Export Controls and Controlled Goods

Research at McGill often involves the use of materials and data received from locations outside of Canada, shipment of materials and data to locations outside of Canada, and even the export of material or data from one individual to another within the same location (a deemed export). All of these scenarios could require an export/import permit under Canadian and/or US export control laws.

Export/Import Controls

Examples of exports include: a shipment of a controlled item out of Canada, traveling with a controlled item out of Canada (i.e. attending conferences), the transfer or disclosure of a controlled item (under US export control law) to a foreign national, by any means, whether in Canada or abroad. Some export control regulations allow certain exemptions when controlled items are part of “basic, fundamental research”. However, collaborations with industrial partners do not constitute “fundamental research”.

The Trade Controls and Technical Barriers Bureau (TCTBB) is responsible for administering the Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA). It is an act respecting the export and transfer of goods and technology and import of goods.

EIPA establishes the Export Control List (ECL), the Import Control List (ICL), and the Area Control List (ACL). The Act sets out the purposes for including goods or countries on these lists. The ECL is a list of goods only; all goods contained on this list require an export permit. The ICL generally comprises a list of goods, some of which are only controlled for certain countries of origin; all goods contained in this list require an import permit. The ACL is a list of countries for which export permits are required to export any and all goods.

Export controlled goods or technology are included in “A Guide to Canada’s Export Controls”.

Violation of the prohibition of Export and Import Permits Act may result in prosecution, fines up to $25,000 or imprisonment for up to 12 months, or both; and for indictable offence, a maximum fine set by the court or imprisonment up to 10 years. Further, non-compliance with US export control regulations can result in debarment of an institution by a regulating agency and/or doing business with US institutions.

Canadian Economic Sanctions

Canada imposes economic sanctions to certain countries based on United Nations Act and Special Economic Measures Act. When McGill researchers consider collaborations with international partners from these countries the extent of sanctions has to be understood before entering into such collaborations.

See also

For more information, please contact McGill's export.control [at] mcgill.ca (Export Controls and Security Officer).

About the Controlled Goods Program

The Controlled Goods Program (CGP) is a federal program designed to strengthen Canada’s defence trade controls. Legislated by the Defence Production Act (DPA) and the Controlled Goods Regulations (CGR), its mission is to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and conventional weapons by regulating and controlling the examination, possession and transfer of controlled goods and/or technology in Canada.

McGill is sometimes engaged in basic and fundamental research, which typically does not involve the possession or transfer of "controlled goods". However, as a function of university-industry/government collaborations, researchers (including students) are sometimes exposed to advanced research and confidential information that could involve goods and data protected under the CGR, and many other agreements now also contain Controlled Goods language. Also, Controlled Goods can be developed as a result of a research project.

Controlled goods

  • Controlled Goods: goods and technology that are included in the Export Controls List under following groups:

Group 2 (Munitions): goods listed in item 2-1 that are prohibited firearms, as defined in paragraph (c) of the definition “prohibited firearm” in subsection 84(1) of the Criminal Code. Examples: automatic firearms, etc.

Group 2: goods listed under item 2-3 that are ammunition with calibre greater than 12.7 mm.

Group 2: goods listed in items 2-2 and 2-4 to 2-22. Examples: weapons with certain calibre, guns, cannons, mortar, anti-tank weapons, projectile launchers, bombs, torpedoes, rockets, missiles, explosive devices and charges and related equipment and accessories, ground vehicles for military use, warning systems, chemical or biological toxic agents, radioactive materials, explosives, propellants, pyrotechnic fuels and mixtures, metal fuels, powders and mixtures of certain properties, “energetic” binders, plasticizers, monomers and polymers, additives (with certain CAS numbers), special naval equipment, engines and propulsion systems, electric motors for submarines, aircraft and electronic equipment for military use, armoured or protective equipment, cryogenic and superconductive equipment, software and technology modified for use of military equipment, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) etc.

Group 5 (Miscellaneous): goods listed in item 5504. Examples: global navigation satellite systems, propulsion and space-related equipment, ground control stations for control of space launch vehicles, chemiluminescent compounds designed for military use, certain radiation-hardened microelectronic circuits, nuclear weapons design, etc.

Group 6 (Missile Technology): all goods listed. Examples: rocket systems and related software and technology, flight control and avionics equipment and components, launch support, analogue to digital converters, etc.


Working with Controlled Goods

If there is the potential to examine, possess or transfer controlled goods within a project, McGill University must be informed well in advance of the start of the collaboration. Applicants must note the following:

  • Research personnel involved may require a security assessment that can take several months to complete. If you believe you require access to controlled goods please contact McGill's export.control [at] mcgill.ca (Export Controls and Security Officer), who will help guide you through the process.
  • In some instances specific personnel may be unable to work on a research project involving controlled goods or McGill may be unable to comply with the CGR regulations in place.
  • Personnel on a project may require formal training in the handling of controlled goods.
  • Applicable goods/data must be properly "secured" or "controlled" while in McGill’s possession.
  • Additional costs will be incurred and will have to be added to project costs.
  • No new personnel can be brought into a project without first obtaining security clearance and training.

Failure to comply with the Controlled Goods Regulations can result in prosecution and, if convicted, significant fines (up to 2,000,000) and/or imprisonment (up to 10 years).


See also:



Back to top