ARCHIVED — Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations

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Vol. 145, No. 12 — June 8, 2011

Registration

SOR/2011-114 May 24, 2011

SPECIAL ECONOMIC MEASURES ACT

P.C. 2011-594 May 24, 2011

Whereas the Governor in Council is of the opinion that the situation in Syria constitutes a grave breach of international peace and security that has resulted or is likely to result in a serious international crisis;

Therefore, His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, pursuant to subsections 4(1) to (3) of the Special Economic Measures Act (see footnote a), hereby makes the annexed Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations.

SPECIAL ECONOMIC MEASURES (SYRIA) REGULATIONS

INTERPRETATION

1. The following definitions apply in these Regulations.

“designated person” means a person who is in Syria, or is a national of Syria who does not ordinarily reside in Canada, and whose name is listed in the schedule. (personne désignée)

“Minister” means the Minister of Foreign Affairs. (ministre)

“Syria” means the Syrian Arab Republic and includes

  1. (a) any political subdivision of Syria;
  2. (b) the government, and any department, of Syria or of a political subdivision of Syria; and
  3. (c) any agency of Syria or of a political subdivision of Syria. (Syrie)

LIST

2. A person whose name is listed in the schedule is a person in respect of whom the Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister, is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe is

  1. (a) a former or current senior official of the Government of Syria;
  2. (b) an associate or family member of a person set out in paragraph (a);
  3. (c) an entity owned or controlled by, or acting on behalf of, a person set out in paragraph (a) or (b); or
  4. (d) an entity owned or controlled by, or acting on behalf of, the Government of Syria.

PROHIBITIONS

3. It is prohibited for any person in Canada and any Canadian outside Canada to

  1. (a) deal in any property, wherever situated, held by or on behalf of a designated person;
  2. (b) enter into or facilitate any transaction related to a dealing referred to in paragraph (a);
  3. (c) provide any financial or related service in respect of a dealing referred to in paragraph (a);
  4. (d) make any goods, wherever situated, available to a designated person; or
  5. (e) provide any financial or related service to or for the benefit of a designated person.

4. It is prohibited for any person in Canada and any Canadian outside Canada to do anything that causes, assists or promotes or is intended to cause, assist or promote any act or thing prohibited by section 3.

DUTY TO DETERMINE

5. Each of the following entities must determine on a continuing basis whether it is in possession or control of property owned or controlled by or on behalf of a designated person:

  1. (a) authorized foreign banks, as defined in section 2 of the Bank Act, in respect of their business in Canada or banks to which that Act applies;
  2. (b) cooperative credit societies, savings and credit unions and caisses populaires regulated by a provincial Act and associations regulated by the Cooperative Credit Associations Act;
  3. (c) foreign companies, as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Insurance Companies Act, in respect of their insurance business in Canada;
  4. (d) companies, provincial companies and societies, as those terms are defined in subsection 2(1) of the Insurance Companies Act;
  5. (e) fraternal benefit societies regulated by a provincial Act in respect of their insurance activities and insurance companies and other entities engaged in the business of insuring risks that are regulated by a provincial Act;
  6. (f) companies to which the Trust and Loan Companies Act applies;
  7. (g) trust companies regulated by a provincial Act;
  8. (h) loan companies regulated by a provincial Act;
  9. (i) entities that engage in any activity described in paragraph 5(h) of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act if the activity involves the opening of an account for a client; and
  10. (j) entities authorized under provincial legislation to engage in the business of dealing in securities or to provide portfolio management or investment counselling services.

DISCLOSURE

6. (1) Every person in Canada and every Canadian outside Canada must disclose without delay to the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

  1. (a) the existence of property in their possession or control that they have reason to believe is owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by a designated person or by an entity owned or controlled by a designated person; and
  2. (b) information about a transaction or proposed transaction in respect of property referred to in paragraph (a).

(2) No person contravenes subsection (1) by disclosing in good faith under that subsection.

