Several changes to Canada’s economic sanctions regime came into effect in April 2017. First, the regulations made under the United Nations Act (UNA) that imposed economic sanctions on Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire have been repealed. Second, two amendments were made to the list of persons designated under the Special Economic Measures Act (SEMA) regulations, which impose economic sanctions against Syria.
The UNA is the federal legislation through which Canada enacts into Canadian law, via regulation, sanctions adopted by the United Nations Security Council.
Canada has imposed economic sanctions against Liberia, via the United Nations Liberia Regulations (Liberia Regulations) since 2001, in order to implement into Canadian law the resolution the United Nations Security Council passed in response to former president Charles Taylor’s support for the Revolutionary United Front in Sierra Leone.
The Liberia Regulations prohibited the export, sale, supply or shipment of arms and related material to any person in Liberia, and prohibited any dealing in property owned or controlled by persons designated by the United Nations Security Council, as well as the provision of any financial or related services in respect of such dealings or property.
On May 25, 2016, the United Nations Security Council rescinded the measures it had imposed on Liberia in response to the progress made by the Government of Liberia in “rebuilding Liberia for the benefit of all Liberians.” Canada has implemented the decision of the United Nations Security Council by repealing the Liberia Regulations effective April 13, 2017.
Canadian economic sanctions against Côte d’Ivoire were put in place on May 3, 2005, under the United Nations Côte d’Ivoire Regulations (CIV Regulations). These regulations were made to implement into Canadian law the sanctions imposed on Côte d’Ivoire by the United Nations Security Council in response to continued conflict within Côte d’Ivoire.
Much like the Liberia Regulations, the CIV Regulations prohibited the export, sale, supply or shipment of arms and related material to any person in Côte d’Ivoire, and prohibited any dealing in property owned or controlled by persons designated by the United Nations Security Council, as well as the provision of any financial or related services in respect of such dealings or property.
The United Nations Security Council terminated sanctions against Côte d’Ivoire on April 28, 2016, due to the progress that has been made in stabilizing the country. Effective April 13, 2017, the Government of Canada repealed the CIV Regulations.
SYRIA SEMA REGULATIONS
The SEMA is the federal legislation through which Canada imposes sanctions on foreign jurisdictions and persons, where the Canadian government is of the opinion that a grave breach of international peace and security has occurred or when Canada implements a decision of an international organization, other than the United Nations.
Canada has imposed economic sanctions on Syria under the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations (Syria Regulations) since May 24, 2011. The Syria Regulations were initially passed in response to the violent reaction by the Syrian government to protests for democratic reform that had been occurring in several Syrian cities beginning on March 15, 2011. Since the Syria Regulations were first imposed, they have been amended on many occasions, with the most resent two amendments coming into effect on April 13 and 20, 2017.
The sanctions imposed under the Syria Regulations are fairly comprehensive and include a prohibition on the importation of any goods from Syria, except for food. The Syria Regulations also prohibit the exportation to Syria, and to any person in Syria, of any goods or technical data that may be used in the monitoring of telecommunications, as well as the exportation of luxury goods and certain specified chemicals and products. The Syria Regulations further prohibit investments in Syria, financial or related services involving Syria in specified circumstances, including facilitation of trade in petroleum and related products, and dealings with designated persons and their property.
The amendments to the Syria Regulations that took effect on April 13, 2017, made changes to the list of designated persons by removing the names of 58 individuals and adding 27 new individuals associated with the Syrian government.
Only one week later, the Syria Regulations were amended again on April 20, 2017, to add the names of an additional five entities and seventeen individuals to the designated list, in response to evidence connecting these persons to the recent use of chemical weapons in Syria.