The Effect of Bill C-47 and What You Need to Know

On December 13, 2018, Parliament passed, and royal assent was given to Bill C-47 which amended the Export and Import Permits Act to more strictly control the export of weapons, specifically, by adopting the Arms Trade Treaty. The Arms Trade Treaty seeks to reduce the human rights abuses committed abroad by (primarily) Western-made weapons and weapon systems. Bill C-47 entered into force on September 1, 2019, therefore affected companies are not required to comply with it.

The Arms Trade Treaty (and Bill C-47) requires the Government to consider several criteria before granting an export license for certain military items, strategy and dual-use goods which can be incorporated into a weapon of mass destruction end uses. These permit controls apply internally and to Canadian citizens abroad.

Specifically, the Government must consider the following factors before issuing a permit:

  1. Will the technology or goods contribute to security or peace or undermine it;
  2. Will the goods or technology be used to commit serious:
    1. Violations of human rights law;
    2. Violations of humanitarian law;
    3. Violations of conventions or transnational to which Canada is a party or member (i.e., conventions against torture, et);
    4. Gender-based violence;
    5. Violence against children; or
    6. Violence against women.

Furthermore, Bill C-47 requires exporters to comply with pre-notification and reporting requirements before they export full-system conventional arms to the United States. The Government maintains several lists: Area Control; Brokering Control; Export Control; Automatic Firearms Control; and Import Control, which detail which goods or technology require a permit.

Finally, failure to comply with these new rules could result in criminal penalties and fines of up to $250,000.

Contact ARGO Customs Today

If you need assistance applying for a permit under the new regulatory regime established by Bill C-47, then consider contacting Argo Customs brokers for assistance. Our brokers have decades of experience navigating Canada’s legal and regulatory framework to help our clients find the best way to get their goods into and out of Canada. Contact our team today.