Canadian Economic Sanctions

Canadian Economic Sanctions

Sanctions can impact your business by:

  • prohibiting trade and other economic activity with a foreign market,
  • restricting financial transactions such as foreign investments or acquisitions, or
  • leading to the seizure of property situated in Canada.

These restrictions may apply to dealings with entire countries, non-state actors, such as terrorist organizations, or designated persons from a target country.

Types of Sanctions

Sanctions imposed on specific countries, organizations and individuals vary. In general, they may include the following measures:


Arms Embargo


Asset Freeze


Export/Import Restrictions


Financial Prohibitions


Technical Assistance Prohibition

Please see Types of Sanctions for more information.

Current Canadian Sanctions

Canada has sanctions in place against a number of countries, as well as against specific individuals and entities. Please see Current Sanctions Imposed by Canada for more information.

Canadian Legislation

Canadian sanctions laws implement United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions regimes under the United Nations Act, as well as Canadian autonomous sanctions regimes under the Special Economic Measures Act.

On October 18, 2017, the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act came into force. This new legislation enables Canada to impose sanctions against foreign nationals in a foreign state for human rights abuses or against foreign public officials and their associates who are responsible or complicit in acts of significant corruption.

Contravening a Canadian sanctions law may be a serious criminal offence. Please see Canadian Sanctions Legislation for more information.

Permits and Certificates

The Minister of Foreign Affairs may, on an exceptional basis, be able to issue a permit or certificate authorising an activity that would otherwise contravene Canadian sanctions law. Please see Permits and Certificates for more information.

Consolidated Special Economic Measures Act Sanctions List

The Consolidated Special Economic Measures Act Sanctions List is now available. This list includes designated persons listed in the schedules of regulations made under the Special Economic Measures Act (SEMA).

The prohibitions may not apply to each individual or entity in the same way. Each applicable sanctions regulation specifies what prohibitions apply to a particular individual or entity. For accurate information on which provisions apply, reference must be made to the relevant regulation in which the particular individual or entity is listed.

The inclusion of these names on this list is for administrative purposes only. The Consolidated SEMA Sanctions List is not a regulation, and it does not have force of law.