You cannot bring a prohibited firearm into Canada as a new import even if you are licensed to possess that class of firearm. You can re-import a prohibited firearm that you temporarily took out of Canada if you have a valid licence authorizing you to possess it and a valid Canadian registration certificate for the firearm. If you plan to take a firearm out of Canada, note that you may need an export permit from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). For more information, contact the Export Controls Division of DFAIT at 1 800 267-8376 (toll free in Canada) or (613) 996-2387].
In order to bring a restricted or non-restricted firearm as a new import, you must be at least 18 years old and have a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) that is valid for the class of firearm you are importing. A Possession-Only Licence (POL) does not allow you to import a newly acquired firearm, though it does allow you to re-import one that you temporarily took out of Canada and that is registered in Canada.
If the firearm is restricted and you are transporting it yourself, you must obtain in advance an Authorization to Transport (ATT) from the Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) of the province or territory where you will be entering Canada. You can apply for an ATT by calling 1 800 731-4000 or by mailing or faxing form CAFC 679 to the applicable CFO. The form can be obtained from any of the sources referred to at the end of this fact sheet.
If you have the firearm shipped to you, it must be shipped by a carrier company licensed under the Firearms Act to transport firearms.
Firearms shipped by a licensed carrier must be in a sturdy, non-transparent container that cannot readily be broken into and that is not likely to break open accidentally during transport. To deter theft, there should be no markings on the outside of the container to indicate that there are firearms inside unless the marking is an address. It is generally recommended that an envelope labelled “Customs Documents” be firmly attached to the outside of the container. Any waybills, import permits and export permits can then be put into the envelope.
The firearm must be declared at Canada Customs and the applicable duties and taxes must be paid. For more information on the declaration process, please call the Canada Border Services Agency at 1 800 461-9999, (204) 983-3500 or (506) 636-5064.
All newly imported firearms must be verified by an approved verifier and registered. For help to verify and register a newly imported firearm, call 1 800 731-4000, (Canada and the U.S.) or 1 506 624-5380 (outside Canada and the U.S.).
Importing Firearm Parts and Ammunition
You cannot import prohibited ammunition or firearm parts that are classified as prohibited devices, including handgun barrels that are 105 mm or less in length or parts made exclusively for a fully automatic firearm.
You do not need a valid firearms licence under Canadian law to import non-prohibited firearm parts (except for a frame/receiver). However, as indicated below, you may need an export permit from the other country.
The Explosives Act sets limits on the amount of ammunition and ammunition components that may be imported without an import permit. Generally, the Explosives Act allows you to import up to 5,000 cartridges of non-prohibited ammunition for your personal use without an import permit.
For more information, please refer to the web site of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) or call the Explosives Regulatory Division of NRCan at (613) 995-8415. As indicated below, an import permit may be required for smaller amounts in order to comply with the laws of the exporting country.
Authorizations to Import
Currently, you do not need an import authorization under Canadian law for non-prohibited firearms or firearm parts. However, you may need one to comply with the laws of the other country. For example, under U.S. law, an export permit is required for all permanent exports of firearms, ammunition, and certain firearm parts. The U.S. authorities will not issue an export permit unless they have evidence that Canada will allow these goods to be imported. An International Import Certificate (IIC) issued by DFAIT will provide the required evidence. There is no fee for an IIC.
- To obtain an application for an IIC, call DFAIT at (613) 996-2387 or 1 800 267-8376, or fax your request to (613) 996-9933. Please allow up to three weeks for the processing of an IIC application.
Once you get your IIC, you must send the original to the business or individual handling the export arrangements so that they can include it in their application for an export permit.
You and the exporter will have to decide between the two of you who will be responsible for obtaining any required authorizations from countries that the firearm may pass through in transit.
When the imports and exports provisions of the Firearms Act and its supporting regulations are fully in force, you will need an authorization to import all firearms imports and certain firearm parts. Our web site will be updated when this change occurs.
For more information, contact the CFP.
This fact sheet is intended to provide general information only. For legal references, please refer to the Firearms Act and its Regulations. Provincial, territorial and municipal laws, regulations and policies may also apply.