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Service Standards for Import and Export Licences

Service standards publicly state the level of performance that citizens can reasonably expect to encounter from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) under normal circumstances.

Definitions and additional information

  • Annual service performance is measured over the course of the fiscal year (April 1-March 31)
  • Service standard calculation: If the CNSC requires the applicant to provide further information, then the period that is taken by the applicant to comply with the requirement is not included in the time calculation of the service standard
  • TBD means performance data to be determined after the end of the fiscal year (March 31)

Import or Export Licence Application

Performance Reporting
Service Standard Performance target Actual Performance
Actual Performance
Actual Performance
Application processing and acknowledgement of receipt by the licensing administrator within 2 business days 95% 100% TBD TBD
Application decision within 15 business days of receipt of complete application (no CNSC bilateral notifications required) 80% 87% TBD TBD
Application decision within 30 business days of receipt of complete application (CNSC bilateral notifications required) 80% 88% TBD TBD


  • The CNSC's assessment of applications for the import and export of most controlled items includes a risk-informed evaluation of end use and end-user information for proposed transactions or shipments. There may be circumstances where confirmation of acceptability of the proposed import or export, from a risk perspective, is problematic and requires additional evaluation by the CNSC, working with the applicant, other government departments/agencies and foreign counterparts. In such circumstances, the CNSC may require additional time to make a decision on issuance of a licence. In these cases, the CNSC will keep the applicant advised of the anticipated timeline for completion of the assessment.

  • Some applications for the import or export of nuclear substances, equipment or information may invoke the implementation of administrative bilateral notification requirements by the CNSC with its foreign counterparts, pursuant to the provisions of bilateral nuclear cooperation agreements with which the Government of Canada has entered into with its nuclear trading partners. A similar situation exists in the case of exports or imports of risk-significant radioactive sources. Some of these provisions, such as prior shipment notifications or requests for consent to retransfer of nuclear items, need to be satisfied by the CNSC prior to issuance of the associated import or export licence. Timelines for completing these administrative requirements can vary depending on the regulatory requirements of the partner country and the specific details of the proposed import or export transaction. Consequently, the service time for a licensing decision in these cases will be longer than where CNSC bilateral notifications are not invoked.

Applying for a licence to export or import

Telephone: 1-800-668-5284

Service feedback

If you believe the CNSC is not meeting its performance standards, please call the CNSC at 1-800-668-5284, and ask to speak to the Licensing Administrator, Non-Proliferation and Export Controls Division; or email

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and the Government of Canada’s Open Government website under the "Find a Consultation" option.

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