Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations: SOR/2023-214
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 157, Number 22
SOR/2023-214 October 6, 2023
SPECIAL ECONOMIC MEASURES ACT
P.C. 2023-1022 October 6, 2023
Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations under subsections 4(1)footnote a, (1.1)footnote b, (2)footnote c and (3) of the Special Economic Measures Act footnote d.
Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations
1 Item 1063 of Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations footnote 1 is repealed.
Coming into Force
2 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.)
Section 8 of the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations (the Regulations) provide for designated persons to apply to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (the Minister) to have their name removed from the Regulations. The Minister has been provided evidence supporting the removal of one individual from Schedule 1 of the Regulations, who does not meet the criteria to be listed.
Following Russia’s illegal occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea in March 2014, the Government of Canada, in tandem with partners and allies, enacted sanctions through the Regulations under the Special Economic Measures Act (SEMA). These sanctions impose dealings prohibitions (an effective asset freeze) on designated individuals and entities in Russia and Ukraine supporting or enabling Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty. Any person in Canada and Canadians outside Canada are thereby prohibited from dealing in the property of, entering into transactions with, providing services to, or otherwise making goods available to listed persons.
On February 24, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” as Russian forces launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine from Russian and Belarusian territory. The war has become a grinding war of attrition which sees little prospect of a quick victory for either side, and both continue to incur heavy losses. The Russian military has committed horrific atrocities against civilians, including in Izium, Bucha, Kharkiv and Mariupol. Experts, including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Moscow Mechanism fact-finding missions, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), have concluded that Russia is committing serious human rights violations, war crimes, possible crimes against humanity, and conflict-related sexual violence. These studies have linked Russian external aggression with systematic repression and human rights abuses domestically, within Russia.
Since 2014, in coordination with its allies and partners, Canada has imposed sanctions on more than 2 700 individuals and entities in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova who are complicit in the violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. In addition, Canada has implemented targeted restrictions against Russia and Belarus in financial, trade (goods and services), energy and transport sectors. Canada is part of the Oil Price Cap Coalition, which limits the provision of maritime services to Russian crude oil and petroleum products above a price set by the coalition.
Conditions for lifting sanctions
The duration of sanctions by Canada and like-minded partners has been explicitly linked to the peaceful resolution of the conflict and the respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, including Crimea, as well as Ukraine’s territorial sea. The United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and Australia have continued to update their sanction regimes against individuals and entities in both Ukraine and Russia, including to delist persons when warranted, in accordance with their respective sanctions policies and legal frameworks.
The delisting recourse process is an integral part of Canada’s robust sanctions framework and supports the fair and transparent application of sanctions. This includes ensuring that only persons that meet the criteria under the Regulations are listed.
Designated persons may apply to the Minister of Foreign Affairs to have their name removed from Schedule 1, 2 or 3 of the Regulations. A detailed description of the relevant circumstances and reasons supporting an application for delisting are requested. Following receipt of an application, the Minister must decide within 90 days whether there are reasonable grounds to recommend to the Governor in Council that the applicant’s name be removed from the Regulations. Notice of the decision taken by the Minister must be provided to the applicant without delay. Information on the delisting application process is available on Global Affairs Canada’s website (Listed persons).
To fairly respond to the evolving situation of designated individuals and safeguard the integrity of Canada’s sanctions regime by ensuring that only persons that meet the criteria for listing under the Regulations remain listed.
The Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations (the amendment) remove one individual from Schedule 1 of the Regulations who do not meet the criteria to be listed under these Regulations.
Global Affairs Canada engages regularly with other like-minded governments regarding Canada’s approach to sanctions implementation.
With respect to this amendment, public consultation would not have been appropriate.
Modern treaty obligations and Indigenous engagement and consultation
An initial assessment of the geographical scope of this amendment was conducted and did not identify any modern treaty obligations, as the amendment does not take effect in a modern treaty area.
Regulations are the sole method to remove persons subject to sanctions in Canada. No other instrument could be considered.
Benefits and costs
In the absence of this amendment, the individual would remain on Schedule 1 of the Regulations and be faced with restrictions from travelling to Canada and having business transactions with Canadians. This amendment will remove those restrictions providing a theoretical benefit to both the individual and any Canadian or Canadian entity that may wish to engage in dealings with the individual that would have otherwise been prohibited. There will be no direct costs to business or government because the delisting and the removal of these prohibitions are not considered a risk to Canada’s security objectives.
Small business lens
Analysis under the small business lens concluded that the amendment will not impact Canadian small businesses. While the amendment will remove dealings prohibition on the individual, it is considered unlikely that any such activities will occur. In the unlikely event that they do, the change would be beneficial.
The one-for-one rule does not apply, as there is no incremental change in administrative burden on business and no regulatory titles are repealed or introduced. While the Regulations do contain a process to allow the Minister of Foreign Affairs to issue to any person in Canada or any Canadian outside Canada a permit to carry out a specified activity prohibited pursuant to the Regulations, it is not determined that this process would have ever been used for this individual and thus no savings in administrative burden are realized by their removal. The permitting process is provided to prevent unforeseen consequences of the listing of individuals, but it is not a process that is intended to be used under normal circumstances.
Regulatory cooperation and alignment
The amendment is not related to a work plan or commitment under a formal regulatory cooperation forum.
Strategic environmental assessment
The amendment is unlikely to result in important environmental effects. In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, a preliminary scan concluded that a strategic environmental assessment is not required.
Gender-based analysis plus
Given the targeted nature of this amendment, no gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) impacts have been identified.
Section 8 of the Regulations provides for designated persons to apply to the Minister to have their name removed from the Regulations. The Minister has been provided with evidence supporting the removal of one individual from Schedule 1 of the Regulations, who does not meet the criteria to be listed. Canada considers the delisting recourse process, as outlined in section 8 of the Regulations, to be an integral part of a robust sanctions framework and crucial to the fair application of sanctions.
Based on the information the individual submitted as part of their delisting application, the Minister of Foreign Affairs determined that there were reasonable grounds to recommend that their name be removed from Schedule 1 of the Regulations.
Implementation, compliance and enforcement, and service standards
The amendment comes into force on the day it is registered.
The name of the individual will be removed from the Consolidated Canadian Autonomous Sanctions List. This will help to facilitate compliance with the Regulations.
Sanctions Policy and Operations Division
Global Affairs Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Telephone: 343‑203‑3975 / 1‑833‑352‑0769