Import and export a firearm or weapon into Canada

As of July 7, 2021, certain provisions of Bill C-71, An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms, came into force.

Canada's firearms laws help make Canada safer for residents and visitors.

Procedures for individuals importing firearms

Declare all firearms to a border services officer when you arrive at the border, provide any documents required (as listed below), and answer all questions truthfully. The border services officer must be satisfied that you have a valid reason for bringing the firearm into Canada, and may check to ensure that you have stored your firearm properly for transportation. The border services officer will also review your documents and may verify that the firearm you have matches the one described on the documents.

If you have declared a firearm but cannot meet the import requirements, or you do not have the proper documents, the border services officer, at his or her discretion, may allow you to export the firearm from Canada. Alternatively, the border services officer may detain the firearm, issue you a receipt and allow you a reasonable amount of time to present the correct documents to the CBSA.

If you have not been truthful, or if the officer believes that you should not bring the firearm into Canada, the CBSA can detain it. If you did not declare the firearm, the CBSA will seize it, and you may face criminal charges.

If you need information about importing a specific firearm or weapon, contact the Canadian Firearms Program or the Border Information Service.

Import regulations

Different regulations apply if you are importing firearms as a visitor or Canadian resident. However, anyone importing a firearm to Canada must be at least 18 years of age.

Note: Persons under 18 years of age cannot import firearms, but may be eligible for a Minor's Possession Licence.

Visitors to Canada

To import firearms into Canada you must have a valid purpose. Valid purposes can include (but are not limited to) the following:

Non-restricted firearms

If you are importing non-restricted firearms and you hold a valid Canadian Firearms licence, you will need to show the valid Canadian firearms licence to a border services officer.

If you do not hold a valid Canadian firearms licence, you must:

Once confirmed by a border services officer, the declaration has the same effect as a temporary licence for the firearms for up to 60 days.

Restricted firearms

Visitors who do not hold a valid Canadian firearms licence or registration certificate for their restricted firearm must:

Once confirmed by a border services officer, the form acts as the licence and as the temporary registration certificate for the firearms.

Visitors who hold a valid Canadian firearm licence but do not have a registration certificate for their restricted firearms must:

Once confirmed by a border services officer, the declaration has the same effect as a temporary registration certificate for the firearms for up to 60 days.

To import restricted firearms you also need an authorization to transport (ATT). You can get one by following these steps:

If you arrive at the border without an ATT for the restricted firearm, the CBSA may hold the firearm for 14 days while you apply and present the form to us.

Prohibited firearms, devices and weapons

Visitors to Canada cannot, under any circumstances, import prohibited firearms, prohibited devices or prohibited weapons. A listing of these items may be found in the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and Other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited or Restricted.

For more information on declarations by visitors, please call the Canadian Firearms Program at 1-800-731-4000, or review their frequently asked questions.

Documentation – Visitors to Canada without a canadian firearms licence
Type of Firearm Form RCMP 5589 + Can$25 Authorization to Transport
non-restricted required not required
restricted required required
prohibited importation prohibited importation prohibited
Documentation – Visitors to Canada with a canadian firearms licence
Type of Firearm Possession and Acquisition Licence Canadian Firearm Registration Certificate OR
Form RCMP 5589 + Can$25
Authorization to Transport
non-restricted required not required not required
restricted required requiredFootnote 1 required
prohibited importation prohibited importation prohibited importation prohibited

Canadian residents

Prohibited firearms

Canadian residents cannot, under any circumstances, import prohibited firearms newly acquired outside Canada. A listing of these items may be found in the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and Other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited or Restricted.

If you are importing grandfathered prohibited firearms that you previously temporarily exported from Canada, you have to provide the CBSA with:

Previously exported firearms

If you are importing firearms that were previously exported from Canada, it is a good idea to carry proof that you purchased the firearm in Canada, or that duty was paid when you imported it. You can ask CBSA staff to document your firearm on Form BSF407, Identification of Articles for Temporary Exportation, before you leave the country or provide a copy of the export permit under which the firearm was exported. Please note that Form BSF407, Identification of Articles for Temporary Exportation, is only available at a CBSA office.

Documentation – Canadian residents importing newly acquired firearms
Type of Firearm Possession and Acquisition Licence Firearm Registration Certificate Authorization to Transport
non-restricted required not required not required
restricted required required required
prohibited importation prohibited importation prohibited importation prohibited
Documentation – Canadian residents re-importing firearms previously exported from Canada
Type of Firearm Possession and Acquisition Licence Firearm Registration Certificate Authorization to Transport Import Permit
non-restricted required not required not required not required
restricted required required required not required
grandfathered prohibited required required required required

Ammunition, primers and powders

As per the Explosives Regulations, 2013, Section 45, a person may import, export or transport in transit explosives without a permit if the following conditions are met:

Within the prescribed limits, non-residents can import 200 rounds duty free for hunting purposes, or up to 1,500 rounds duty free for use at a recognized competition.

Information on permits to import personal quantities of explosives in excess of those outlined in the Explosives Regulations, 2013 or on importation for commercial purposes can be found in Memorandum D19-6-1, Administration of the Explosives Act, or by contacting Natural Resources Canada.

Procedures for individuals exporting firearms

Exporting firearms to the United States

If you are exporting non-restricted or restricted firearms from Canada to the United States, you do not have to stop at a CBSA office when you leave the country. However, the United States requires an import permit. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) issue the required import permit. Applicable forms are available on the ATF website.

If you are exporting prohibited firearms from Canada to the United States you need a PAL, registration certificate, paper ATT and an export permit from Global Affairs Canada.

Exporting firearms to countries other than the United States

If you are exporting any class of firearm to countries other than the United States an export permit is required from Global Affairs Canada. In addition, you need to present a PAL and dependent on the classification of the firearm a registration certificate and a paper ATT.

Before exporting these goods, check with customs officials of the country you intend to enter for their requirements.

You must also advise the Canadian Firearms Program of any permanent exportation of a restricted or prohibited firearm from Canada. This makes it possible for officials there to update the information contained in the Canadian Firearms Registry. For more information, please call the Canadian Firearms Program at 1-800-731-4000, or review their frequently asked questions.

Hunting requirements

Firearms are forbidden in many of Canada's national and provincial parks, game reserves and adjacent areas. Hunting in Canada is governed by federal, provincial and territorial laws. If you hunt in Canada, you must have a hunting licence from each province or territory you plan to hunt in. If you need more information about parks and hunting regulations, contact the appropriate provincial or territorial tourism information office or hunting licence authority.

Please note that only non-restricted firearms can be used for hunting purposes and protection against wildlife in remote areas. Use of firearms for personal protection, or protection of property is not deemed a valid purpose to import firearms into Canada.

Transporting firearms

Canadian law states that you have to transport all firearms, including antique firearms, unloaded. If you are transporting them in a vehicle, they must be kept out of sight in a part of a vehicle that is kept locked (the trunk, if there is one), unless the vehicle is supervised by an adult. You have to transport restricted and prohibited firearms in a locked case and equip them with locked safety devices to prevent firing. Antique handguns do not require a secure locking device, although all other transportation provisions apply.

If you are flying, please visit Canadian Air Transport Security Authority's website for information concerning the transportation of firearms and/or ammunition by air.

Foreign requirements

Importers are reminded that foreign countries, including the United States, have different legal requirements that apply to the purchase, possession, transportation and exportation of firearms, ammunition, weapons and related items. It is recommended that you contact the appropriate authorities in the country you are visiting, to determine if any requirements apply to your situation.

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