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Version of document from 2022-06-23 to 2023-01-11:

Special Economic Measures Act

S.C. 1992, c. 17

Assented to 1992-06-04

An Act to provide for the imposition of special economic measures

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Special Economic Measures Act.

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

 In this Act,

Canadian

Canadian means a person who is a citizen within the meaning of the Citizenship Act or a body corporate incorporated or continued by or under the laws of Canada or of a province; (Canadien)

entity

entity means a body corporate, trust, partnership, fund, an unincorporated association or organization or a foreign state; (entité)

foreign state

foreign state means a country other than Canada, and includes

  • (a) any political subdivision of a foreign state,

  • (b) the government, and any department, of a foreign state or of a political subdivision thereof, and

  • (c) any agency of a foreign state or of a political subdivision thereof; (État étranger)

national

national, in relation to a foreign state, means an individual who possesses the nationality of that state as determined in accordance with the laws of that state or a body corporate incorporated or continued by or under the laws of that state; (nationaux)

person

person means an individual or an entity; (personne)

property

property means any type of property, whether real or personal or immovable or movable, or tangible or intangible or corporeal or incorporeal, and includes money, funds, currency, digital assets and virtual currency; (bien)

technical data

technical data includes blueprints, technical drawings, photographic imagery, computer software, models, formulas, engineering designs and specifications, technical and operating manuals and any technical information or know-how. (données techniques)

Her Majesty

Marginal note:Binding on Her Majesty

 This Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.

Purpose

Marginal note:Purpose of Act

 The purpose of this Act is to enable the Government of Canada to take economic measures against certain persons in circumstances where an international organization of states or association of states of which Canada is a member calls on its members to do so, a grave breach of international peace and security has occurred, gross and systematic human rights violations have been committed in a foreign state or acts of significant corruption involving a national of a foreign state have been committed.

Orders and Regulations

Marginal note:Orders and regulations

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may, if the Governor in Council is of the opinion that any of the circumstances described in subsection (1.1) has occurred,

    • (a) make any orders or regulations with respect to the restriction or prohibition of any of the activities referred to in subsection (2) in relation to a foreign state that the Governor in Council considers necessary; and

    • (b) by order, cause to be seized or restrained in the manner set out in the order any property situated in Canada that is owned — or that is held or controlled, directly or indirectly — by

      • (i) a foreign state,

      • (ii) any person in that foreign state, or

      • (iii) a national of that foreign state who does not ordinarily reside in Canada.

  • Marginal note:Circumstances

    (1.1) The circumstances referred to in subsection (1) are the following:

    • (a) an international organization of states or association of states, of which Canada is a member, has made a decision or a recommendation or adopted a resolution calling on its members to take economic measures against a foreign state;

    • (b) a grave breach of international peace and security has occurred that has resulted in or is likely to result in a serious international crisis;

    • (c) gross and systematic human rights violations have been committed in a foreign state; or

    • (d) a national of a foreign state who is either a foreign public official, within the meaning of section 2 of the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act, or an associate of such an official, is responsible for or complicit in ordering, controlling or otherwise directing acts of corruption — including bribery, the misappropriation of private or public assets for personal gain, the transfer of the proceeds of corruption to foreign states or any act of corruption related to expropriation, government contracts or the extraction of natural resources — which amount to acts of significant corruption when taking into consideration, among other things, their impact, the amounts involved, the foreign national’s influence or position of authority or the complicity of the government of the foreign state in question in the acts.

  • Marginal note:Restricted or prohibited activities

    (2) Orders and regulations may be made pursuant to paragraph (1)(a) with respect to the restriction or prohibition of any of the following activities, whether carried out in or outside Canada, in relation to a foreign state:

    • (a) any dealing by any person in Canada or Canadian outside Canada in any property, wherever situated, that is owned — or that is held or controlled, directly or indirectly — by that foreign state, any person in that foreign state, or a national of that foreign state who does not ordinarily reside in Canada;

    • (b) the exportation, sale, supply or shipment by any person in Canada or Canadian outside Canada of any goods wherever situated to that foreign state or any person in that foreign state, or any other dealing by any person in Canada or Canadian outside Canada in any goods wherever situated destined for that foreign state or any person in that foreign state;

    • (c) the transfer, provision or communication by any person in Canada or Canadian outside Canada of any technical data to that foreign state or any person in that foreign state;

    • (d) the importation, purchase, acquisition or shipment by any person in Canada or Canadian outside Canada of any goods that are exported, supplied or shipped from that foreign state after a date specified in the order or regulations, or any other dealing by any person in Canada or Canadian outside Canada in any such goods;