APPLICATION TO NO LONGER BE A DESIGNATED PERSON

7. (1) A designated person may apply in writing to the Minister to have their name removed from the schedule.

(2) On receipt of the application, the Minister must decide whether there are reasonable grounds to recommend to the Governor in Council that the applicant’s name be removed from the schedule.

(3) The Minister must make a decision on the application within 90 days after the day on which the application is received.

(4) The Minister must give notice without delay to the applicant of the decision taken.

(5) If there has been a material change in circumstances since the last application was submitted, a person may submit another application under subsection (1).

APPLICATION FOR A CERTIFICATE

8. (1) A person claiming not to be a designated person may apply to the Minister for a certificate stating that they are not the person who has been designated under section 2.

(2) If it is established that the person is not a designated person, the Minister must issue a certificate to the applicant within 30 days after the day on which the application is received.

EXCLUSIONS

9. The prohibitions set out in sections 3 and 4 do not apply in respect of

  1. (a) any activity engaged in pursuant to an agreement or arrangement between Canada and Syria;
  2. (b) any payment made by or on behalf of a designated person that is due under a contract entered into before the person became a designated person, provided that the payment is not made to or for the benefit of a designated person; or
  3. (c) any good made available, or service provided, to or by any of the following entities for the purpose of safeguarding human life, disaster relief, democratization, stabilization or providing food, medicine or medical supplies or equipment:
    1. (i) an international organization with diplomatic status,
    2. (ii) a United Nations agency,
    3. (iii) the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, or
    4. (iv) a non-governmental organization that has entered into a grant or contribution agreement with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade or the Canadian International Development Agency.

APPLICATION PRIOR TO PUBLICATION

10. For the purpose of paragraph 11(2)(a) of the Statutory Instruments Act, these Regulations apply before they are published in the Canada Gazette.

COMING INTO FORCE

11. These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.

SCHEDULE
(Section 2)

PERSONS

PART 1

ENTITIES

1. General Intelligence Directorate

2. Presidential Guard

3. Political Security Directorate

4. Syrian Military Intelligence

5. Syrian Air Force Intelligence

6. Syrian Ministry of Defence

7. Syrian Ministry of the Interior

PART 2

INDIVIDUALS

1. Bashar al-Assad

2. Farouk al-Shaara

3. Adil Safar

4. Ali Habib Mahmoud

5. Maher al-Assad

6. Ali Mamlouk

7. Muhammad Ibrahim al-Shaar

8. Atif Najib

9. Hafez Makhlouf

10. Mohammad Dib Zaytun

11. Amjad Abbas

12. Rami Makhluf

13. Abd-al-Farah Qudsiyah

14. Jamil Hassan

15. Rustom Ghazali

16. Fawwaz al-Assad

17. Mudhir al-Assad

18. Asif Shawkat

19. Hisham Ikhtiyar

20. Muhammad Nasif Khayrbik

21. Mohamed Hamcho

22. Iyad Makhlouf

23. Bassam Al Hassan

24. Dawud Rajiha

25. Ihab Makhlouf

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations or the Order.)

Issue and objectives

Protests for democratic reforms have been ongoing in various cities across Syria since March 15, 2011. The Syrian Government’s violent crackdown on peaceful protesters has led to many civilian deaths and injuries. More than 850 people reportedly have been killed, and the death toll continues to rise. Thousands of civilians have been detained arbitrarily and there are credible reports of summary executions and torture. Many humanitarian and human rights organizations have expressed concerns over access to medical care, food, water, and electricity. To date, Syria has refused access to international humanitarian organizations, which raises serious humanitarian concerns.

