Contributing Lawyers

Canada

Cyndee Todgham Cherniak

United States

Susan Kohn Ross

Australia

Andrew Hudson



Canada Imposes Economic Sanctions and Trade Restrictions Against Syria

On May 24, 2011, the Government of Canada, for the first time, imposed economic sanctions and trade restrictions against the Syrian government. The sanctions are in the form of regulations promulgated pursuant to the Special Economic Measures Act. The Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations are Canada's response to the gravity of the situation in Syria.

Canadian businesses should implement the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations in their compliance systems. 

The Prohibitions

1. Persons in Canada and Canadians outside Canada SHALL NOT deal in any property (in Canada and outside Canada) held by or on behalf a Designated Person.

2. Persons in Canada and Canadians outside Canada SHALL NOT enter into or facilitate any transaction related to any property (in Canada and outside Canada) held by or on behalf a Designated Person.

3. Persons in Canada and Canadians outside Canada SHALL NOT provide and financial or related service in respect of any property (in Canada and outside Canada) held by or on behalf a Designated Person.

4. Persons in Canada and Canadians outside Canada SHALL NOT make any goods (inside Canada and outside Canada) available to a Designated Person.

5. Persons in Canada and Canadians outside Canada SHALL NOT provide any financial or related service to or on behalf of a Designated Person.

6. Persons in Canada and Canadians outside Canada SHALL NOT do anything that causes, assists or promotes or is intended to cause, assist or promote any act or thing prohibited by 1-5 above.

certain activities are excluded from the prohibitions. In addition, the Minister of Affairs may issue a permit pursuant to the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Permit Authorization Order to engage in approved activities.

Designated Persons

The term "designated person" is defined to mean a person who in Syria, or is a national of Syria who does not ordinarily reside in Canada and whose name is listed in the schedule to the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations. The list contains the following names of individuals:

Bashar al-Assad

Farouk al-Shaara

Adil Safar

Ali Habib Mamoud

Maher al-Assad

Ali Mamlouk

Muhammad Ibrahim al-Shaar

Atif Ajib

Hafez Makhlouf

Mohammad Dib Zaytun

Amjad Abbas

Rami Makhluf

Abd-al-farah Qudsiyah

Jamil Hassan

Rustom Ghazali

Fawwaz al-Assad

Asif Shawkat

Hisham Ikhtiyar

Muhammad Nasif Khayrbik

Mohamed Hamcho

Iyad Makhlouf

Bassam Al Hassan

Dawud Rajiha

Ihab Makhlouf

Mudhir al-Assad

The term "Syria" is defined in the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations to mean (a) any political subdivision of Syria, (b) the government, and any department, of Syria or a political subdivision and any agency, including:

General Intelligence Directorate

Presidential Guard

Political Security Directorate

Syrian Military

Syrian Air Force

Syrian Ministry of Defence

Syrian Ministry of the Interior

Duties

In addition to the prohibitions above, the Special Economic Sanctions (Syria) Regulations imposes an ongoing duty on certain Canadian financial institutions to determine if they are in possession or control of property owned or controlled by a Designated Person.

More significantly, every person in Canada and every Canadian outside Canada must disclose without delay to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police the existence of property in their possession or control that they have reason to believe is owned or controlled by a Designated Person or an entity of such a person. In addition, every person in Canada and every person outside Canada must disclose without delay to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police information about a transaction or proposed transaction in respect of property in their possession or control that they have reason to believe is owned or controlled by a Designated Person or an entity of such a person. The term "reason to believe" is not defined in the regulations.

For more information about the new Syrian sanctions and trade restrictions, please contact Cyndee Todgham Cherniak at 416-307-4168.

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