Export Controls and Controlled Goods

Research at the University of Waterloo often involves materials and data that are subject to domestic and international controls. It is the Researcher’s responsibility to be aware of any restrictions on the use or transfer of materials and data that may be created or received in the course of their research. Some materials and data are prohibited from being imported or exported without permits, and individuals who access these materials may require a security assessment. The Office of Research must be notified well in advance of any research involving materials that may be subject to any controls.

Contact Jennifer Ranford for more information.

Export Controls

The Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA) establishes the Export Control List (ECL). Goods that are on ECL are considered military and strategic goods and technology, the export of which is controlled to ensure the ongoing security and defense of Canada, and for other strategic purposes.

An export occurs when an item is shipped out of Canada. In research, this can happen when materials or data are sent to collaborators located outside of Canada, or when travelling with materials or data, including travel to conferences.

Some jurisdictions provide a “fundamental research” exemption for basic research; however, in the US this exemption only applies to “deemed exports” and is not applicable in Canada. Researchers should never rely on a fundamental research exemption when transferring items included on the Export Control List.

Violation of EIPA may result in a fine, imprisonment, or both.

For more information, see A Guide to Canada's Export Controls. Please contact the Office of Research to determine if your research is subject to export controls, or to request an export permit.

Note on Cryptographic Technology: Group 1, Category 5 – Part 2 of the ECL includes cryptographic controls. Permits are not required to export cryptographic or information security technology to the US; HOWEVER, any re-export of that technology is subject to export controls. Please consult with the Office of Research to ensure that an end-use agreement covers export restrictions.

Controlled Goods

Controlled Goods are a subset of the ECL, including all items under Group 2, Item 5504 under Group 5, and all items under Group 6. The Defense Production Act (DPA) establishes the Controlled Goods Program (CGP), which is intended to safeguard controlled goods within Canada and prevent controlled goods from being accessed by unauthorized persons. The University of Waterloo is registered with the CGP; however, any individual who has the opportunity to examine, possess, or transfer controlled goods must also be registered.

Research at Waterloo can involve access to or development of controlled goods. Each individual on a research project who has the opportunity to examine, possess, or transfer controlled goods must be registered. Only Canadian citizens or permanent residents are eligible for registration; however, foreign students or visiting scholars may be eligible for an exemption. Applications for registration or exemption require a security assessment, including a criminal record check, which may take several months to obtain. Please contact the Designated Official for Waterloo for more information.

Violation of the DPA may result in fines to the individual or University from $25,000 to $2,000,000 per day of non-compliance, and/or 10 years imprisonment.

Researchers who may receive or produce controlled goods must notify the Designated Official well in advance of the research project. For more information, see Controlled Goods Program.

The Designated Official for the University of Waterloo is Jennifer Ranford.

Economic Sanctions

Economic sanctions may be imposed by Canada on certain countries under the United Nations Act and the Special Economic Measures Act. Before entering into research collaboration with partners from countries under Canadian economic sanction, the University needs to understand the extent and impact of the sanctions, which may prevent the sharing of certain information or technology. Please contact the Office of Research before considering any collaboration with, or transferring any technology to a country under sanction.