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Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Guidance on Returning to Canada with Shotguns

We appreciate when CSSA members share information they’ve received on various firearm matters.

This recent email exchange with the Canada Border Services Agency is one that many of you will want to read.

Question from CSSA Member to CBSA

Sent: May 24, 2020 10:25 PM


Subject: **0076754** Shotgun importation

CSSA Member to Canada Border Services Agency:

I was wondering if I will be allowed to bring my shotguns back into Canada after going to an out of country competition. You are aware that the CBSA and RCMP definitions of bore are different – so that even if the RCMP use the SAAMI definition and do not measure the bore at the muzzle, your May 2019 directive says that you do. Your definition makes many 12 gauge shotguns prohibited under the new Order in Council ban on 20 mm bores. So I am cautious about trying to come back into Canada and losing my property.

Can you please clarify what your procedures are going to be on re-importation of property legally acquired within Canada.

Thank you

CBSA Response

On Fri, May 29, 2020 at 7:05 AM CBSA-ASFC_CONTACT < > wrote:

It is the Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) policy to effectively control the movement of firearms and weapons in order to ensure compliance with Canadian laws and regulations.
Information on importing firearms and ammunition into Canada is accessible on the “Import and Export a Firearm or Weapon into Canada” page on the CBSA website at the following link:

Canadian law specifies that the barrel of a firearm must be measured to assist in determining the firearm’s classification. Barrel length is measured as follows:

  • a revolver is measured from the muzzle of the barrel to the breech, immediately in front of the cylinder;
  • all other firearms are measured from the muzzle of the barrel up to and including the chamber, but not including the length of any part or accessory added to the barrel, including those designed or intended to suppress the muzzle flash or reduce the recoil, such as a flash suppressor (eliminator) or muzzle brake.

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

  • your valid Possession and Acquisition Licence with appropriate privileges;
  • the valid registration certificate for the firearm;
  • an import permit issued by Global Affairs Canada; and
  • a valid Authorization to Transport (ATT) issued by the Chief Firearms Officer of the province of entry, if not entering Canada through the province of residence.

For more information regarding firearms classifications and barrel length, please refer to Memorandum D19-13-2, Importing and Exporting Firearms, Weapons and Devices on the CBSA website at:

Thank you for contacting the Canada Border Services Agency.

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