    • (e) the provision or acquisition by any person in Canada or Canadian outside Canada of financial services or any other services to, from or for the benefit of or on the direction or order of that foreign state or any person in that foreign state;

    • (f) the docking in that foreign state of ships registered or licensed, or for which an identification number has been issued, pursuant to any Act of Parliament;

    • (g) the landing in that foreign state of aircraft registered in Canada or operated in connection with a Canadian air service licence;

    • (h) the docking in or passage through Canada by ships registered in that foreign state or used, leased or chartered, in whole or in part, by or on behalf of or for the benefit of that foreign state or a person in that foreign state; and

    • (i) the landing in or flight over Canada by aircraft registered in that foreign state or used, leased or chartered, in whole or in part, by or on behalf of or for the benefit of that foreign state or any person in that foreign state.

  • Marginal note:Exclusions

    (3) Any order or regulation made pursuant to subsection (1) may exclude any person, property, goods, technical data, services, transactions, ships or aircraft or any class thereof from the application of the order or regulation.

  • Marginal note:Order authorizing Minister

    (4) The Governor in Council may, by order, authorize the Minister to

    • (a) issue to any person in Canada or Canadian outside Canada a permit to carry out a specified activity or transaction, or class of activity or transaction, that is restricted or prohibited under this Act or any order or regulations made under this Act; or

    • (b) issue a general permit allowing any person in Canada or Canadian outside Canada to carry out a specified activity or transaction, or class of activity or transaction, that is restricted or prohibited under this Act or any order or regulations made under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Ministerial permit

    (5) The Minister may issue a permit or general permit, subject to any terms and conditions that are, in the opinion of the Minister, consistent with this Act and any order or regulations made under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (6) The Minister may amend, suspend, revoke or reinstate any permit issued by the Minister under subsection (4).

Marginal note:Costs

 Any costs incurred by or on behalf of Her Majesty in right of Canada in relation to the seizure or restraint of property under an order made under paragraph 4(1)(b) or the disposal of property forfeited under section 5.4 are the liability of the owner of the property and constitute a debt due to Her Majesty in right of Canada that may be recovered in any court of competent jurisdiction.

Marginal note:Application for review

  •  (1) A person whose property is the subject of an order made under paragraph 4(1)(b) may, unless the property is the subject of a forfeiture order, apply at any time to the Minister in writing to request that the property cease being the subject of the order made under that paragraph.

  • Marginal note:Reasonable grounds

    (2) On receipt of an application, the Minister must decide whether there are reasonable grounds to recommend to the Governor in Council that the property cease to be the subject of the order.

Marginal note:Ranking

 All secured and unsecured rights and interests in any property that is the subject of an order made under paragraph 4(1)(b) that are held by a person are entitled to the same ranking that they would have been entitled to had the order not been made, unless

  • (a) the person is

    • (i) the foreign state identified in the order,

    • (ii) a person in that state, or

    • (iii) a national of that state who does not ordinarily reside in Canada; or

  • (b) the property is forfeited to Her Majesty in right of Canada under section 5.4.

Forfeiture Orders

Marginal note:Definitions

 The following definitions apply in sections 5.4 to 5.6.

judge

judge means a judge of a superior court of the province where property described in an order made under paragraph 4(1)(b) is situated. (juge)

Minister

Minister means the Minister responsible under section 6 for the administration of an order made under paragraph 4(1)(b). (ministre)

Marginal note:Forfeiture

  •  (1) On application by the Minister, a judge shall order that the property that is the subject of the application be forfeited to Her Majesty in right of Canada if the judge determines, based on the evidence presented, that the property

    • (a) is described in an order made under paragraph 4(1)(b); and

    • (b) is owned by the person referred to in that order or is held or controlled, directly or indirectly, by that person.

  • Marginal note:Notice

    (2) Before making the order in relation to the property, the court shall require notice to be given to any person who, in the court’s opinion, appears to have an interest in or right to the property, and the court may hear any such person.

  • Marginal note:Manner of giving notice

    (3) The notice shall

    • (a) be given in the manner that the court directs or that may be specified in the rules of the court;

    • (b) specify the period that the court considers reasonable or that may be set out in the rules of the court during which a person may, before the order in relation to the property is made, make an application to the court asserting their interest in or right to the property; and

    • (c) set out a description of the property.

  • Marginal note:Application by person

    (4) Any person — other than a person referred to in any of subparagraphs 5.2(a)(i) to (iii) — who claims an interest in or right to property that is forfeited to Her Majesty under subsection (1) may, within 30 days after the day on which the property is forfeited, apply in writing to a judge for an order declaring that their interest or right is not affected by the forfeiture, declaring the nature and extent of the interest or right and directing the Minister to pay to the person an amount equal to the value of their interest or right.

