UPDATE: The Canadian International Trade Tribunal Ruled That Centrifugal Opening Knives are Prohibited Weapons

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) ruled that knives in which the blade is released via centrifugal force are classified as prohibited weapons. The CITT is an independent quasi-judicial body that administers Canada and international rules that govern trade. CITT reports to the Minister of Finance and Parliament. CITT reviews five key areas:

• Anti-Dumping Inquiries (dumping refers to the practice of another country selling goods at below competitive prices which injures domestic companies);
• Procurement Inquiries (the federal government is bound by certain procurement rules)
• Economic and Tariff Inquiries (provide advice to the government on trade matters);
• Customs and Excise Appeals
• Safeguard Inquiries (complaints by domestic companies that increased imports are injuring domestic industry and recommendations on how to address those issues).

How does CITT work?

CITT operates similarly to a lower court. The parties are given notice of hearings; each side may present evidence and give testimony. The tribunal can also request information. All hearings are open to the public and are held in the CITT’s offices in Ottawa, Ontario. Moreover, if parties or witnesses or uncooperative, CITT may issue subpoenas for witnesses, documents, and records.

What knives are affected?

The decision was Appeal No. AP-2017-012, T. LaPlante v. President of the Canada Border Services Agency. The dispute centered on subsection 84(1) of the Criminal Code. All knives that meet the following qualifications are classified as prohibited:

1. If the knife requires simultaneous or preliminary minimal manipulation of a non-edged or “flapper” part of the blade; and

2. The blade opens via centrifugal force. For example, if the blade is released from the handle and into a locked position with a simple and quick outward flick of the wrist.

These knives are like switch-blades except they rely on centrifugal force, rather than mechanical, to eject the blade.

Effect of the ruling

As of the date of the ruling, the CBSA is required to prohibit the import of all knives that meet the above-stated qualifications. You can import the blade if you are (1) business and (2) possess a valid Firearms Business License that (3) is presented with the prohibited weapon(s) and (4) it is for business activity.

If you are concerned about the effect of this ruling and other by CITT, consider speaking with an Argo Customs broker for assistance. Argo Customs brokers are constantly updating their clients on the importation of prohibited weapons into Canada and other rules that may affect your business. Argo Customs can be your central source for all import and export rules into and out of Canada.

ARGO Business Corp. (Argo Customs Brokers) Canadian Customs Brokers provide quick and reliable customs clearance services in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton, Canada. We help with customs clearance anywhere in Canada, both for personal and commercial shipments.

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