On May 31, 2016, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) issued
a press release that it had intercepted an illegal export of gun
parts at Toronto Pearson International Airport. The gun parts were
destined for Iraq. Exports of certain arms and related material to
Iraq are prohibited under the United Nations Act and the United
Nations Iraq Regulations. Canada's domestic export restrictions
laws are based on United Nations Security Council Resolutions 661,
1483, 1511, 1518, and 1546.
The facts of the interception are unusual. On February 1,
2016, CBSA officers working at the Rainbow Bridge identified a male
traveler, who was the subject of an intelligence lookout, and
referred him for secondary examination. During the secondary
interview, the CBSA officers discovered an airline waybill relating
to an export of auto parts to Iraq. After investigating further,
the CBSA officers found documentation and photos causing them to
suspect gun parts were involved in the export shipment. The CBSA
officers at the Rainbow Bridge alerted their CBSA counterparts at
Toronto Pearson international Airport Air Cargo, who retrieved and
detained the shipment from a cargo services warehouse. Once opened,
the cargo shipment was found to contain numerous handgun and rifle
parts, police badges, badge holders/wallets, and tactical jackets
destined for Iraq. It should be expected that the exporter will be
prosecuted under the United Nations Act and could face fines and/or
The following photo was released by the CBSA.
While this particular shipment was intercepted as a result on
particular information, the CBSA routinely x-rays packages to be
exported. Where the destination is a country that is the subject of
trade restrictions, the level of scrutiny of outgoing packages is
higher. The CBSA also routinely increases the level of scrutiny for
packages destined to common middle countries.
This case is a reminder that Canada has trade restrictions
against many countries. Exports should be aware of Canada's
export controls and economic sanctions/trade restrictions laws.
This interception may cause the CBSA to devote more resources to
export inspections as it could have made it through if the
individual had not been detained at Rainbow Bridge (if he had not
crossed the border, the CBSA would not have sent him for a
secondary inspection and would not have located the
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While that agreement mandated export measures on Canadian softwood lumber exports destined for the United States, it also protected those lumber exports from the potential imposition of onerous import measures by the U.S.
On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its first tariff classification decision since Canada signed the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System in 1998.
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