The concern over Iran’s nuclear program and Iran’s failure to comply with UN resolutions have prompted the Canadian Government to add further sanctions against Iran under the Special Economic Measures Act (the SEMA). These latest sanctions against Iran impose, among other things, an immediate ban on all imports to and exports from Iran.

The Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Iran) allow for exemptions to the import and export ban for personal effects, informational materials, correspondence, and packages sent by mail for non-commercial reasons. There are specific exemptions provided for food, medicine, medical equipment and humanitarian goods. Further, there are exemptions to the complete ban on import and export for technologies that protect Iranians online. The government’s press release may be consulted at the following link: Canada Further Tightens Sanctions on Iran.

Canada has imposed sanctions against Iran since July 2010, which have become increasingly more prohibitive. Following the imposition of sanctions relating to financial and banking transactions with Iran in November 2011 and December 2012, Canadian manufacturers and other Canadian entities have been severely restricted in their ability to do business with Iran. Certain transactions could, however, be authorized by obtaining a permit to carry out an activity or transaction that was not otherwise restricted or prohibited by the SEMA Regulations. While permits remain available, the new amendments can be expected to make it much more difficult to obtain a permit, given that most trade with Iran is now prohibited and permits are unlikely to be authorized.