Permits, licences and special authorizations are issued or granted by specific departments of government to control the movement of specific commodities that can cause potential harm to people or environment. Below is a reference list of typical commodities and related permits and government departments that Customs Services sees on a regular basis.
*This is not an exhaustive list. If you have questions, please contact Customs Services or the appropriate government agency.
Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
Seed, plant materials, tissue samples - may require import permits. Search ‘import’.
Live animals, fish, embryos - require permits
Contact Customs Services before your foreign supplier ships the goods. Permits cannot be issued after goods arrive at the Canadian border.
Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITIES)
Tissue samples of endangered species of plants and animals require a permit to allow the goods to move out of other countries and into Canada and vice versa.
Canadian Heritage, Movable Cultural Property Program (Cultural Properties Permits)
Antiques, aboriginal artifacts, meteorites all require permits to allow goods to move out of other countries and into Canada and vice versa.
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
Radioactive materials require licenses for import and export in addition to UAlberta site permits. Contact Environmental Health & Safety
Public Health Agency of Canada
Human pathogens and toxins require permits for import and export.
Contact Environmental Health & Safety
Genetically Altered Organisms may require authorization or permit issued prior to import into Canada.
Precursor chemicals, narcotics and veterinary drugs require authorization and/or permit.
Contact Customs Services for assistance with applications.
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
Import Control List, Export Control List, Area Control List and Canadian Economic Sanctions all regulate, control or prohibit specified goods to specific countries:
US origin goods and technology - not allowed to be shipped from Canada to any country on the Area Control List and Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran and Syria. Shipping to any other country requires GEP-12 (General Export Permit) to be referenced on shipping/customs documents.