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 (the "Regulations") are Canada's response to the gravity of the situation in Syria. Canadian businesses should immediately implement the Regulations in their compliance systems.

prohibited individuals and entities

The Regulations specifically identify the Syrian individuals and entities, referred to as "Designated Persons", to whom the sanctions have been imposed against.

the designated persons

The term "Designated Person" is defined to mean a person who is 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 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-farahQudsiyah
  • 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 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

the prohibitions

The Regulations outline the following 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.

duties

In addition to the prohibitions above, the Regulations impose 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.