On March 5, 2014, at the request of Ukraine's Prosecutor
General, the Government of Canada imposed targeted economic
sanctions against former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych,
members of his family, close associates, and senior officials in
his regime pursuant to the Freezing Assets of Corrupt Foreign
Officials (Ukraine) Regulations (the "Regulations") under
the Freezing Assets of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act
(FACFOA). Canada will freeze the assets of 18 designated persons to
facilitate the recovery of misappropriated and embezzled Ukrainian
property and to ensure accountability, rule of law, and a
transition to democracy in Ukraine.1
Under the Regulations, all persons and entities in Canada, as
well as every Canadian outside of Canada, are prohibited from
dealing directly or indirectly with any property, wherever
situated, that is owned or controlled by a designated person or a
person acting on behalf of a designated person, or entering into or
facilitating any financial transaction related to a dealing in
respect of such property. It is also prohibited to provide
financial services or any related services with respect to such
Any person who willfully contravenes or fails to comply with the
measures is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine or to
imprisonment or to both.3
In addition, all persons and entities in Canada, as well as
every Canadian outside of Canada, must advise the Commissioner of
the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) if they have reason to
believe that they are in possession of any property that is owned
or controlled by a designated person, and have any information
about a transaction or proposed transaction in respect of such
As with all economic measures of this sort, Canadian-regulated
financial institutions have an ongoing duty to search, monitor,
freeze, block, and disclose whether they are in possession or
control of property that they have reason to believe is owned or
controlled by or on behalf of a designated person. The Office of
the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada (OSFI) expects
regulated financial institutions to search their customer records
at least on a weekly basis in order to identify financial assets to
which the asset freeze applies and identify prohibited financial
Please be advised that various members of former President
Yanukovych's regime that are listed as designated persons in
the Regulations have considerable interests in the Ukrainian
economy. Canadian companies should be cognizant of their Ukrainian
customers and commercial relationships, even where transactions
occur outside of Ukraine considering that many designated persons
have fled the country.
For more information, please contact Dentons' Trade, WTO, and Customs Group. Our in-house
leading global expertise in trade, customs, and investment matters,
our exceptional team of government relations and arbitration
lawyers in the US, Canada and Europe, as well as our reliable local
connections in numerous jurisdictions can assist you in pursuing
opportunities worldwide while successfully managing regulatory
compliance in multiple jurisdictions.
1. A full list of the designated persons may be found in
a Schedule to the Regulations.
2. Freezing Assets of Corrupt Foreign Officials (Ukraine)
Regulations, SOR/2014-44, s.2.
3. Freezing Assets of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, S.C.
2011, c.10, s.10.
4. Ibid, s.9.
5. Ibid, s.8. See also OSFI's Notice respecting the
Regulations, available here.
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