Export Controls

Complying with Canada’s comprehensive export controls and sanctions regime can be challenging for businesses, but making sure that your practices are in compliance with rules and regulations is essential.   The export controls are effected through Canada’s Export Control List (ECL), Area Control List (ACL) and Automatic Firearms Country Control List (AFCCL), which are established under the authority of the Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA) and Regulations. These regulations are primarily administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs Trade and Development (DFATD) and are enforced by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). It is an offence to export or transfer goods or technology included on the Export Control List or to a destination on the Area Control List, unless the transaction is covered under the authority of an export permit.

The Woods, LaFortune LLP team, has in-depth and sophisticated knowledge and understanding of Canada’s export controls system.  We have the expertise to assist Canadian exporters determine whether an export permit is required and, if so, whether one of the available general export permits (GEPs) can be used, or whether the exporter must apply for an exporter-specific permit. We can assist in obtaining an exporter permit, when one is required, including “broad base” permits that authorize multiple shipments to multiple destinations over a certain time period. We understand the relationship between Canadian and U.S. export control rules regarding the re-export of U.S.-origin goods and understand U.S. rules under International Traffic in Arms (ITAR) and Export Administrative Requirements (EAR) legislation.

Export Sanctions

Economic sanctions are becoming an increasingly vital element in Canada’s foreign policy.  The recent growth in the use of economic sanctions by Canada to address security issues in other countries means that many commercial transactions may now be caught by export control measures and require an export permit. Canadian firms must remain up to-date and compliant with Canada’s measures under the Special Export Measures Act (SEMA), the United Nations Act (UNA) and the Freezing of Assets of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (FACFOA). Exporting or transferring controlled goods or technology, or engaging in economic activity with sanctioned individuals, entities or countries, can result in the seizure or freezing of property, heavy fines, lengthy prison terms and quickly put you out of business.  Woods, LaFortune LLP understands how Canada’s sanction program works, knows the officials who administer it, and has experience both helping companies avoid issues with proper planning, as well as providing assistance with difficult problems if they arise.

Our export controls and sanctions practice includes expertise in:

  • Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA), Export Control List (ECL), and Area Control List (ACL) Compliance
  • Export Control Permit Process / General Export Permit (GEP)
  • Controlled Goods Program (CGP)
  • U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the Canadian Exemption
  • Special Export Measures Act (SEMA)
  • United Nations Act (UNA)
  • Freezing Assets of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (FACFOA)
  • Blocking Legislation – Foreign Extraterritorial Measures Act (FEMA)


If you have any questions or concerns regarding any aspect of Export Controls or Sanctions, please contact Michael Woods at (613) 355-0382 or by e-mail at woods@wl-tradelaw.com, or Catherine Walsh at (613)-513-7131 or by e-mail at walsh@wl-tradelaw.com for a no fee, no obligation consultation.