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Goods that could be used to make certain weapons are subject to export controls

October 10, 2017

Canada's Export Control List (ECL) includes a range of sensitive goods and technology for which export permits are required because they could have military applications.

However, other goods and technology may be useful in applications related to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) - chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, including nuclear explosive or radiological dispersal devices, or related missile delivery systems.

Item 5505 of the ECL provides the Minister of Foreign Affairs with the authority to control and prevent the export of any goods or technology when the exporter knows or reasonably suspects that they are intended for a WMD purpose, or if the Minister of Foreign Affairs has determined that they are intended for a WMD purpose.

Exporters are to apply for an export permit if they have any knowledge suggesting that the goods or technology intended for export may in part or in their entirety be intended for WMD purposes.

This knowledge may be a result of the properties of goods or technology that are proposed for export, and any information made known to the exporter by any intermediary or final consignee or from any other source, such that it would lead a reasonable person to suspect that they will be used for a WMD purpose.

Item 5505(1) does not apply to exports to certain trusted countries, as long as the goods or technology are intended for end-use in those countries and all consignees are located in those countries.

A Notice to Exporters from Global Affairs Canada lists circumstances which may indicate to an exporter a heightened risk that an export of goods or technology is intended for a WMD purpose. The Notice is available at the following link: Notice to Exporters Serial No. 176 Export Controls over Goods and Technology for Certain Uses.

Several other details are also to be considered. Various conditions as well as certain exemptions are explained in Notices to Exporters on Global Affairs' website, under "Export Controls".

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