On June 21, 2023, Canada announced amendments to the Special Economic Measures (Haiti) Regulations (the “Regulations”) in response to “gross and systematic human rights violations”. These amendments list an additional four individuals under the Schedule of the Regulations and took effect on June 21, 2023.
There are now twenty-five individuals listed under the Schedule of the Regulations. All of the newly listed individuals are members of the elite and or gang leaders who use their position to “inflict gratuitous violence on the Haitian population, including sexual violence with a callous disregard for international norms and standards related to human rights”.
Generally speaking, listing under the Schedule 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, directly or indirectly, by a listed person;
- enter into or facilitate 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 listed person or to a person acting on their behalf; or
- provide any financial or related service to, or for the benefit of, a listed person.
This is the eighth amendment to the Regulations, implemented in response to gangs in Haiti who “operate under the protection of political interest groups, perpetrate gang rape, murder, and kidnapping for ransom with total impunity”. The Regulations are enacted in addition to the Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on Haiti, which implement decisions of the United Nations Security Council pursuant to resolution 2653.
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 listed persons under the Schedule and any related transactional information to the RCMP. Additionally, certain entities have a continuing duty to determine and disclose certain property held by listed persons.
An unofficial copy of the legislative amendments to the Special Economic Measures (Haiti) Regulations that came into effect on June 21, 2023 are available here.