ARCHIVED — Vol. 146, No. 12 — June 6, 2012

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Registration

SOR/2012-107 May 17, 2012

SPECIAL ECONOMIC MEASURES ACT

Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations

P.C. 2012-657 May 17, 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), makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations.

REGULATIONS AMENDING THE SPECIAL ECONOMIC MEASURES (SYRIA) REGULATIONS

AMENDMENTS

1. Section 1 of the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations (see footnote 1) is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:

“luxury goods” means goods such as jewellery, gems, precious metals, watches, cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, perfume, designer clothing and accessories, furs, sporting goods, private aircraft, gourmet foods and ingredients, lobster, computers, televisions and other electronic devices. (articles de luxe)

2. (1) Paragraph 3.1(e) of the French version of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  1. e) d’exporter, de vendre, de fournir ou d’envoyer à la Syrie ou à toute personne qui s’y trouve toute marchandise, y compris des données techniques, employée dans la surveillance des télécommunications;

(2) Section 3.1 of the Regulations is amended by striking out “or” at the end of paragraph (e), by adding “or” at the end of paragraph (f) and by adding the following after paragraph (f):

  1. (g) export, sell, supply or ship to Syria or any person in Syria any luxury goods.

3. Part 1 of the schedule to the Regulations is amended by adding the following after item 41:

42. General Organization of Radio and TV (also known as GORT)

43. Altoun Group

44. General Organization of Tobacco

4. Item 49 of Part 2 of the schedule to the Regulations is repealed.

5. Part 2 of the schedule to the Regulations is amended by adding the following after item 130:

131. Salim Altoun

132. Youssef Klizli

133. Adib Mayleh

APPLICATION BEFORE PUBLICATION

6. 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

7. 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 Canadians 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.

The Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations of March 30, 2012, 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’s 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 9 000 Syrians have been killed, and tens of 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. 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. An Arab League plan for a peaceful democratic transition — supported by the UN General Assembly (February 16, 2012) and the Friends of the Syrian People (February 24, 2012) — was not accepted by Syria. The six-point plan of UN-Arab League Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan was accepted by Syria on March 28, 2012. It gave rise to a shaky ceasefire on April 12, and the deployment of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) is now under way. However, following an initial lull, violence is again escalating and the rest of the plan remains largely unimplemented.

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 prohibit the export to Syria of luxury goods and add three additional individuals and three additional entities to the list of designated persons subject to a prohibition on dealings under the Regulations. These amendments may affect Canadians or Canadian companies that conduct business with designated individuals and entities or export luxury goods to Syria. However, with the existing prohibitions on financial services between Canada and Syria, the new measures are not expected to have a significant additional impact on Canadians or Canadian companies. Moreover, 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. The amendments also remove from the list of designated persons one individual who no longer fulfills the criteria for being a designated person.

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 or export luxury goods to Syria. However, with the existing prohibitions on financial services between Canada and Syria, the new measures are not expected to have a significant additional impact on Canadians or Canadian companies. Moreover, 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 (EU), the Arab League and Turkey have all imposed sanctions on Syria with the most recent round of EU sanctions imposed on May 14, 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 or export luxury goods to Syria. However, with the existing prohibitions on financial services between Canada and Syria, the new measures are not expected to have a significant additional impact on Canadians or Canadian companies. Moreover, 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
Senior Advisor, 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