Notes on Trade of Arms and Ammunition

Context

Statistics relating to the export of military goods and technology, including conventional arms and ammunition, can be found in the "Report on Exports of Military Goods from Canada" published by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.  This information is based on the export of military goods and technology as identified in the Munitions List (Group 2) of Canada’s Export Control List, which reflect (i) commitments made in the multilateral Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, (ii) and commitments made in the Organization of American States, as well as (iii) certain additional unilateral controls implemented by Canada.  Canada’s export control regime, including the Export Control List, is established and administered under the authority of Canada's Export and Import Permits Act.

Export statistics

Supplementary information relating to the export of arms and ammunitions can be found on other government sites such as Industry Canada's "Trade Data On-Line" and Statistics Canada’s “Canadian International Merchandise Trade Database”. These data are compiled based on categories of items negotiated at the World Customs Organization for the purpose of applying global customs tariff codes, though each product is assigned a specific classification code.   The Harmonized System (HS) codes support the compilation and uses of trade statistics. 

The statistics in Chapter 93 “Arms and ammunition; parts and accessories thereof” defined by the HS do not completely align with information for the export of conventional arms and ammunition as defined in the Export and Import Permits Act.  As a result, the "Arms and Ammunitions" category of items negotiated via the World Customs Organization does not in most cases reflect what is generally understood as conventional arms and ammunition.  For example, goods such as flare guns used in oil and gas drilling, ammunition to frighten birds at airports, etc. may be listed under the “Arms and Ammunition” coding.

Other sources of information outside of Statistics Canada

The Canadian Commercial Corporation also generates their own export data based on contracts between Canadian suppliers and military end-users. Again, these statistics may include items which are not strictly military in nature, such as storage containers.

 

Date modified: