Canada: Canada Has Many Export Controls/Economic Sanctions Lists

Last Updated: January 5 2018
Article by Cyndee Todgham Cherniak

Canada has made many lists and you may have to look at more than one list before exporting goods.  Which lists you must look at depends upon the destination country, the identity of buyer (including related parties), what specifically you are selling to your buyer (the good and its component parts), and the industry in which your buyer operates.  Most of these lists are made by the Governor in Council (that is, the individuals are appointed by the Governor General of Canada made on the advice of Cabinet).  That means that the lists can be changed by the Governor in Council without Parliamentary and Senate approval.  Great! – many lists that can change – this is not very business-friendly.

If you have decided that you will do business with persons outside Canada, you should become familiar with Canada's export controls and economic sanctions laws and the various lists.  You should review the various lists, which include, but are not limited to:

List Covered on the List Additional Comments
Area Control List This is a list of countries to whom exports of all goods and technology is prohibited unless an export permit is obtained.

These are the most restrictive of the export controls.

The restrictions are country specific (e.g., North Korea), goods neutral (all goods are restricted).

Export Control List This is a list of goods, technology and technical data that cannot be exported/re-exported without an export permit (a specific export permit, a multi-destination permit or a general export permit). The restrictions are goods/technology specific, country neutral.

The Export Control List includes 7 other lists:

  • Dual Use List
  • Munitions List
  • Nuclear Non-Proliferation List
  • Nuclear Related Dual Use List
  • List of Miscellaneous Goods and Technology
  • Missile Technology Control Regime List
  • Chemical and Biological Weapons Non-Proliferation List
Automatic Firearms Country Control List (AFCCL) This is a list of countries to whom residents of Canada may sell and export certain firearms.  An export permit is required for sales to persons in countries on the AFCCL.

The AFCCL is an export control measure that is unique to Canada.

This list lessens export controls restrictions on certain exports to friendly countries.  Inclusion on the AFCCL does not guarantee the approval of exports of prohibited firearms, prohibited weapons and prohibited devices. All export permit applications are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Economic Sanctions:  Listed Persons Lists (also known as "designtaed persons" lists) List of individuals, entities and financial institutions against whom Canada or the United Nations has imposed sanctions. Persons in Canada and Canadian outside Canada cannot undertake certain otherwise legitimate business activities unless the person in Canada or Canadian outside Canada obtains a Ministerial Authorization or permit (different from an export permit) from Global Affairs Canada. The specific restrictions are set out in regulations that are prepared and promulgated on a country-by-country basis.

On October 12, 2017, Global Affairs Canada published a Consolidated SEMA Sanctions List.

However, you will still need to review the separate lists promulgated under regulations made pursuant to the United Nations Act (which sometimes refer to United Nations Security Council Regulations) and the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law) lists.
Economic Sanctions:  Targeted Goods, Technology and Services List List of goods, technology and services targeted by economic sanctions.  Persons in Canada and Canadians outside Canada cannot export the targeted goods/technology/services/ to a designated country or designated person or deal in the targeted goods/technology or services unless the person in Canada or Canadian outside Canada obtains a Ministerial Authorization or permit (different from an export permit). The specific restrictions are set out in regulations that are prepared and promulgated on a country-by-country basis.  Each list is prepared on a targeted basis and can be different from other lists. Not all economic sanctions regulations have a targeted goods, technology and services list.
Economic Sanctions: Targeted Sectors/Industries List List of sectors and/or industries or government units targeted by economic sanctions.  Persons in Canada and Canadians outside Canada cannot export to designated country or designated person or deal in the targeted sector/industry unless the person in Canada or Canadian outside Canada obtains a Ministerial Authorization or permit (different from an export permit). This is technically not a list.  In some SEMA and UN regulations, Canada imposes specific restrictions on a targeted basis and can be different from other lists. Not all sanctions regulations have a targeted sector/industries list.
List of Terrirists List of individuals, with whom a person in Canada and Canadians outside Canada cannot undertake certain otherwise legitimate and legal business activities unless the person in Canada or Canadian outside Canada obtains a Ministerial Authorization or permit (different from an export permit). The specific list of individuals is set out in regulations that are prepared without reference to a specific country.

Look at the OFSI Designated Person List.

Canada's Magnitsky Sanctions List This is a list of foreign officials who have committed gross human rights abuses or have engaged in corrupt activities. Person in Canada and Canadians outside Canada cannot undertake certain otherwise legitimate and legal business activities unless the person in Canada or Canadian outside Canada obtains a Ministerial Authorization or permit (different from an export permit). The specific list of individuals is set out in a regulation.
Corrupt Foreign Official Asset Freeze List List of individuals, with whom a person in Canada and Canadians outside Canada cannot undertake certain otherwise legitimate business activities and must report holdings of those persons in Canada. The specific list of individuals is provided by a country and regulations are prepared on a country by country basis.
Controlled Nuclear Substances List This is a list under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Import and Export Control Regulations. In addition to export controls, Canada restricts the export of certain Nuclear Items.
Ozone-Depleting Controlled Substances List This is a list under the Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations, 1998. Canada restricts the export of certain compounds recognized as ozone-depleting substances, which are considered to be harmful to the environment
Cultrual Property Export Control List Control List A list of controlled property is set out in the Canadian Cultural Property Export Control List. The Canadian Cultural Property Export Control List does not include objects that are less than 50 years old or made by a person who is still living.
An export permit is required for exports of any cultural property included on the Cultural Property Export Control List.  There are three types of permits:
  1. Temporary export permit;
  2. Permanent export permit; and
  3. General permit.
Canada restricts the export of certain controlled cultural property.  The Cultural Property Export Control list defines cultural property subject to Canada's export controls.

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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