Home PoA Implementation Kit

Brokering Control


: National Report on the Implementation of the PoA, 2010 and 2008 
: 04/05/2011
National Report
: Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Division, Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade
: ida@international.gc.ca

National laws, regulations and administrative procedures:

Firearms Act. Firearms Marking Regulations that were scheduled to come into effect on December 1, 2009 were deferred to December 1, 2010, to provide sufficient time to examine additional marking options not previously considered. These regulations would require all newly imported firearms to have the word "Canada" or the letters "CA" and the last two digits of the year of import permanently stamped or engraved on the firearm.



National Marking Practices:

Canada's Firearms Act requires that firearms be uniquely identified, including bearing a permanently marked serial number or unique Firearms Identification number, issued by the Registrar of Firearms. Serial numbers of weapons produced by Colt Canada for international customers also contain a country code.

Marking at the time of import:

Marking of SALW in the possession of government armed and security forces:

All SALW purchased by the Department of National Defence (DND) are marked with a unique serial number applied by the manufacturer. The formats of serial numbers are established under the terms of each production contract. The serial numbers for newly purchased/manufactured firearms for DND from Colt Canada, for example, follow a standard format: two digits for the year of manufacture, two letters indicating the model and additional digits for sequential numerical designation of the weapon type, starting at 00001 for the year of manufacture. If applicable, the small arms is clearly identified as a Canadian Forces Weapon with its calibre also marked. Each firearm is also marked Made in Canada, with the logo of Colt Canada. The firearms of Canada's national police service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), are marked with the manufacturer's information and a unique serial number. Where large quantities of firearms are purchased, the firearms are also marked as belonging to the RCMP.

Measures against the removal or alteration of markings:


Accurate and comprehensive records for all marked SALW within their territory:

The Registrar of Firearms or the Chief Firearms Officers of each province or territory keep records of firearms manufactured in Canada. As set out in Canada's Firearms Records Regulations, individual licensing information recorded in the Canadian Firearms Information System must be kept for a minimum of 10 years after the last administrative action has been taken on the information in the record. Records of an individual's safety training requirements or firearms prohibitions cannot be destroyed until after the death of the person to whom they relate. All records associated with the export of firearms and all import permits are stored indefinitely within their respective electronic permitting systems. All supporting documents associated with the import of firearms not stored within the electronic permitting system are retained for seven years. Firearms newly manufactured in Canada must be registered in CFIS. CFIS contains data on licences, authorizations, registration certificates, prohibition orders and other information collected under the authority of the Firearms Act. With the coming into force of Canada’s Public Agents Firearms Regulations on October 31, 2008, firearms possessed or seized by public service agencies and public agents, with the exception of those held by the Canadian Forces, are required to be reported to the Registrar of Firearms. The Canadian Armed Forces have a recording system based on serial numbers for small arms. Small arms’ tracking is maintained in conformity with DND’s Special Materials Control procedures. Weapons are verified by serial number quarterly by the account holder and a witness not associated with the account to maintain 100% accountability.


Measures taken for undertaking traces and responding to tracing requests

The Canadian Integrated Ballistics Identification Network (CIBIN) links seized or found firearms to crimes through comparison of fired bullets and cartridge cases recovered from crime scenes. The RCMP Canadian National Firearms Tracing Centre (CNFTC) provides a centralized tracing support available to all law enforcement agencies in Canada. The serial number and/or the firearm identification number recorded at the time of registration allow it to be traced. In addition, Canadian firearms legislation requires each firearm to be registered against the manufacturer’s inventory at the time of production, or the importer's inventory at the time of importation and at every subsequent transfer. With this system, a quick electronic registration query can replace many hours or days of intensive police work identifying the last legal owners of firearms, possibly providing valuable investigative leads. - There are three types of traces conducted by the RCMP: 1. Canadian trace: tracing the history of firearms registered in or imported into Canada. Requests for tracing may be received from law enforcement agencies within Canada, such as municipal or provincial agencies, or outside Canada; 2. US Trace: tracing firearms that were either manufactured in the US of imported into the US by a Federal Firearms Licensee through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Tracing Center. The CNFTC has an online connection to the USA, "E-trace", for this purpose. 3. International Trace: tracing firearms that were manufactured outside North America. Generally coordinated through Interpol Ottawa, in some cases foreign manufacturers may be contacted directly.

Operational Informaton Exchange:

The RCMP's Canadian National Firearms Tracing Centre assists foreign police with the tracing of exported Canadian firearms, and is the national point of contact for the Interpol Weapons Electronic Tracing System (IWETS). Canada created and donated a working prototype of the Interpol Weapons and Explosives Tracking System (IWETS) to the Interpol Secretariat and the RCMP worked with INTERPOL on an IWETS pilot project to provide support for its development and deployment in four countries. The RCMP also supplied the Firearms Reference Table (FRT), an electronic database for identification of firearms that is part of the RCMP-NPS initiative supporting anti-trafficking efforts, to Interpol, which has now formally adopted it as their system for identifying firearms. The FRT allows personnel in the field to be more effective in implementing import-export controls, facilitates the detection of stolen firearms (tracing) and enables accurate international communications involving transnational crime through the use of common identification standards and terminology.

Needs and Request for Assistance::

Implementation challenges and opportunities: