ARCHIVED — Vol. 146, No. 8 — April 11, 2012

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Registration

SOR/2012-74 March 30, 2012

SPECIAL ECONOMIC MEASURES ACT

Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations

P.C. 2012-377 March 29, 2012

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 Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations.

REGULATIONS AMENDING THE SPECIAL ECONOMIC MEASURES (SYRIA) REGULATIONS

AMENDMENTS

1. Part 1 of the schedule to the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations (see footnote 1) is amended by adding the following after item 39:

40. Syrian Petroleum Company

41. Mahrukat Company (also known as the Syrian Company for the Storage and Distribution of Petroleum Products)

2. Part 2 of the schedule to the Regulations is amended by adding the following after item 118:

119. Anisa Al Assad (also known as Anisah Al Assad)

120. Bushra Al Assad (also known as Bushra Shawkat)

121. Asma Al Assad (also known as Asma Fawaz Al Akhras)

122. Manal Al Assad (also known as Manal Al Ahmad)

123. Imad Mohammad Deeb Khamis

124. Omar Ibrahim Ghalawanji

125. Joseph Suwaid

126. Ghiath Jeraatli

127. Hussein Mahmoud Farzat

128. Yousef Suleiman Al-Ahmad

129. Hassan al-Sari

130. Mazen al-Tabba

APPLICATION BEFORE PUBLICATION

3. 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

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

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

1. Background

The Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations of May 24, 2011, were enacted by Canada under the Special Economic Measures Act (SEMA). These measures prohibited persons in Canada and Canadians abroad from dealing in the property of designated persons.

The Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations of August 13, 2011, added further individuals and entities to the list of designated persons and amended the spelling of several names already listed.

The Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations of October 4, 2011, added further individuals and entities to the list of designated persons, prohibited any purchase and transportation of petroleum products from Syria, prohibited Canadian persons from making new investments in the Syrian petroleum sector, and prohibited the provision of financial services for the purpose of investing in the oil industry or facilitating the importation of petroleum and petroleum products.

The Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations of December 23, 2011, added further individuals and entities to the list of designated persons; prohibited imports from Syria; prohibited new investment in Syria; and prohibited the export to Syria of equipment, including software, for the monitoring of telephone and Internet communications.

The Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations of January 25, 2012, added further individuals and entities to the list of designated persons, while providing for new exemptions to minimize the impact on ordinary citizens.

The Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations of March 5, 2012, imposed a nearly complete ban on financial transactions with Syria and any person in Syria, and added further individuals and entities to the list of designated persons.

2. Issue

The latest Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations respond to the continued 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 peaceful, pro-democracy protests that erupted on March 15, 2011, in cities across Syria have been met with escalating repression. The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry has found evidence of widespread, systematic and gross violations of human rights committed with the apparent knowledge and consent of the highest levels of state. According to the UN, well over 8 000 Syrians have been killed, and thousands more have been internally displaced or forced to flee to neighbouring countries. The Syrian government has also denied access to most international humanitarian organizations, raising serious protection concerns.

A resolution of the crisis remains elusive. In an effort to placate both the domestic opposition and the international community, President Bashar al-Assad has gradually unveiled a series of concessions, including a constitutional referendum on February 26, 2012, and planned legislative elections on May 7. However, these measures remain limited in both scope and implementation, and the actions of Syria’s security forces belie any genuine commitment to reform. An Arab League proposal to end the violence was accepted by Syria on November 2, 2011, but its provisions continue to be violated by the Syrian regime. An Arab League observer mission entered the country on December 26, 2011, but the Syrian regime obstructed its activities, and the mission suspended its activities as a result of the escalating violence on January 28, 2012. The UN Security Council has twice considered resolutions to address the crisis. On both occasions, they were vetoed by Russia and China. An Arab League plan for a peaceful democratic transition — supported by the UN General Assembly (February 16, 2012) and the Friends of Syria (February 24, 2012) — has not been accepted by Syria. UN-Arab League Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan is currently attempting to achieve agreement on a six-point plan to end the violence, secure access for humanitarian actors and launch a democratic transition.

3. Objectives

The regulatory action aims to

  • contribute to concerted international efforts to further isolate and exert pressure on the Syrian regime to end the violence, while signalling Canada’s support for the people of Syria.

4. Description

The latest Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations add 12 additional individuals and 2 additional entities to the list of designated persons. These amendments may affect Canadians or Canadian companies that conduct business with designated individuals and entities. However, the Minister of Foreign Affairs is authorized to issue permits to allow those affected by the Regulations to undertake activities that would otherwise be prohibited.

5. Consultation

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade drafted the Regulations following consultations with the Department of Justice.

6. Small business lens

The Regulations may affect Canadians or Canadian companies that conduct business with designated individuals and entities. However, the Minister of Foreign Affairs is authorized to issue permits to allow those affected by the Regulations to undertake activities that would otherwise be prohibited.

7. Rationale

The United States, the European Union, the Arab League and Turkey have all imposed sanctions on Syria with the most recent round of European Union sanctions imposed on March 24, 2012. The latest Regulations contribute to these concerted international efforts to further isolate and exert pressure on the Syrian regime to end the violence, while signalling Canada’s support for the people of Syria. Syria is already starting to feel the effects of international sanctions.

The Regulations may affect Canadians or Canadian companies that conduct business with designated individuals and entities. However, the Minister of Foreign Affairs is authorized to issue permits to allow those affected by the Regulations to undertake activities that would otherwise be prohibited.

8. 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 or 4 of the Regulations is liable, upon conviction, to the punishments set out in section 8 of the Special Economic Measures Act.

9. Contacts

Curtis Schmeichel
Legal Officer
United Nations, Human Rights and Economic Law Division (JLH)
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G2
Telephone: 613-996-3863
Fax: 613-992-2467
Email: curtis.schmeichel@international.gc.ca

Hugh Adsett
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: hugh.adsett@international.gc.ca

Mark Bailey
Director (Syria and Iran)
Middle East and Maghreb Relations Division
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G2
Telephone: 613-944-3022
Fax: 613-944-7975
Email: mark.bailey@international.gc.ca

Footnote a
S.C. 1992, c. 17

Footnote 1
SOR/2011-114