Know If You Are Subject To Export Controls

Posted 01. Apr, 2009 by on News


Companies require a permit if the goods or technologies exported are included on Canada’s Export Control List. Unfortunately, companies that are unprepared only learn about this requirement when their products get detained by Customs.

Goods that are subject to export controls include those that have a military application (including firearms and commercial “dual-use” goods), those used in the nuclear and chemical industries, space and aerospace technology, goods manufactured in the United States, and raw logs.

“The best way to avoid such setbacks is to better understand Canadian export controls,” says Sabatino. DFAIT’s Export Controls Division is responsible for issuing Canadian export permits and it works closely with the Canada Border Services Agency, which enforces Canada’s export controls at the borders.

“Our permit officers work closely with Canadian companies and they can help them navigate the regulations, determine whether a permit is needed, and guide firms through the process from start to finish,” she says.

The division also offers assessment services, called advisory opinions, to determine if goods or technologies are controlled on the Export Control List. “For many companies, self assessments are no easy feat given that many products may have a dual use (both a civilian and military application) and other products may have complex technical specifications requiring an expert to evaluate them against the Export Control List,” says Sabatino.

Technical data, like software or a military product’s test results for example, can also be on the Export Control List. In these cases, the division uses both government and industry engineering expertise to assist in the assessment. Most importantly, Sabatino says all company information, including product and technology data, is kept strictly confidential.

Certain export permits can be issued within 10 business days. Some military and strategic exports destined for certain destinations may take six weeks or more to process. In either case, determining beforehand the requirement for an export permit is key to ensuring that your critical delivery timelines will be met.

A balancing act

“Firms may not be aware that their products or technologies could be used for purposes that run contrary to Canadian foreign policy, whether it involves national or global security or because it violates bilateral or multilateral agreements,” says Sabatino.

With new products and complex technologies being developed almost daily, determining where and if products fit within Canada’s export control regime may seem like a trying to solve an impossible puzzle.

To help companies better understand export controls, the Export Controls Division has stepped up its outreach efforts. In 2008, the division conducted several outreach seminars across Canada and they are planning similar sessions next year.

Detailed information, including the Export Control List and an online permit application system, EXCOL, is available at Export and Import Controls website.

In early 2009, a new handbook will be published which will provide exporters with more detailed guidance on how to address common situations when applying for permits.

If you are a Canadian company planning to export, let the Export Controls Division help you.

For more information, contact the Export Controls Division, tel.: (613) 996-2387.

From Canadian Business Online