Canada: Canada Imposes Economic Sanctions Against Zimbabwe

On September 5, 2008, the Government of Canada announced the implementation of economic sanctions against Zimbabwe. The Special Economic Measures (Zimbabwe) Regulations (the Regulations) came into effect on September 4, 2008, on the heels of preliminary steps taken by the Canadian government in June of this year regarding its relations with Zimbabwe. Although the official version of the Regulations will not be published until later this month, government representatives have circulated an unofficial version, upon which this update is based.

These Regulations prohibit companies in Canada, and Canadians outside of Canada, from dealing with property of and providing financial services to over 180 parties having connections to the government of Zimbabwe. They also prohibit the transfer to Zimbabwe of arms-related goods and services, as well as the provision of financial and technical assistance related to arms and related material.

Companies should be revising their export control and economic sanctions compliance programs and party/country screening procedures to include these new measures, and in particular, the specific targeted parties. Key elements of this new sanctions program are discussed below.

Assets Freeze in Respect of Designated Persons

The Regulations prohibit dealing either directly or indirectly with any property of a designated person. Property of a designated person includes funds derived or generated from property owned or controlled, either directly or indirectly, by that person. The asset freeze also prohibits making any property available, either directly or indirectly, to or for the benefit of that designated person.

Over 180 designated persons are listed in the Schedule to the Regulations. It is the responsibility of all persons doing business in Canada, and Canadians outside of Canada, to ensure that they have the most up-to-date list of designated persons. The list is currently located at

The criteria used for composing the list is very broad, such that a person who seems an unlikely target of sanctions may nonetheless be considered a "designated person." For example, an individual may be added to the list simply by virtue of being a family member or associate of a former or current senior official of the Government of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front or a successor to either of the foregoing. With such broad criteria, one should always examine the list of designated persons before doing business with anyone in Zimbabwe, even if that person seems an unlikely target of Canadian sanctions.

Duty to Disclose to RCMP

Every person in Canada, and all Canadians outside of Canada, are required by the Regulations to disclose without delay to the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police the existence of any property within their possession or control that they have reason to believe is owned or controlled by a designated person or by an entity owned or controlled by a designated person. Immediate disclosure to the RCMP is also required for any information concerning a transaction or proposed transaction in respect of such property.

Prohibition on the Provision of Financial Services to Designated Persons

The Regulations prohibit Canadians and persons in Canada from entering into or facilitating, either directly or indirectly, any financial transaction related to property owned or controlled by a designated person. The Regulations also prohibit the provision of any financial or other related service made for the direct or indirect benefit of a designated person.

Financial Institutions Have an Ongoing Duty to Determine

The Regulations have identified a list of financial service firms that have an ongoing duty to determine whether they are in possession or control of property owned or controlled by, or on behalf of, a designated person. This list of entities includes, but is not limited to: banks, insurance companies, trust and loan companies, securities dealers, and credit unions.

Military Goods, Services and Technology Prohibitions

The Regulations prohibit the supply of arms and related material to Zimbabwe or to any person in Zimbabwe. Notably, this is not restricted to shipments from Canada or shipments of Canadian-origin goods, and includes shipments made by Canadian companies outside of Canada. The prohibition applies to any type of weapon, ammunition, military vehicle or military or paramilitary equipment, as well as the associated spare parts.

Owners and masters of Canadian vessels, and operators of aircrafts registered in Canada, are prohibited from carrying, causing to be carried, or permitting to be carried, arms and related material destined for Zimbabwe or for any person in Zimbabwe — regardless of where those weapons or related materials are situated.

The Regulations also ban the provision of technical assistance relating to the supply, sale, transfer or manufacture or use of arms and related material. Technical assistance is defined broadly as "any form of assistance, and includes instruction, training, consulting services, technical advice and the transferring or communicating of know-how or technical data."

Aircraft Restrictions

The Regulations prohibit aircrafts registered in Zimbabwe from flying over or landing in Canada, except if necessary to safeguard human life.

The Exceptions

Canadians and persons in Canada who wish to do business with Zimbabwe may be able to do so despite the restrictions and prohibitions contained in the Regulations. The Minister of Foreign Affairs has been given the authority to issue a permit to any Canadian or any person in Canada that would allow those persons to carry out a specified activity or transaction, or any class of activities or transactions, which would otherwise by prohibited by the Regulations.

Moreover, the Regulations exempt certain types of transactions. For example, although there is an export prohibition on military equipment, Canadians may nonetheless export non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use, and related to technical assistance and training.

The Penalties

Potential penalties for non-compliance with these Regulations are severe. Violation can result in imprisonment for up to five years and a fine of up to twenty-five thousand dollars. In addition to legal penalties, businesses will be wary of the significant negative publicity arising from doing business with rogue nations, organizations or individuals.

Building an Effective Trade Control Compliance System

It is essential that businesses operating in Canada have effective compliance and screening systems in place to ensure they are acting in conformity with these and other export control and economic sanctions programs. Your compliance system needs to raise a "red flag" and prompt further investigation whenever you are engaging in transactions directly or indirectly involving individuals or organizations from any of the following:

Côte d'Ivoire
Democratic Republic of the Congo
North Korea
Sierra Leone
Al-Qaeda and Taliban
Other Listed Terrorists and Terrorist Organizations

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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
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).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.