Most of Canada's economic sanctions against Burma (Myanmar)
have been repealed effective today. Enacted in 2007 and touted as
being among the most aggressive in the world, Canada's
sanctions and export controls prohibited most activities with
Burma, including investment, exports and imports, the provision of
financial services and technical data, the transiting of ships and
aircraft, and dealings with designated persons. These developments
will raise new trade and investment opportunities for Canadian
business, however firms should proceed with caution as certain
restrictions remain in effect.
Today's amendments to the Special Economic Measures
(Burma) Regulations (Regulations) can be found here.
Burma has also been listed on Canada's Area Control
List (ACL) since 1997. Effective today, Burma has been removed
from the ACL so that exports and transfers of goods or technology
from Canada to Burma are no longer prohibited.
Certain Sanctions Measures Continue to Apply
Certain economic sanctions will remain in effect. Persons in
Canada and Canadians outside Canada are prohibited from dealing
with designated persons as listed in the Regulations. The list of
designated persons includes 44 companies and 38 individuals. These
include prohibitions against:
dealing in any property, wherever situated, held by or on
behalf of a designated person;
entering into or facilitating any transaction related to such a
providing any financial or related service in respect of such a
making any goods, wherever situated, available to a designated
providing any financial or related service to or for the
benefit of a designated person.
In addition to being prohibited from engaging in a wide range of
dealings with designated persons, Canadian companies and
individuals are also subject to RCMP reporting requirements in
respect of property owned or controlled by designated persons and
related proposed or actual transactions. Financial institutions,
including federally regulated banks, insurance companies and
provincial trust and loan companies and securities dealers, are
required to monitor and determine on a continuing basis whether
they are in possession or control of property owned or controlled
by or on behalf of a designated person.
Further, there is a military trade embargo of Burma. Persons in
Canada and Canadians outside Canada are prohibited from supplying,
transporting or otherwise dealing in any arms or related material
destined for Burma or any person in Burma. These prohibitions also
apply to the transfer of technical data and provision of financial
services related to military activities or dealings in arms and
Economic Sanctions Compliance and Enforcement
The increasing use and enforcement of economic sanctions by
Canada and its trading partners, including the United States and
the European Union, is significantly raising exposure to financial,
operational and reputational risk. It is important for any company
doing business internationally to have in place comprehensive
internal control measures for compliance with economic sanctions,
export controls, anti-corruption laws and related requirements.
These changes to economic sanctions and export controls on trade
with Burma will raise new business opportunities for Canadian
companies. However, firms should proceed with caution in exploring
these new opportunities as Canada and other countries continue to
maintain certain trade sanctions measures against Burma.
Further, firms should be reviewing and revising their compliance
procedures and controls, including the lists (or list-service
providers) used for screening transactions involving designated
persons. Notably, the prohibitions against dealings with designated
persons apply regardless of whether or not you are engaged in
business with Burma. Companies should also be reviewing other
components of their internal trade control systems, including their
compliance manual and processes, employee and executive training
programs, internal audit procedures, and their contract review
process, to ensure they are now fully up to date.
At the present time, Canada currently imposes trade controls of
varying degrees on activities involving the following countries
(and in many cases, individuals and entities associated with them):
Belarus, Burma (Myanmar), Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic
Republic of the Congo, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Guinea, Iran, Iraq,
Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, North Korea, Pakistan, Sierra Leone,
Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Zimbabwe. Any involvement of
these countries or any "designated person" in proposed
transactions or other activities should raise a red flag for
further investigation to ensure compliance with economic
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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