Export Control and Controlled goods


In international trade, “controlled goods” refers to certain articles, parts of articles and technology that are used for military purposes, or for manufacturing weapons and military equipment. This includes typical military gear, but also missile technology, nuclear technology, chemical and biological substances that can be used in weapons of mass destruction. As technology and innovation evolves, safeguarding these is crucial in order to ensure that they are used only by countries or entities that will not use them against our country, or against our allies.

These goods and technology are subject to export control and in most cases, a permit must be obtained before exporting them, and before transmitting data to other countries, even by email. Even within Canada, some controlled goods may only be transferred or examined by individuals that have been security assessed under the Controlled Goods program.

How do you know if you are working with controlled goods?

Global Affairs Canada publishes a list, known as the Export Control List (ECL), and this lists all of the goods that are controlled for export from Canada. It is a very technical list, and it can sometimes be challenging to determine if a particular item is listed, or maybe listed as an exception, so the task of making that determination should be left to someone that has an advanced knowledge of the product, and of the export control regulations.

Shipments of controlled goods to (or from) the United States do not generally require an export permit. While this makes business much easier, it does come with some conditions! Canada agreed a long time ago to control the export of goods and technology from the United States, and more recently (2003) Canada agreed to impose domestic controls on some of the more critical items from the ECL by creating the Controlled Goods Regulations, which requires companies and individuals to get security-assessed before being allowed to work with controlled goods.


Speaking of the United States, there are two separate American regulations as well related to export controls: the EAR (Export Administration Regulations) deals with most controlled goods that are not necessarily military in nature but could be used for defence purposes, and ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) that contain the US munitions list, or USML. All US-origin goods located in Canada are export controlled, and in many cases will require not only a Canadian export permit, but also a US re-export permit. Similarly, all USML goods are also subject to the CGR while in Canada.

The stakes are high, and in consequence the penalties and sanctions are also quite severe for any breach of these regulations.

Our course will help you, and your staff, navigate export legislations and avoid any enforcement action!CG

Export controls