Export Controls Alert: Canada Issues New Guidance on Encryption Controls

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On October 19, 2010, the Export Controls Division of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (ECD) released new information on its policies regarding the application for and granting of permits for the export or transfer from Canada of information security goods, software and technology. Canada imposes controls on transfers of these items to all countries other than the United States.

In response to significant concerns expressed in the Canadian business community regarding the impact of these controls on their competitive position in the international marketplace, ECD has been considering means of facilitating the permit process while still complying with Canada's international commitments in this area. These consultations are further described in our earlier legal alerts: Canadian Government Launches Consultations on Encryption Controls and Canadian Government Undertaking Industry Consultations on Cryptography Export Permit Process.

This week, ECD clarified and announced changes to its policy regarding the issuance of permits for cryptographic goods, software and technology. These new guidelines can be found at Export Permits for Cryptographic Items. Among other things, they specify that exporters must now have a comprehensive compliance plan in place regarding the export and transfer of controlled goods and technology.

This is a summary of the key points in ECD's new guidelines.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© John Boscariol, McCarthy Tetrault LLP | Attorney Advertising

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