Contributing Lawyers


Cyndee Todgham Cherniak

United States

Susan Kohn Ross


Andrew Hudson

The Rumour Mill Says that the UAE is Iran's Back Door

There is information available on the Internet that the United Arab Emirates is the back door or intermediary for the flow of goods to Iran. Please see this article -

I do not know if the information is truth or rumours. I cannot say from personal experience that the information is accurate.

But, that being said, I can say from personal experience, as a Canadian export control lawyer, that Canadian businesses should be mindful of the information. The concerns being voiced against Iran are getting louder. The threat of additional and punishing sanctions is getting higher. The risk of businesses undertaking an action that will not be permitted by Canadian law or extra-territorial application of US or foreign laws is moving into the danger zone.

Any business with interests in trading with Iran or the UAE must have a compliance program in order to manage risks. The internal controls must be real. A Canadian business should ensure that their employees and representatives make export controls compliance a top priority (especially if the business has interests in Iran or the UAE).

I do know that the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) stops shipments destined for the UAE. I have been informed of this fact by exporters of record. I have seen the documents sent by the CBSA to persons who are exporting goods to the UAE. These documents clearly show that the CBSA is acting as a gatekeeper and the horse in not being let out of the barn; meaning the goods are being stopped before leaving Canadian soil and do not reach the shipment destination until more information is provided by the exporter of record.

make sure that your export documentation is in order. Make sure you know what goods have been shipped and the number of goods that have been shipped. Make sure that you have all technical specifications relating to the shipped goods. Take photographs of the shipment as a verification tool. Make sure you have asked if the goods are controlled goods under Canadian law. Either ask a lawyer or the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Export & Import Controls Bureau. Make sure that you have your export permits before shipping if they are required. Make sure you have your end use certifications. Make sure you have evidence of your due diligence and can prove the facts. Just saying that goods are okay and that they are not going to Iran will not be sufficient.

If you require more information, please contract Cyndee Todgham Cherniak at 416-307-4168.

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