Canada: What Exports From Canada Are Permitted Under General Export Permit No. 1?

Last Updated: June 16 2016
Article by Cyndee Todgham Cherniak

I am often asked by friends and family whether they can export clothing and money to Ukraine (because "Cherniak" is the Ukrainian part of my name). I refer my friends and family to General Export Permit No. 1 (also known as the "Export of Goods for Special and Personal Use Permit").

A General Export Permit is can be helpful to an exporter because Canada restricts exports of certain items and to certain countries. As a general rule, if an item is on Canada's Export Control List, it can only be exported from Canada upon applying for and being granted an export permit from the Export Controls Division of the Global Affairs Canada. The process of applying for an export permit can take time.

However, if a General Export Permit, such as General Export Permit No. 1, applies, an exporter may ship or transfer the goods under certain conditions without having to apply for an export permit. Also, where General Export Permit No. 1 applies, if an exporter's goods have been detained by the CBSA, quoting GEP No. 1 and providing proof of its applicable may speed up the release.

Most people I speak with do not realize that General Export Permit No. 1 exist and do not know what exports it allows. General Export Permit No. 1 contains a number of rules facilitating exports. In other words, General Export Permit No. 1 may relieve a Canadian from the prohibitions in the Export and Import Permits Act and the Special Economic Measures Act if a specific relieving Rule applies. You must read all of the Rules because if a specific rule does not provide relief, you must comply with the export controls restrictions where applicable and apply for an export permit.

The Rules in General Export Permit No. 1 are:

Rule No. 1

Subject to Rule No. 3, under the authority of General Export Permit No. 1, any person may export from Canada to any country any goods that have a value of $100 or less. This includes countries subject to export controls. This rule applies primarily to shipments by family and friends of low value items. It is not necessary to determine whether Canada's export restrictions apply unless Rule 3 below applies.


One cannot circumvent Rule No. 1 by exporting goods that are separated into units the aggregate value of which exceeds $100. In other words, you cannot send $1000 worth of goods in 10 different packages in order to get around the $100 value limitation.

Rule No. 2 (a)

Subject to Rule No. 3, under the authority of General Export Permit No. 1, any person may export from Canada to any country casual gifts, including those sent by parcel mail, that have a value not exceeding $50 and that are sent to a consignee for the consignee's personal use, but not exceeding one such casual gift per month to the same consignee.

Rule No. 2 (b)

Subject to Rule No. 3, under the authority of General Export Permit No. 1, any person may export from Canada to any country goods consigned to embassies, legations, high commissioners, trade commissioners or consular offices of Canada or the United Kingdom.

Rule No. 2 (c)

Subject to Rule No. 3, under the authority of General Export Permit No. 1, any person may export from Canada to any country personal or settler's effects taken or shipped by an individual on leaving Canada and solely for his own use or that of his immediate family and not for resale and being (i) household articles, (ii) personal effects, (iii) articles of business equipment, instruments, tools of trade or machinery, if such articles have been used by him in his occupation or employment, are his personal property and will continue to be used by him in his occupation or employment, or (iv) a passenger automobile that is the personal property of the person who is leaving Canada. It is important to review the Canada Border Services Agency's position on what are settler's effects before relying on Rule No. 2(c). See D-Memorandum D2-2-1 and D2-2-2.

Rule No. 2 (d)

Subject to Rule No. 3, under the authority of General Export Permit No. 1, any person may export from Canada to any country goods in Group 1 of the Export Control List that have been exported from Canada under a valid export permit and have subsequently been returned to Canada for repair, overhaul or testing, on condition that the exporter presents a copy of the original export permit at the time the goods are exported.

Rule No. 2 (e)

Subject to Rule No. 3, under the authority of General Export Permit No. 1, any person may export from Canada to any country parts or components for the repair of goods in Group 1 of the Export Control List that were previously exported under a valid export permit, on condition that the exporter presents a copy of the original export permit at the time the goods are exported and on condition that the repair does not upgrade or otherwise transform the original function of the exported goods.

Rule No. 2 (f)

Subject to Rule No. 3, under the authority of General Export Permit No. 1, any person may export from Canada to any country goods in Group 1 of the Export Control List that are being returned to their original manufacturer as unwanted goods or for repair, overhaul or testing, on condition that the goods have not been transformed, remanufactured or otherwise modified in Canada.

Override: Rule No. 3

Rules No. 1 & 2 do not apply to (a) the export of radioactive goods; (b) exports to a country listed on the Area Control List (currently North Korea and Belarus are listed; but the Government of Canada has indicated Belarus will be removed – see Canada Announced Plans to End Strict Export Controls Against Belarus); or (c) exports of helicopters and their parts as described in item 1460 of the Export Control List.

It is worth noting that two Rules no longer apply because the underling Remission Order or Regulation has been repealed.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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