Marginal note:Not a Crown corporation

 If the property that is the subject of a forfeiture order consists of all of the shares of a corporation, the corporation is deemed not to be a Crown corporation as defined in subsection 83(1) of the Financial Administration Act.

Marginal note:Payment out of Proceeds Account

 After consulting with the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister may — at the times and in the manner, and on any terms and conditions, that the Minister considers appropriate — pay out of the Proceeds Account, as defined in section 2 of the Seized Property Management Act, amounts not exceeding the net proceeds from the disposition of property forfeited under section 5.4, but only for any of the following purposes:

  • (a) the reconstruction of a foreign state adversely affected by a grave breach of international peace and security;

  • (b) the restoration of international peace and security; and

  • (c) the compensation of victims of a grave breach of international peace and security, gross and systematic human rights violations or acts of significant corruption.

Administration and Enforcement

Marginal note:Enforcement

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Minister of Foreign Affairs is responsible for the administration and enforcement of this Act.

  • Marginal note:Designation

    (2) The Governor in Council may, by order, designate one or more Ministers of the Crown to discharge such responsibilities as the Governor in Council may specify with respect to the administration or enforcement of any of the provisions of this Act or any order or regulations made under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Assessment of claims for compensation

    (3) The Governor in Council may, by order, designate a Minister of the Crown as a Minister having the duty, for the purpose only of submitting a report to the Governor in Council with respect to claims for compensation, to receive and assess reasonable claims for compensation from any person who alleges to have suffered any loss or damages as a result of anything done or purported to have been done under this Act or any order or regulations made under this Act.

Marginal note:Sharing of information

 The following persons may assist the Minister in matters relating to the making, administration or enforcement of an order or regulation referred to in subsection 4(1) and, for that purpose, may collect information from and disclose information to each other:

  • (a) the Minister of Foreign Affairs;

  • (b) the Minister of Finance;

  • (c) the Minister of Public Works and Government Services;

  • (d) the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness;

  • (e) the Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service;

  • (f) the Chief of the Communications Security Establishment;

  • (g) the President of the Canada Border Services Agency; and

  • (h) the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.

Marginal note:RCMP

  •  (1) The Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police may assist the Minister in matters related to the making of an order under paragraph 4(1)(b), the seizure or restraint of any property that is the subject of such an order or the making of an application for forfeiture of the property under section 5.4 and, for that purpose, may collect information from and disclose information to the persons referred to in section 6.1.

  • Marginal note:For greater certainty

    (2) For greater certainty, nothing in subsection (1) is to be construed as affecting the powers of a peace officer that are conferred under legislation or the common law.

Marginal note:Provision of information

  •  (1) The Minister of Foreign Affairs may require any person to provide to that Minister any information that that Minister believes on reasonable grounds is relevant for the purposes of the making, administration or enforcement of an order or regulation referred to in subsection 4(1).

  • Marginal note:Duty to comply

    (2) Every person who is required to provide information under subsection (1) shall comply with the requirement within the time and in the form and manner specified by that Minister.

Marginal note:Tabling in Parliament

  •  (1) Every order and regulation made under paragraph 4(1)(a) shall be laid before each House of Parliament by a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada within five sitting days of that House after it is made.

  • Marginal note:Filing of motion

    (2) Where an order or regulation has been laid before a House of Parliament pursuant to subsection (1), a motion for the consideration of that House, to the effect that the order or regulation be amended or revoked, signed by

    • (a) not less than fifty members of the House of Commons, in the case of a motion for the consideration of the House of Commons, and

    • (b) not less than twenty members of the Senate, in the case of a motion for the consideration of the Senate,

    may be filed with the Speaker of that House.

  • Marginal note:Consideration of motion

    (3) Where a motion for the consideration of a House of Parliament is filed in accordance with subsection (2), that House shall, not later than the sixth sitting day of that House following the filing of the motion, take up and consider the motion, unless a motion to the like effect has earlier been taken up and is being considered in the other House.

  • Marginal note:Time for disposition of motion

    (4) A motion taken up and considered in a House of Parliament in accordance with subsection (3) shall be debated without interruption for not more than three hours or such longer period as that House may, with the unanimous consent of its members, fix and, on the conclusion of the debate or on the expiration of the third hour of debate, whichever is earlier, the Speaker of that House shall immediately put every question necessary for the disposal of the motion.

  • Marginal note:Procedure on adoption of motion

    (5) If a motion taken up and considered in a House of Parliament in accordance with subsection (3) is adopted, with or without amendments, a message shall be sent from that House informing the other House that the motion has been so adopted and requesting that the motion be concurred in by that other House.

