Canadian sanctions update: New tough laws and policy relating to Russia

February 28, 2022 | Daniel Kiselbach, Satinder Bains

Canada has imposed sanctions related to Russia under the Special Economic Measures Act,[1] the Export and Import Permits Act[2] and the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations (the “Regulations”).[3]  The Regulations respond to actions by Russia that have impacted human rights and Ukraine’s sovereignty. On February 24, 2022, Canada strengthened the Regulations in harmony with measures taken by other Western countries and regions, and it has issued a new policy.[4]  A brief summary is noted below.

Policy guidance has been issued in a Notice to Exporters and Brokers – Export and Brokering of items listed on the Export Control List and the Brokering Control List to Russia (the “Notice”).[5] The Notice states that Canada has stopped issuing new permits for the export and brokering of controlled goods and technology to Russia. Permits and applications for specific end-uses, such as medical supplies and humanitarian needs, may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Additionally, the Regulations have been amended to list hundreds of new “designated persons” under Parts 1 and 2, and the applicable schedules. Designated persons include individuals (including government officials) and entities. Section 3 of the Regulations set out a “dealings prohibition.”  It prohibits any person in Canada and any Canadian outside Canada from dealing with property held by or on behalf of a designated person listed in Schedule 1.  Subsections 3.1(1) and 3.1(2) sets out “new debt financing prohibitions.” They prohibit any person in Canada and any Canadian outside of Canada from providing specified new debt financing to a person listed in Schedule 2 or 3.  Subsection 3.2(1) sets out a “new equity prohibition.”  It prohibits any person in Canada and any Canadian outside of Canada from engaging in specified securities transactions with a person in Schedule 2.

Persons in Canada or Canadians outside of Canada who are engaged in business transactions or who plan to do so should seek legal advice in order to assess the full impact of the new policy and legislation. Please contact any member of our Global Trade and Customs Group for assistance.

[1] S.C. 1992, c. 17.

[2] R.S.C., 1985, c. E-19.

[3] SOR/2014-58.

[4] Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations, SOR/2022-0027 (entered into force on February 24, 2022).

[5] Global Affairs, Serial: 1071, dated February 24, 2022.


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