major contribution to a nuclear explosive activity or a non-safeguarded nuclear fuel cycle activity.

ECL Group 3 includes items that are nuclear-specific. ECL Group 4 includes nuclear-related dual-use items, i.e. items that are used in non-nuclear applications but that could also be used in a nuclear explosive activity or a non-safeguarded nuclear fuel cycle activity.

More information about the Nuclear Suppliers Group and its 47 Members.

Missile Technology Control Regime - Export Control List Group 6

The Missile Technology Control Regime was established in 1987 to address concerns about the proliferation of systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction, namely, chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. ECL Group 6 includes items agreed upon by the Partners of the Missile Technology Control Regime that are used in, or could be used in, the proliferation of systems capable of delivering chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

More information about the Missile Technology Control Regime and its 35 Members.

Australia Group - Export Control List Group 7

The Australia Group was established in 1985 with the objective of preventing the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons. The participants (national governments) in the Australia Group have developed common export controls on chemical substances and biological agents and related items that could be used in the production of chemical and biological weapons.

More information about the Australia Group, including its 43 Members.

Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons - Export Control List Group 7

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was established in 1997 when the Chemical Weapons Convention came into force. The goal of the Member States is to achieve a world that is free of chemical weapons and of the threat of their use, and in which cooperation in chemistry for peaceful purposes for all is fostered. The ECL contains chemicals and precursors that are controlled under the Chemical Weapons Convention. Some of the Chemical Weapons Convention chemicals and precursors are also controlled by the Australia Group.

More information about the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and its 193 Member States.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2013 to establish international norms for the conventional arms trade. Unregulated and irresponsible arms transfers intensify and prolong conflict, lead to regional instability, facilitate human rights abuses on a massive scale, and hinder social and economic development. The ATT promotes responsibility, transparency and accountability in the global arms trade. Canada will accede to the ATT in 2019.

More information about the Arms Trade Treaty and its 102 States Parties.

Global Affairs Canada has funded a number of projects to address illicit weapon flows and assist States to accede to and implement the ATT. Currently, approximately $2.7M is being provided to Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based NGO, to address the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, including addressing the diversion and loss of weapons and ammunition from peace operations and ensuring a gender-responsive approach to arms control practices and implementation have been included in decision making.

Annex F: Index of Destinations Considered Lower-Risk in 2018

Most export permit applications to the following destinations are generally considered low-risk and are thus subject to an expedited assessment processes. As previously mentioned, the service standard for applications to these destinations is typically 10 working days, as opposed to 40 working days for all other destinations. All export permit applications for military items, regardless of their country of destination, are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the previously mentioned assessment criteria, including the ATT criteria. The countries listed below are also considered low-risk within the context of Canada’s proposed brokering controls. Controlled transactions brokered to any of these destinations would be covered under General Brokering Permit No. 1.

Annex G: Exports of Military Goods and Technology by Destination and ECL ItemFootnote 22

DestinationECL NumberValue
Brunei Darussalam2-14$7,190.01
Costa Rica2-10$12,992.25
Czech Republic2-1$116,941.97
Falkland Islands (Malvinas)2-11$4,880.00
French Polynesia2-1$649.98
Hong Kong2-1$20,580.00
Korea (South), Republic of2-1$252,387.00
New Caledonia2-1$9,233.22
New Zealand2-1$148,302.10
North Macedonia2-1$700.00
Russian Federation2-1$2,526.92
Saudi Arabia2-1$17,677,953.87
South Africa2-1$172,540.56
Turks and Caicos Islands2-3$12,799.00
United Arab Emirates2-1$65,228.94
United Kingdom2-1$2,745,145.10
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