On December 20, 2022, Canada announced amendments to the Special Economic Measures (Haiti) Regulations (the “Regulations”) in response to the “acts of significant corruption that are fueling the crisis” in Haiti. These amendments list an additional two individuals under the Schedule of the Regulations and took effect on December 15, 2022.
There are now thirteen individuals listed under the Schedule of the Regulations. Both of the newly listed individuals are believed to be using their status as high-profile elites in Haiti to “protect and enable the illegal activities of armed criminal gangs, including through money laundering and other acts of corruption”.
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:
This is the third amendment to the Regulations, in response to gangs and their supporters who “continue to terrorize vulnerable populations in Haiti with impunity and are precipitating a humanitarian crisis in the country”. This amendment is also intended to put pressure on those who provide funds and weapons to criminal gangs in Haiti and are “responsible for the ongoing violence, including widespread sexual violence, and instability” in the country. 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 December 15, 2022 are available on Global Affairs Canada’s website here.
Julia Webster is a disputes and international trade lawyer. She advises companies on trade remedies, free trade agreements, blocking measures, customs compliance, anti-corruption laws, economic sanctions, AML compliance, supply chain ethics, and cross-border M&A.
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