Export Controls and Controlled Goods Program


Export control laws have been in existence for many years in Canada, the United States and other countries. The federal government places controls on the export of certain goods, technology and data. These include military, dual-use, and strategic goods and technology and all United States-origin goods and technology that are controlled pursuant to Canada’s commitments made in multilateral export control regimes, bilateral agreements, as well as certain unilateral controls. These restrictions are known as “export controls”, and anything that is subjected to export control requires a permit or license in order to be exported from Canada.

In Canada, federal export controls are enumerated primarily through the Export Control List administered by Global Affairs Canada.

In the United States, export controls are managed by the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”), administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security.

Strict restrictions also apply to “controlled goods”, which include components and technical data that have military or national security significance and which are controlled domestically by the Government of Canada and defined in the Defence Production Act.

This page provides some basic information on both export controls and the Controlled Goods Program.

Export Controls

Export control laws restrict the export of goods, technology and related technical data. In general, if the export of an item is controlled, a permit or licence is required in order to export that item.

Under the federal Import and Export Permits Act, export permits are required for items that are listed on Canada’s Export Control List (ECL) or that are being exported to a country included on the Area Control List (ACL).

More information on export controls can be found in the Export Controls Handbook published by Global Affairs Canada. Researchers should ensure that any exported goods or technology are compliant with the requirements of the Act. Failure to comply with the Act may lead to fines of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 10 years.

Why should researchers at the University care about export controls?

Research at the University 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. All of these scenarios could require an export/import permit under Canadian and/or US export control laws.

The University’s mission of education and research is best achieved in an open academic environment without regard to citizenship or visa status, given the international nature of science and academic discourse. By following the applicable rules, we can ensure that faculty, students and staff at the University do not compromise our academic standards and, as well, do not violate applicable export regulations.

I am in Canada. Why should I care about U.S. export controls?

U.S. export controls focus on the origin and jurisdiction status of the goods, software or technology that is transferred to a particular entity, regardless of the nationality of the entity or person providing them. In particular, the U.S. Government imposes re-transfer conditions on certain U.S.-origin goods and technology even after they have been exported from the United States to Canada.

As a condition of authorizing exports of certain U.S.-origin goods or technology to a Canadian entity or person, the U.S. Government may require the Canadian entity or person to obtain authorization before transferring these items to certain companies in Canada or re-exporting the items from Canada to a third destination (such as China). As a condition of obtaining an export permit from Canadian authorities, they will ask for the U.S. authorization for the re-export from Canada to the third country.

For more information on U.S. export control laws and licensing, including its impacts on research funded by companies on the U.S. entity list, please see the University’s guidance document.

What could happen to me if I don’t comply with export control laws?

Violation of Canadian export controls 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. The direct implications of violating U.S. export control laws are civil and criminal penalties, but there could also be immigration consequences that result from such violations by non-U.S. citizens or other sanctions that would affect the ability of the University to receive U.S.-origin items or could put the University’s access to U.S. research funding at risk.

Where can I get help?

Any time you have a question about the application of export controls at any stage of a specific research project with Huawei or any other sponsor, or have general questions about export controls and research, contact innovations.partnerships@utoronto.ca.

Controlled Goods Program

The Controlled Goods Program (CGP) is a federal registration and compliance program that regulates access to controlled goods in Canada, including International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) items. The CGP is established to prevent and detect the unlawful examination, possession or transfer of controlled goods in Canada.

Under the authorities of the Defence Production Act (DPA) and the Controlled Goods Regulations, the CGP’s mandate is to strengthen Canada’s defence trade controls through the mandatory registration and regulation of businesses and individuals who examine, possess and/or transfer controlled goods. The items that are controlled goods are listed in Section 35 of the DPA. The list of controlled goods is partially based on the Export Control List (ECL).

For more information see What are controlled goods? For general information on the CGP go to https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/pmc-cgp/index-eng.html.

Why is the University of Toronto registered under the CGP?

The University of Toronto (U of T) makes use of controlled goods or related technology in specific projects and is registered under the CGP. It is mandatory for anyone who examines, possesses and/or transfers controlled goods/technology in Canada to be registered under the CGP.

How does this affect my work at the University?

The University is a registered CGP institution, but this only means that we are registered to have controlled goods in specific facilities. We must amend our registration to include new facilities where controlled goods may be present.

If there is potential to examine, possess or transfer controlled goods in the course of your University activities, the University’s Research Oversight and Compliance Office must be informed well in advance of the start of those activities. You cannot examine, possess or transfer controlled goods without the Office’s approval. The Office will assist the Principal Investigator (PI) with determining if controlled goods are involved, will assist the Designated Official with implementing compliance measures, and will prepare the amendment to the University’s registration. Individuals should note the following.

  • A Designated Official must be appointed to oversee compliance for the relevant facility
  • Security Assessments:
    • The Designated Official must undergo a security assessment and complete a Government of Canada certification program. This program is web-based and takes between 4-5 hours to complete.
    • All other project personnel (whether employees, temporary workers, students, or visitors) may require a security assessment. These assessments can take several months to complete.
    • In some instances specific personnel may be unable to work on a project involving controlled goods or the University may be unable to comply with the controlled goods regulations in place. This should be considered carefully where trainees are proposed to be deployed on projects involving controlled goods.
  • Security Plans and Training
  • A security plan must be developed for the facility.
  • Security requirements may increase project costs (e.g. implementation of additional physical or technical compliance measures).
  • Training in the handling of controlled goods may be required for all project personnel.

All individuals who wish to examine, possess or transfer controlled goods at the University must apply for authorization through the University’s Research Oversight and Compliance Office.

Please contact the Manager, Research Oversight and Compliance if you believe your project may involve controlled goods.

What happens if I do not comply?

The legislation governing the CGP provides for severe penalties for non-compliance ranging from $25,000 to $2,000,000, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years, or both.

Where can I get more information on this Program?

The controlled goods program is administered by Research Oversight and Compliance Office. For more information please contact the Manager, Research Oversight and Compliance.

Transportation of Dangerous Goods

At the University of Toronto, workers may be required to handle, ship and transport dangerous goods, which is highly regulated by Transport Canada via the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and Regulations (TDG) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA). When shipping dangerous goods, the person who ships the material (the shipper) must have a valid training certificate. Training is valid for 24 months (2 years) after its date of issuance for transport by aircraft and 36 months (3 years) after its date of issuance for other modes of transport.

Workplace parties must be aware of the potential hazards involved when transporting these materials. University of Toronto personnel are required to adhere to the strict training and packaging requirements from these entities. Guidance and training is available to help researchers transport their materials safely and lawfully. Different courses are available at U of T, depending on whether chemical, radioactive or biological materials are being transported, or shipped by ground. For more information, please contact the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.

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