On March 27, 2023, Canada announced further amendments to the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations (the “Regulations”) in response to Iran’s “gross and systematic violations of human rights and ongoing grave breach of international peace and security”. These amendments list an additional eight individuals and two entities under Schedule 1 of the Regulations and entered into force on March 23, 2023.
There are now over 300 parties listed under Schedule 1 of the Regulations. The newly listed individuals include senior officials from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) who have participated in “gross and systematic human rights violations in Tehran and in Kurdish and Azeri areas of northwestern Iran”, as well as senior officials involved in “unmanned aerial vehicle and ballistic missile production in Iran”. The newly listed entities have supported the Iranian regime by “helping them disrupt and manipulate the online communications of those protesting the regime or by supplying the LEF with tactical equipment used in the brutal suppression of demonstrations”.
Generally speaking, listing under Schedule 1 of the Regulations imposes a dealings prohibition, effectively an asset freeze, against the listed person. Any person in Canada or any Canadian outside Canada cannot:
- deal in any property, wherever situated, that is owned, held or controlled by a person whose name is listed in Schedule 1 or a person acting on behalf of such listed person;
- enter into or facilitate, directly or indirectly, any transaction related to such a dealing;
- provide any financial or other related services in respect of such a dealing;
- make available any goods, wherever situated, to a person listed in Schedule 1 or to a person acting on their behalf;
- provide any financial or related service to, or for the benefit of, a person listed in Schedule 1;
- export, sell, supply or ship any goods listed in Schedule 2 of the Regulations to Iran, to any person in Iran, or to a person for the purpose of a business carried on in or operated from Iran; or
- transfer, provide or disclose to Iran or any person in Iran any technical data related to the goods listed in Schedule 2 of the Regulations.
The Government of Canada has now issued ten sets of amending regulations since the beginning of October 2022. Businesses should continually assess their sanctions compliance in this shifting legal landscape. Regulations enacted under the Special Economic Measures Act obligate persons in Canada and Canadian citizens to disclose certain property held by Schedule 1 entities and any related transactional information to the RCMP. Additionally, certain entities have a continuing duty to determine and disclose certain property held by Schedule 1 entities.
An unofficial copy of the legislative amendments to the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations that came into effect on March 23, 2023 are available on Global Affairs Canada’s website here.