The actions of the Syrian Government have also led thousands of Syrians to flee to neighbouring countries, including Lebanon, resulting in a serious humanitarian crisis in the region. In its attempt to control its population, the Syrian army reportedly has crossed the Lebanese border to stop people from fleeing to Lebanon and to seek out and detain individuals involved in the protests. Incursions by the Syrian security forces into Lebanon undermine the stability, sovereignty and independence of that country and might lead to the re-introduction of a Syrian military presence in Lebanon, from which the Syrian army was expelled in 2005. Turkey has made public statements that it could intervene to create safe havens along its border to prevent the flight of Syrians, including Kurds, into Turkey. There are reports that Iranian security services are assisting Syrian security forces in quelling protests in Syria. There are also reports that the Syrian Government instigated, directly or through its influence over the terrorist group Hezbollah, the incursions by Syrians and Lebanese into Israel and the Golan Heights that occurred on May 15, 2011, during annual protests commemorating the Palestinian “Naqba” or “catastrophe,” which coincides with the creation of the state of Israel. This is considered to be an effort to divert attention from the anti-government protests. These incidents resulted in numerous fatalities as Israel sought to repel the incursions. There is the possibility that Syria could use Hezbollah attacks on Israel as a means to attempt to rally popular support, posing a threat to the security of Israel. The Syrian crackdown threatens to cast a chill on the “Arab Spring” in the Middle East region as it encourages other regimes to resort to the use of force against people peacefully protesting for democracy and deters people from demonstrating.

The violent crackdown in Syria and the cross-border incursions into neighbouring countries resulting in fatalities and the mass exodus of refugees have caused a grave breach of international peace and security that is likely to result in a serious international crisis. If the crackdown continues, there is a risk that additional army units could defect from the regime, and that the situation could deteriorate into a sectarian conflict similar to Iraq, with a number of negative consequences, including the mass exodus of refugees into neighbouring countries.

Canada has issued multiple statements, to no avail, calling on Syria to exercise restraint, to respect human rights, to engage in dialogue on democratic reforms, and to implement measures already announced. To date, there has been no call for sanctions by the United Nations Security Council; however, likeminded countries such as the U.S. and the European Union have imposed travel bans and asset freezes on key members of the government.

The proposed sanctions will reinforce the message to the Syrian Government that its blatant disregard for human rights and fundamental freedoms is unacceptable and condemned by the international community, while also signalling Canada’s solidarity and support for the people of Syria.

Description and rationale

The Government of Canada has made these Regulations in order to respond to the gravity of the situation in Syria, which, in the Governor in Council’s opinion, constitutes a grave breach of international peace and security that has resulted or is likely to result in a serious international crisis.

The Regulations impose restrictions on dealings with designated persons. Some exceptions are available, including the following:

  • Humanitarian efforts and goods, such as food and medical supplies or equipment;
  • Stabilization and reconstruction assistance and activities;
  • Democratization and development assistance;
  • Financial or other support provided by the Government of Canada; and
  • Payments made by or on behalf of designated persons pursuant to contracts entered into prior to the coming into force of this person’s designation.

A separate Permit Authorization Order made pursuant to subsection 4(4) of the Special Economic Measures Act authorizes the Minister of Foreign Affairs to issue to any person in Canada and any Canadian outside Canada a permit to carry out a specified activity or transaction, or any class of activity or transaction, with a designated person that is otherwise restricted or prohibited pursuant to the Regulations.

Consultation

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade drafted the Regulations having consulted the Department of Justice, the Department of Finance, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the Canadian International Development Agency and the Canada Border Services Agency.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

Compliance is ensured by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canada Border Services Agency. Every person who contravenes section 3 of the Regulations is liable, upon conviction, to the punishments set out in section 8 of the Special Economic Measures Act.

Contacts

Jeffrey McLaren
Director
Gulf and Maghreb Region
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G2
Telephone: 613-944-1249
Fax: 613-944-7431
Email: jeffrey.mclaren@international.gc.ca

Roland Legault
Deputy Director
United Nations, Human Rights and Economic Law Division (JLH)
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G2
Telephone: 613-944-1599
Fax: 613-992-2467
Email: roland.legault@international.gc.ca

Sabine Nölke
Director
United Nations, Human Rights and Economic Law Division (JLH)
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G2
Telephone: 613-992-6296
Fax: 613-992-2467
Email: sabine.nolke@international.gc.ca

Footnote a
S.C. 1992, c. 17