Contributing Lawyers


Cyndee Todgham Cherniak

United States

Susan Kohn Ross


Andrew Hudson

Canada Border Services Agency Charges Company and Official Re Export to Burma/Myanmar

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) issued a press release announcing that it has charged Kenn Borek Air Ltd. of Calgary, and former general manager, Stephen Penikett, with unlawfully exporting goods to Burma/Myanmar. Read more:

This is the first prosecution relating to exports to Burma and the second prosecution this year under relating to exports to countries against which Canada has imposed specific economic sanctions (the first, which lead to a conviction, related to improper exports to Iran). The charges against Kenn Borek Air Ltd. and Stephen Penikett have been laid under the Export and Import Permits Act (Canada) and the Customs Act (Canada). It will be interesting to see whether charges will also be laid pursuant to the Special Economic Measures Act (Canada) and Special Economic Measures (Burma) Regulations.

The CBSA has alleged that the company and Penikett exported one de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter airplane as well as 149 aircraft parts to Burma without valid export permits in November 2007. The CBSA has not provided a detailed indictment detailing the allegations.

The Toronto Sun reports:

The charges stem from a two-year investigation, said Canada Border Services spokesman Sean Best.

"Under Canadian law goods can only be exported to Myanmar with an export permit issued by foreign affairs," he said from Winnipeg Wednesday.

"As far as I am aware, this is a first-of-it- kind case in Alberta."


The Customs Act offences are punishable to a maximum fine not exceeding $500,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or both. The Export and Import Permits Act offences carry no maximum fine and are punishable up to 10 years imprisonment.

This is a significant development because Canada's enforcement of export controls and economic sanctions is more visible than before. The Harper Government has taken a harder stance on the world stage in 2009/2010 concerning rogue regimes and has imposed strict export controls and economic sanctions (especially against Iran, North Korea and Burma/Myanmar). Canada is backing up its laws with administrative processes, investigations and prosecutions.

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

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