Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) held a briefing for the industry on Canadian export control policy and practices on February 3, 2011. Officials from the United States Defence Technology Security Administration and Bureau of Political Military Affairs also attended to brief the industry on the adoption of a new system for export controls in that country.

Steve Goodinson, Director of DFAIT’s Export Controls division, advised the industry of several new features added to the Export Controls Online (EXCOL) database, including online reporting of single shipment permits, a choice of permit validity period, and recently, a drop-down menu allowing exporters to select among the various types of cryptography permits.

A new export controls handbook is now available at www.exportcontrols.gc.ca. In addition, substantive changes to Canada’s Export Control List (ECL) will be released in April in the “Guide to Canada’s Export Control’s 2009” (to replace the 2007 list). The 2009 list will add new controls for certain CCD image sensors and para-military surface vehicles. Carbon fibre and ancillary encryption (eg. encryption used for gaming or in household appliances) will be decontrolled.

Certain reforms are anticipated to ease the burden on Canadian exporters. These include a greater range of multiple destination permits, particularly for dual use and cryptography goods. A new permit type for cryptography was published this week to allow export of certain cryptography to the EU, Australia, Japan, Norway, Switzerland and New Zealand, with no reporting requirements. The drafting of regulations to enact new General Export Permits has begun, with the expectation that regulatory consultations could occur in June 2011.

The U.S presentations described the complete overhaul of the U.S. export control systems that will occur over the next several years, including the move to a single export control licensing authority, a single control list, a single primary enforcement coordination center, and a single IT center for license processing. Mr. Goodinson commented that the U.S. reforms are largely unnecessary for Canada, which has a unified system. While Canada would like to follow the U.S. initiative to implement a system of “risk-based licensing conditions”, it currently lacks the necessary resources.