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Importing, exporting and transporting ammunition and propellant powders

Are you planning to bring ammunition or propellant powders into Canada, or to send them from Canada to another country, or to transport them in or through Canada? You might need a permit in certain circumstances.

The following guidance is for anyone involved in importing, exporting or transporting explosives. For situations not covered here, including exemptions and conditions, consult the Explosives Regulations.

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The following guidance is for anyone involved in importing, exporting or transporting ammunition (small arms cartridges), primers (percussion caps), propellant powders or primed cases. For situations not covered here, including exemptions and conditions, consult the Explosives Regulations.

Whenever you are transporting ammunition, primers, propellant powders, or primed cases, you must meet requirements in Part 9 of the Explosives Regulations and requirements for the transportation of dangerous goods. These requirements depend on the classification and quantities of the ammunition, primers, propellant powders and primed cases you are transporting. Classification information is provided in the list of authorized explosives. For more information, consult Transportation of dangerous goods in Canada (Transport Canada) or the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations .

In general, you do not need a permit to transport ammunition, primers, propellant powders or primed cases within Canada. You need a permit under the Explosives Regulations to:

Importing, exporting and transporting in-transit

No permit required

For personal use of the amounts of ammunition, primers (percussion caps), propellant powders and primed cases shown in the table below, you do not need a permit to

  • import into Canada
  • export from Canada to another country
  • transport from another country through Canada and on to another country (transport in-transit)

You must be 18 years of age or older unless otherwise exempted by the Explosives Regulations. Cartridges must not have a tracer, incendiary or similar military component or device.

Explosives type Amount per person
Ammunition (small arms cartridges, including blanks, import or export) 5000
Ammunition (small arms cartridges, including blanks, transport in-transit) 50,000
Primers (percussion caps) for small arms cartridges (includes blanks, import and export) 5000
Primers (percussion caps) for small arms cartridges (includes blanks, transport in-transit) 50,000
Empty primed small arms cartridge cases (includes blanks, import and export) 5000
Empty primed small arms cartridge cases (includes blanks, transport in-transit) 50,000
Black powder (gunpowder) and hazard category PE 1 black powder substitutes 8 kg in containers of 500 g or less
Smokeless powder and hazard category PE 3 black powder (gunpowder) substitutes 8 kg in containers of 4 kg or less

Inert or dummy articles and substances (empty of all explosives) do not require a permit, regardless of the amount.

Permit required

You need a permit to import, export or transport in-transit amounts larger than those in the table above. You need a permit if you plan to resell any amount of ammunition (small arms cartridges), primers (percussion caps), propellant powders or primed cases. You also need a permit for cartridges that have a tracer, incendiary or similar military component or device. To apply for the appropriate permit, use the electronic Licence Management System (eLMS).

You must ensure that ammunition and propellant powders imported into Canada or exported from Canada are authorized in Canada. To learn whether an ammunition or propellant powder product is authorized in Canada, consult the list of authorized explosives.

If a product is not authorized in Canada, you can apply to have it authorized.

If you plan to import ammunition, your supplier in another country might require an international import certificate. These certificates are issued by Global Affairs Canada. You also need a permit from Natural Resources Canada to import amounts larger than those in the table above. An international import certificate does not exempt you from this requirement.

If you plan to export ammunition, you might require an export permit issued by Global Affairs Canada. See Applying for an Export Permit for Firearms, Related Goods and Ammunition.

The Canada Border Services Agency is responsible for firearms and ammunition being brought into Canada (import) or leaving Canada (export). For information about the Agency’s requirements for importers and exporters of firearms, see Import and export a firearm or weapon into Canada.

Some types of cartridges and projectiles are prohibited in Canada. To learn which products are prohibited, see Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and Other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited or Restricted.

Fees

There are no fees to export ammunition (small arms cartridges), primers (percussion caps),propellant powders or primed cases, or to transport ammunition, primers, propellant powders or primed cases in-transit. To import explosives under an import permit, see Fees and service standards (annual import permit, single-use import permit and authorizations).

Reporting imports or exports

If you have a permit to import or export explosives, including ammunition (small arms cartridges) and propellant powders, you must report these activities annually. If you have an import permit, you must report the volumes of explosives you imported into Canada. If you have an export permit, you must report the volumes of explosives exported from Canada. If you are enrolled in the electronic Licence Management System (eLMS), you can use the system to make your reports. Otherwise, you can use the form F04-02 Transaction Report.

Providing import information through the Canada Border Services Agency

Through the Single Window Initiative (SWI), you can provide all required import information electronically to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). In turn, the CBSA transmits the information to the appropriate department or agency responsible for regulating the goods. This process streamlines and simplifies the import process and significantly reduces the paper burden on the business community.

The SWI allows you to transfer data on border crossings involving explosives to Natural Resources Canada. Natural Resources Canada sends CBSA data and business rules, and CBSA sends Natural Resources Canada validated post-arrival data to process in our electronic Licence Management System (eLMS).

Importers or persons acting on their behalf (brokers) can submit to the CBSA the information Natural Resources Canada requires for compliance with explosives regulations. Brokers can use an Integrated Import Declaration (IID) to submit the information to CBSA up to 90 days in advance of arrival. The Trade Chain Partner can receive recommended border decisions up to 90 days in advance. For import transactions using the IID, the importer does not have to submit an Import Report; Natural Resources Canada receives the information directly from CBSA.

Brokers can see latest information about the SWI on CBSA’s web page.

For those importers not using brokers, Natural Resources Canada continues to support the paper process at the border. The paper process is expected to take longer at the border than pre-arrival IID submission with a Recommended Release decision. For paper permit import transactions, the Import Report must be submitted.

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