Canada Imposes Sanctions on Myanmar Military Officials

February 19, 2021

Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Honourable Marc Garneau announced that  effective February 18, 2021, Canada is imposing sanctions against 9 Myanmar military officials, under the Special Economic Measures (Burma) Regulations (“Regulations”). This action is followed by the coup d’état perpetrated by the Myanmar Armed Forces. Earlier this month on February 3, 2021, the G7 Foreign Ministers made the following statement:

            We, the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and the High Representative of the European Union, are united in condemning the coup in Myanmar.

While the specific prohibitions are set out in the regulations, the names of the individuals added to the schedule of these regulations are:

  • Min Aung Hlaing
  • Soe Win
  • Sein Win
  • Soe Htut
  • Ye Aung
  • Mya Tun Oo
  • Tin Aung San
  • Aung Lin Dwe
  • Ye Win Oo

The current measures under the Regulations impose on listed individuals a prohibition on dealings (effectively an asset freeze) by prohibiting persons in Canada and Canadians outside Canada from dealing in any property of these individuals or providing financial or related services to them.

The sanctions against Myanmar were enacted under the Special Economic Measures Act to respond to the ongoing human rights and humanitarian situation in Myanmar. On December 13, 2007, the Special Economic Measures (Burma) Regulations came into force.

The measures implemented by the Regulations, as amended, include:

  • a freeze on assets in Canada of any designated Myanmar nationals connected with the Myanmar State, as well as prohibitions on several categories of transactions, services and dealings involving property of designated persons, wherever situated; and
  • an arms embargo, including prohibitions on exporting and importing arms and related material to and from Myanmar, on communicating technical data related to military activities or arms and related material, and on financial services related to military activities or arms and related material.

A separate Special Economic Measures (Burma) Permit Authorization Order (SOR/2007-286), made pursuant to subsection 4(4) of the Special Economic Measures Act, authorizes the Minister of Foreign Affairs to issue to any person in Canada and any Canadian outside Canada a permit to carry out a specified activity or transaction, or any class of activity or transaction, that is restricted or prohibited pursuant to the Regulations.

The lawyers at Tereposky & DeRose have significant experience in the design and implementation of sanctions-related compliance programs, including policies, procedures, employee training, and internal control mechanisms. They also regularly assist both Canadian and international businesses, financial institutions, and individuals with internal investigations when “red flags” appear and provide advice on compliance in these areas. Where breaches have occurred, they have worked closely with their clients in making voluntary disclosures and in engaging with the ensuing investigations conducted by the RCMP and Global Affairs Canada.


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