• Update on Canadian Economic Sanctions Against Central African Republic
  • July 21, 2014 | Authors: Vincent DeRose; Jennifer Radford
  • Law Firm: Borden Ladner Gervais LLP - Ottawa Office
  • On June 19, 2014, the Canadian Government implemented economic sanctions against the Central African Republic ("CAR"). They include an arms embargo, a travel ban and an asset freeze with respect to certain designated individuals and entities

    These new sanctions represent the Canadian Government's response to escalating political and religious violence in CAR, in the wake of a coup that took place in March of 2013.

    The Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on the Central African Republic ("the Regulations") entered into force on June 19, 2014, constituting Canada's implementation of the United Nations-mandated sanctions. Similar steps have been taken by the European Union and the United States.

    Pursuant to the Regulations, persons in Canada and Canadians outside of Canada are prohibited from exporting, selling, supplying or shipping arms and related material either to CAR or to any person in CAR. In addition, the provision or transfer to CAR or any person in CAR of technical or financial assistance or any other assistance that is related to military activities, or the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of arms and related materials, are all prohibited.

    In addition to this arms embargo, the Regulations establish a list of designated persons who are subject to an asset freeze retroactive to January 28, 2014. Presently, only three individuals have been designated by the Canadian Government, all of whom are leaders of factions viewed to be contributing to the ongoing violence and unrest in CAR.

    Contraventions of these laws could have serious consequences ranging from operational disruptions and reputational damage to criminal prosecution pursuant to the United Nations Act. An effective and comprehensive compliance strategy will mitigate  the risk of contraventions, and can help reduce your company's potential exposure should a contravention occur. The Regulations set out very limited exemptions to the prohibitions they impose, oriented towards humanitarian and peacekeeping efforts in CAR.

    BLG's export control and economic sanctions team regularly assists clients with cross-border transactions involving countries and persons subject to economic sanctions. In many cases, economic sanctions do not prevent the continuation of international business, so long as Canadians take the steps necessary to ensure compliance with the economic sanctions.