UPDATE FEBRUARY 2020: While the U.S. Government is currently undergoing a major transition for exports, this “shotgun rule” is not included, however it is still possible it may be put in place in the future. We will update this post if we learn any more on this subject.
UPDATE JANUARY 2017: Borderview reached out to a contact who is a Senior Export Policy Analyst at BIS for an update on this matter, and received the following reply: “It is something that we are working on and looking at, but anything published on it would be in the next Administration.”
Borderview is currently in attendance at the 2015 NSSF/FAIR Import-Export Conference in Washington, D.C. This event provides face-to-face training and networking opportunities with the very people who sign off on our export licenses, import permits, and related regulations.
Today, Kevin Wolf (Asst. Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration) announced that they are working on a proposed rule-making which would effectively eliminate the current requirement for a U.S. Export License for shipments of shotguns to Canada. Currently, shotguns may be exported to many friendly countries without requirement for a BIS (Bureau of Industry and Security) export license. While Canada receives overall friendly treatment from the U.S. when it comes to export regulations, a typical shotgun being sent to Canada currently requires an export license which may take six or more weeks to obtain, when the same shotgun could be sent to Australia, Denmark, or even Albania with no export license required at all! This is due to the fact that the United States is a signatory to the Firearms Convention of the Organization of American States (OAS), part of the UN. Parties to this treaty agree to require certain documents for shipments between their countries. This has the odd effect of creating stricter export control requirements for shotguns to Canada than to many other countries.
Assistant Secretary Wolf today announced that his office is working a proposed rule that would eliminate the requirement for a BIS Export License for sporting shotguns to Canada (18″+ barrel), while maintaining the U.S.’ treaty obligations, by stipulating that the Canadian Import Certificate for such items, in and of itself fulfills the U.S. requirements to allow export. If such a rule proceeds to be finalized, this would mean that shotguns could be exported from the U.S. to Canada with no export license required! Mr. Wolf was asked to clarify if such a rule would also include shotgun ammunition, and he suggested it would indeed. A Canadian may not be able to receive a shotgun from an FFL dealer in-person while in the U.S. (depending on the particulars of their residency situation), however Borderview and others should be able to ship shotguns to Canada with greater ease, reducing processing times and likely the associated cost.
This new rule would be a big win for Canadian shooters, the firearms industry and the lessening of bureaucracy overall. However, it should be noted that until such a rule is finalized, this is only hopeful speculation. Stay tuned as we will post an update when anything is finalized on this matter.