  • Marginal note:Procedure in other House

    (6) Within the first fifteen days that it is sitting after receiving a request pursuant to subsection (5), the House receiving the request shall take up and consider the motion that is the subject of the request, and all questions in connection with the motion shall be debated without interruption for not more than three hours or such longer period as that House may, with the unanimous consent of its members, fix and, on the conclusion of the debate or on the expiration of the third hour of debate, whichever is earlier, the Speaker of that House shall immediately put every question necessary to determine whether or not the motion is concurred in.

  • Marginal note:Where motion adopted and concurred in

    (7) Where a motion taken up and considered in accordance with this section is adopted, with or without amendments, by the House of Parliament in which it was introduced and is concurred in by the other House, the order or regulation to which the motion relates is revoked or amended effective on the day specified in the motion, which day may not be earlier than the day of the vote of concurrence.

  • Marginal note:Where motion not adopted or not concurred in

    (8) Where a motion taken up and considered in accordance with this section is not adopted by the House of Parliament in which it was introduced, or is adopted, with or without amendments, by that House but is not concurred in by the other House, the order or regulation to which the motion relates shall remain unaffected.

  • Marginal note:Report of the Governor in Council

    (9) The Governor in Council shall submit a full report on the operation of any order or regulation made pursuant to the Act within sixty sitting days after the said order or regulation has ceased to have effect and the report shall be referred to a committee to be designated by each House of Parliament.

Marginal note:Agreements

 The Minister of Foreign Affairs may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, enter into an agreement with the government of any foreign state respecting the use by the foreign state, for any of the following purposes, of amounts that may be paid out under section 5.6:

  • (a) the reconstruction of the foreign state adversely affected by a grave breach of international peace and security;

  • (b) the restoration of international peace and security; and

  • (c) the compensation of victims of a grave breach of international peace and security, gross and systematic human rights violations or acts of significant corruption.

Marginal note:Offence and punishment

 Every person who wilfully contravenes or fails to comply with an order or regulation made under section 4

  • (a) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable to a fine not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both; or

  • (b) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

Marginal note:Peace officers for the purposes of this Act

  •  (1) A person having the powers of an officer under the Customs Act, the Excise Act or the Excise Act, 2001 is deemed to be a peace officer for the purposes of this Act and sections 487 to 490, 491.l and 491.2 of the Criminal Code.

  • Marginal note:Search and seizure

    (2) A peace officer may search any building, receptacle or place for anything

    • (a) in respect of which there are reasonable grounds to believe that any offence against this Act has been committed,

    • (b) that there are reasonable grounds to believe has been used in the commission of an offence against this Act, or

    • (c) that there are reasonable grounds to believe will afford evidence with respect to the commission of an offence against this Act

    without a warrant if the conditions for obtaining a warrant exist but by reason of exigent circumstances it would be impractical to obtain a warrant, and may seize any such thing found therein.

  • 1992, c. 17, s. 9
  • 2002, c. 22, s. 396

Marginal note:Evidence

  •  (1) The original or a copy of a bill of lading, customs document, commercial invoice or other document is admissible in evidence in a prosecution under this Act in relation to any dealing with respect to goods where it appears from the document that

    • (a) the goods were sent or shipped from Canada or into Canada;

    • (b) a person, as shipper, consignor or consignee, sent or shipped the goods from Canada or into Canada; or

    • (c) the goods were sent or shipped to a particular destination or person.

  • Marginal note:Proof of the facts

    (2) In the absence of evidence to the contrary, a document that is admissible in evidence under subsection (1) is proof of any of the facts set out in paragraph (1)(a), (b) or (c) that appear from the document.

Marginal note:Proceedings

  •  (1) Any proceedings in respect of an offence under this Act may be tried and determined by the court having jurisdiction at the place in Canada where the offence was committed or at the place in Canada in which the person charged with the offence is, resides or has an office or place of business at the time of commencement of the proceedings.

  • Marginal note:Proceedings where Canadians outside Canada

    (2) Where a Canadian is alleged to have committed, outside Canada, an offence against this Act, any proceedings in respect of that offence may, whether or not that person is in Canada, be commenced in any territorial division in Canada and the accused may be tried and punished in respect of that offence in the same manner as if the offence had been committed in that territorial division.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (3) For greater certainty, the provisions of the Criminal Code relating to

    • (a) requirements that an accused appear at and be present during proceedings, and

    • (b) the exception to those requirements,

    apply to proceedings commenced in any territorial division pursuant to subsection (2).

Marginal note:Consent of Attorney General required

 Proceedings with respect to an offence under this Act may only be commenced with the consent of the Attorney General of Canada.

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