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Registration

SOR/2012-166 August 29, 2012

SPECIAL ECONOMIC MEASURES ACT

Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations

P.C. 2012-1051 August 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), makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations.

REGULATIONS AMENDING THE SPECIAL ECONOMIC MEASURES (SYRIA) REGULATIONS

AMENDMENTS

1. Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations (see footnote 1) is amended by adding the following after item 46:

47. Drex Technologies S.A.

48. Cotton Marketing Organization

49. Syrian Arab Airlines (also known as Syrian Air)

2. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Regulations is amended by adding the following after item 133:

134. Sha’afiq Masa (Brigadier)

135. Burhan Qadour (Brigadier)

136. Salah Hamad (Brigadier)

137. Muhammad Khallouf (Brigadier) (also known as Abou Ezzat)

138. Riad Al-Ahmed (Major General)

139. Abdul Salam Fajr Mahmoud (Brigadier)

140. Jawdat al-Ahmed (Brigadier)

141. Qusay Mihoub (Colonel)

142. Suhail Al-Abdullah (Colonel)

143. Khudr Khudr (Brigadier)

144. Ibrahim Ma’ala (Brigadier)

145. Firas Al-Hamed (Brigadier)

146. Hussam Luqa (Brigadier)

147. Taha Taha (Brigadier)

148. Nasr al-Ali (Brigadier)

149. Bassel Bilal

150. Ahmad Kafan

151. Bassam al-Misri

152. Ahmed al-Jarroucheh

153. Michel Kassouha (also known as Ahmed Salem or Ahmed Salem Hassan)

154. Ghassan Jaoudat Ismail (General)

155. Amer al-Achi (General)

156. Mohammed Ali Nasr (General)

157. Issam Hallaq (General)

158. Ezzedine Ismael

159. Samir Joumaa (also known as Abou Sami)

160. Ali Yunus (Major General)

161. Subhi Ahmad Al-Abdullah

162. Safwan Al-Assaf

163. Hala Mohammad Al-Nasser

164. Mohammad Abdul-Sattar Al-Sayyed

165. Yasser Al-Sibaei

166. Hazwan Al-Wazz

167. Omran Ahed Al-Zoubi

168. Radwan Habib

169. Ali Haidar

170. Bassam Hanna

171. Said Mu’zi Hneidi

172. Qadri Jamil

173. Fuad Shukri Kurdi

174. Mohammad Zafer Mihbek

175. Mohammad Yehya Moalla

176. Lubanah Mshaweh

177. Mahmoud Ibrahim Said

178. Nazira Farah Sarkis

179. Jassim Mohammad Zakarya

180. Fahd al-Freij

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 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.

The Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations of May 18, 2012, prohibited the export to Syria of luxury goods, and added three additional individuals and three additional entities to the list of designated persons subject to a prohibition on dealings under the Regulations.

The Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations of July 6, 2012, prohibited the export, sale, supply or shipment to Syria of any goods set out in Schedule 2 to the Regulations, and the transfer, provision or communication of technical data related to any of those goods. The goods to which these prohibitions apply are goods that can be used in the manufacture and maintenance of items that may be used for internal repression, as well as goods that can be used in the production of chemical and biological weapons. The amendments also added two entities associated with the Syrian regime to the list of designated persons subject to an assets freeze and a prohibition on dealings under the Regulations.

2. Issue

The 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. Thousands of Syrians have been killed, and more than 112 000 registered refugees have been forced to flee to neighbouring countries. Opposition elements increasingly took up arms in response and, on July 15, the International Committee of the Red Cross declared Syria to be in a state of civil war. 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 achieved a ceasefire and the deployment of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS). However, following an initial lull, violence again began to escalate in late May. On June 16, 2012, UNSMIS suspended its mission due to the deteriorating security situation. The rest of the Annan plan remains largely unimplemented.

3. Objectives

The regulatory action aims to

  • contribute to concerted international efforts to further isolate and increase the pressure on the regime, and erode its capacity for repression; and
  • signal Canada’s support for the people of Syria.

4. Description

The Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations add additional individuals and entities associated with the Syrian regime to the list of designated persons subject to an assets freeze and a prohibition on dealings under the Regulations.

These amendments may affect Canadians or Canadian companies that conduct business with designated individuals or 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 or 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 U.S. sanctions imposed on July 18, 2012, and the most recent round of European Union sanctions announced on July 23, 2012. The latest Regulations contribute to these concerted international efforts to further isolate and increase the pressure on the regime, and to erode its capacity for repression, 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 or 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
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