ARCHIVED — Vol. 151, No. 9 — May 3, 2017

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Registration

SOR/2017-62 April 13, 2017

SPECIAL ECONOMIC MEASURES ACT

Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations

P.C. 2017-405 April 13, 2017

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1 Items 130 and 188 of Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations (see footnote 1) are repealed.

2 Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Regulations is amended by adding the following after item 190:

  • 191 Adib Salameh
  • 192 Adnan Aboud Hilweh
  • 193 Jawdat Salbi Mawas
  • 194 Tahir Hamid Khalil
  • 195 Hilal Hilal
  • 196 Bishr al-Sabban
  • 197 Ahmad Sheik Abdul-Qader
  • 198 Dr. Ghassan Omar Khalaf
  • 199 Khayr al-Din al-Sayyed
  • 200 Atef Naddaf
  • 201 Hussein Makhlouf
  • 202 Ali Al-Zafir
  • 203 Ali Ghanem
  • 204 Mohammed Ramez Tourjman
  • 205 Mohammed al-Ahmed
  • 206 Ali Hamoud
  • 207 Mohammed Zuhair Kharboutli
  • 208 Maamoun Hamdan
  • 209 Nabil al-Hasan
  • 210 Ahmad al-Hamu
  • 211 Abdullah al-Gharbi
  • 212 Abdullah Abdullah
  • 213 Salwa Abdullah
  • 214 Rafe’a Abu Sa’ad
  • 215 Wafiqa Hosni
  • 216 Rima Al-Qadiri
  • 217 Duraid Durgham

Application Prior to 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.)

Issues

The Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations (the Regulations) add 27 individuals to part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations (the Syria SEMA Regulations) and remove 2 individuals from this part of Schedule 1.

Background

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

Protests for democratic reform had been ongoing in various cities across Syria since March 15, 2011. The Syrian government’s violent crackdown on peaceful protesters led to many civilian deaths and injuries. Thousands of civilians were detained arbitrarily and there were credible reports of summary executions and torture.

Actions of the Syrian government led thousands of Syrians to flee to neighbouring countries, including Lebanon, resulting in a serious humanitarian crisis in the region. The violent crackdown in Syria and the mass exodus of refugees caused a grave breach of international peace and security that resulted in a serious international crisis. The Syria SEMA Regulations thus came into force in order to respond to the gravity of the situation in Syria.

Canada has imposed 11 rounds of economic sanctions against the Assad regime and its supporters since May 24, 2011.

The Syrian civil war has raged on since 2011. The conflict has evolved into a complex and multifaceted crisis that has drawn in global, regional and non-state actors, and created the conditions for armed opposition groups, terrorist entities and criminal elements to thrive. According to the UN, since 2011, the Syrian crisis has led to over 400 000 deaths; displaced more than 6.5 million people within Syria and forced over 4.8 million people to neighboring countries; and destroyed much of Syria’s economy and infrastructure. Over 13 million people remain in need of humanitarian assistance, with over 1 million living in besieged or hard to reach areas.

Objectives

The Regulations add 27 individuals to Schedule 1 to the Syria SEMA Regulations. Paragraph 2(a) of the Syria SEMA Regulations provides for the listing of the names of any 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 a former or current senior official of the Government of Syria. These 27 individuals meet paragraph 2(a) because they are former or current senior officials of the Government of Syria.

The addition of individuals to Schedule 1 of the Regulations align with additions announced by the EU and United Kingdom to strengthen Western unity in responding to the current conflict in Syria and to demonstrate our commitment to increase the pressure on President al-Assad.

The Regulations also remove two individuals from part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Syria SEMA Regulations.

Description

The Regulations add 27 individuals to the list of persons in Schedule 1 to the Syria SEMA Regulations. As a result of this addition, any person in Canada and any Canadian outside Canada is prohibited from

  • dealing in any property, wherever situated, held by or on behalf of a person whose name is listed in the Schedule;
  • entering into or facilitating, directly or indirectly, any transaction related to such a dealing;
  • providing any financial or related service in respect of such a dealing;
  • making goods, wherever situated, available to a person listed in the Schedule; and
  • providing any financial or related service to or for the benefit of a person listed in the Schedule.

Exceptions to the above-noted prohibitions are available for the following under subsection 3(2):

  • any activity engaged in under an agreement or arrangement between Canada and Syria;
  • 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;
  • any goods made available, or services 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:
    • an international organization with diplomatic status,
    • a United Nations agency,
    • the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, or
    • 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;
  • the importation, purchase, acquisition, carrying or shipping of petroleum or petroleum products that were exported, supplied or shipped from Syria before October 5, 2011;
  • any goods from the Embassy of Canada in Syria destined for Canada or any goods from Syria destined for the Embassy of Syria in Canada;
  • personal or settlers’ effects that are taken or shipped by an individual leaving Syria and that are solely for the use of the individual or the individual’s immediate family;
  • personal correspondence, including letter mail, printed papers and postcards, of a weight not exceeding 250 g per item of correspondence;
  • pension payments to any person in Canada, any Canadian abroad or any person in Syria;
  • any transaction in respect of the accounts at a Canadian financial institution that are used for the regular business of the Embassy of Syria or its consular missions in Canada;
  • any transaction in respect of the accounts at a Syrian financial institution that are used for the regular business of the Embassy of Canada or its consular missions in Syria; and
  • any transactions necessary for a Canadian to transfer any existing accounts, funds or investments of a Canadian held with a designated person to a non-designated person.

Finally, the Regulations also remove two individuals from the list of persons in Schedule 1 to the Syria SEMA Regulations.

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule applies to the Regulations, as there are minimal administrative costs to business, because of the reporting requirement. However, the administrative burden associated with these Regulations is carved-out from the “One-for-One” Rule as they address unique, exceptional circumstances.

Small business lens

The small business lens does not apply to the Regulations, as there are no costs (or insignificant costs) on small business and small businesses would not be disproportionately affected.

Consultation

Global Affairs Canada drafted the Regulations in consultation with the Department of Justice Canada.

Rationale

The measures contained in the Regulations demonstrate Canada’s concern about the current Syrian conflict, including the humanitarian situation and increase of violence.

The amendments are necessary in order to better align Canada’s sanctions regime against Syria with like-minded countries, such as the European Union and the United Kingdom.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

Canada’s sanctions regulations are enforced by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canada Border Services Agency. In accordance with section 8 of the Special Economic Measures Act, every person who wilfully contravenes or fails to comply with a regulation is guilty of an offence. Where the Crown has proceeded by way of summary conviction, this person is liable to a fine not exceeding $25,000 or to a term of imprisonment of one year or both; where the Crown has proceeded by way of indictment, this person is liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years.

Contact

Sébastien Beaulieu
Executive Director
Middle East Relations Division
Global Affairs Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
Telephone: 343-203-3296
Email: Sebastien.Beaulieu@international.gc.ca