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Legal Guide


Rather than outright prohibitions, Canada’s export control policy is designed to limit the export of strategic goods and technologies to unstable or unfriendly countries, or to countries where governments have a poor human rights record, through a permit system. Under the EIPA, the export from Canada of goods specified in the Export Control List, and all exports from Canada to certain countries specified in the Area Control List, require an exporter to obtain a Canadian Export Permit to lawfully export. The relevant country for Canadian export control purposes is the country in which the exports will ultimately be consumed. Export Permits are issued following a written application by the exporter or its agent, and satisfactory review thereof by the Export Control Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. All goods originating in the U.S. that are exported from Canada, also require an Export Permit, in order to prevent circumvention of U.S. export controls.

The Export Control List consists primarily of: weapons and munitions; nuclear goods, high technology goods, goods having potential military applications and related technical information; cultural goods; lumber and certain agricultural products; U.S. origin goods; and many chemical goods that could be used for either warfare or the production of illegal drugs. The Area Control List consists of countries that Canada has determined to be hostile. Currently, Myanmar, Belarus and North Korea are the only countries on the Area Control List.

Often, in order to export a good, a General Export Permit is available, which can be used without an application. If one is not available, then specific application for an Export Permit must be made. Depending on the strategic importance of the controlled goods or the destination country, an Export Permit application may be refused or granted, subject to a provision of an import or end use certificate, or a delivery verification certificate. In some instances, multiple shipment and multiple consignee Permits may be available.

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