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Canadian Sanctions Related to Democratic Republic of Congo

Types of sanctions

Arms embargo

Asset freeze

Technical assistance prohibition

Recent developments

  • 2023-06-19 - Regulations were amended
  • 2020-06-01 - Regulations were amended
  • 2019-03-04 - Regulations were amended
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Sanctions related to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were enacted under the United Nations Act to give effect to United Nations Security Council resolutions. Subject to certain exceptions, the measures imposed against the DRC include:

  • a prohibition on the export of arms and related materiel to any person in the territory of the DRC;
  • a prohibition on the provision, to any person in the DRC, of technical and financial assistance related to military activities;
  • an assets freeze against persons designated by the UN committee established by Resolution 1533 (2004) to oversee the sanctions against the DRC (the 1533 Committee); and
  • a travel ban against persons designated by the 1533 Committee.


There are some exceptions, including for the following:

  • non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use;
  • protective clothing temporarily exported to the DRC by United Nations personnel, representatives of the media and humanitarian and development workers and associated personnel, solely for their personal use;
  • arms and related material and technical assistance intended solely for support of, or use by, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) or the African Union-led Regional Task Force; and
  • arms and related material and technical assistance intended solely for support of, or use by the Government of the DRC.

On June 19, 2023, the Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on the Democratic Republic of the Congo were amended to allow the provision, processing or payment of funds, other financial assets or economic resources or the provision of goods and services that are necessary to ensure the timely delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance or to support other activities related to basic human needs, if provided by specified groups. These changes are the result of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2664 (2022), which created a carve-out for the delivery of humanitarian assistance in all current UN sanctions regimes that impose asset freezes.


On July 28, 2003, acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1493 imposing sanctions against the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in response to continuing hostilities in the eastern part of the DRC which were threatening the peace process. The sanctions regime was subsequently modified and strengthened with the adoption of a number of resolutions, including Resolutions 1533 (2004), 1552 (2004) and 1596 (2005). With Resolution 1807 (2008), of 31 March 2008, the Council decided that the Government of the DRC would no longer be subject to the arms embargo. Therefore, the embargo applies only to non-governmental entities and persons active in the DRC. However, there remains an obligation to notify the Committee before sending arms or related material to the Government of the DRC.

The United Nations Democratic Republic of the Congo Regulations, as amended, implement the decisions of the Security Council in Canadian domestic law. Implementation of the travel ban imposed by Resolution 1596 (2005) is ensured in Canada under existing provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Selected documents


Regulations and Orders made under the United Nations Act:

Related links

Legal advice

Please be advised that Global Affairs Canada cannot provide legal advice to members of the public. For this reason, we cannot deliver an opinion as to whether or not a specific activity or transaction would contravene sanctions legislation. You should consider seeking legal advice in relation to an activity that may contravene a Canadian sanction law.

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