On May 7, 2016, the Government of Canada announced that it would
immediately relax sanctions against Belarus and initiate the
regulatory process to remove Belarus from the Area Control
List (ACL), a regulation made pursuant to the Export and
Import Permit Act (EIPA).1 While the regulatory
process unfolds, exporters will be authorized by permit to export
goods to Belarus.
Under EIPA, goods and technology cannot be exported to countries
listed on the ACL without a permit. The Trade Controls Bureau of
Global Affairs Canada is responsible for issuing permits. However,
the opportunity to export goods on ACL-listed countries under
authority of a permit is normally limited to humanitarian
goods.2 Under the new policy, the Trade Controls Bureau
will issue permits for the export of non-humanitarian goods and
technology, provided the goods are not listed on the Export
Control List (ECL). The ECL requires export permits for seven
groups of goods and technology, including dual-use goods,
nuclear-specific goods, military goods and biological
The regulatory process to remove Belarus from the ACL may take a
few months to complete. In the interim, the new policy of issuing
export permits for non-ECL goods is effective immediately. This
means that exporters of non-ECL goods and technology can
immediately start to pursue business opportunities in Belarus with
the expectation that they will promptly obtain the necessary
permit. As such, the announcement provides Canadians with access to
the Belarus market that had not been available since 2006 when
Belarus was first added to the ACL. In spite of the restrictive
measures, Canadian exports to Belarus totalled nearly $34 million
and imports totalled nearly $50 million in 2014.4
Lifting the sanctions against Belarus will further increase the
trade opportunities between Canada and Belarus.
The Canadian Government's recent decision reflects its
recognition of the positive actions taken by the Government of
Belarus, including facilitating the Minsk agreement in Ukraine,
releasing political prisoners and conducting a presidential
election that demonstrated greater adherence to international
norms. The proposed policy is consistent with the actions taken in
October 2015 by the United States and the European Union to repeal
their economic sanctions against Belarus. Once Belarus is removed
from the ACL, the only country remaining on the list will be North
Exporters wishing to pursue new opportunities in Belarus should
first assess whether their goods are on the ECL. If they are new to
the export controls system, then they should also familiarize
themselves with the Trade Controls Bureau online permit application
portal, EXCOL, which enhances the speed and efficiency of the
permit application process. The International Trade Group at
Dentons has extensive experience with Canada's export controls
and sanctions regimes, and is there to assist Canadian companies
successfully pursue export opportunities around the Globe.
This article was co-authored by Kailin Che, a student in
Dentons' Toronto office.
Dentons is the world's first polycentric global law firm. A
top 20 firm on the Acritas 2015 Global Elite Brand Index, the Firm
is committed to challenging the status quo in delivering consistent
and uncompromising quality and value in new and inventive ways.
Driven to provide clients a competitive edge, and connected to the
communities where its clients want to do business, Dentons knows
that understanding local cultures is crucial to successfully
completing a deal, resolving a dispute or solving a business
challenge. Now the world's largest law firm, Dentons'
global team builds agile, tailored solutions to meet the local,
national and global needs of private and public clients of any size
in more than 125 locations serving 50-plus countries.
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. Specific Questions relating to
this article should be addressed directly to the author.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
While that agreement mandated export measures on Canadian softwood lumber exports destined for the United States, it also protected those lumber exports from the potential imposition of onerous import measures by the U.S.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).