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Canadian Sanctions Related to Iraq

Types of sanctions

Arms embargo

Asset freeze

Recent developments

  • 2023-06-19 - Regulations were amended
  • 2019-03-04 - Regulations were amended
  • 2004-10-19 - Regulations entered into force
Do you need a permit or certificate?


Sanctions related to Iraq were enacted under the United Nations Act to give effect to United Nations Security Council resolutions. Subject to certain exceptions, the sanctions imposed against Iraq include:

  • a prohibition on the export of arms and related material to any person in Iraq; and
  • an assets freeze against the previous government of Iraq (i.e., that existed prior to May 22, 2003) and any person designated by the UN sanctions committee established pursuant to Resolution 661 (661 Committee).

Iraqi Cultural Property

Anyone in Canada and any Canadian outside Canada is required to freeze any property in their possession or control belonging to the previous Iraqi government (that is, the Government of Iraq, and the governments of its political subdivisions, including its state bodies, corporations and agencies that existed prior to May 22, 2003) and Saddam Hussein and his associates as designated by the 1518 Committee. In addition to these obligations, the regulations require that anyone in Canada or any Canadian outside Canada who is in possession or control of frozen property notify the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada of this fact without delay.

The notice must be in writing and contain the following information:

  • the value, location and nature of the property;
  • the name, address and telephone number of the person in possession or control;
  • the date on which the person came into possession or control;
  • if the property is described in subparagraph 5(1)(a)(i) of the regulations, the name of the owner;
  • if the property is described in subparagraph 5(1)(a)(ii) of the regulations, the name of the individual or entity identified by the 661 Committee for Iraq that owns or controls the property or on whose behalf the property is held; and
  • if the person has knowledge that the property is subject to a judicial, administrative or arbitral decision or measure made prior to the coming into force of the United Nations Iraq Regulations (i.e. October 19, 2004), a description of the decision or measure.

The notice must be sent by mail or by fax to the following address:

Notification under the United Nations Iraq Regulations
Global Affairs Canada
United Nations, Human Rights and Economic Law Division (JLH)
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1A 0G2
Fax: 613-992-2467

Unless notified by the Director within 45 days of providing notice, the person who notified shall, at the end of that 45-day period, transfer without delay to the account of the Development Fund for Iraq at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York any cash, currency or securities, negotiable instruments or other financial instruments described in the notice that is not required to satisfy any decision or measure referred to, if applicable, in paragraph (f) of the notification.

For more information about the transfer procedure and other provisions under the regulations, please contact:

Global Affairs Canada
Sanctions Policy and Operations Coordination Division (PER)
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1A 0G2

Telephone (toll-free): 1-833-352-0769
Telephone (local): 1-343-203-3975
Fax: 1-613-995-9085


On June 19, 2023, the Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on Iraq 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 August 6, 1990, acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 661 imposing comprehensive sanctions on the regime of Saddam Hussein in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990. These sanctions were implemented in Canada through the United Nations Iraq Regulations (SOR/90-531). Most sanctions against Iraq were lifted by the adoption of Resolution 1483 on May 22, 2003, with the exception of an embargo against weapons and a prohibition on dealing in stolen Iraqi cultural property. The sanctions regime has subsequently been modified by additional resolutions, including Resolutions 1511 (2003), 1518 (2003) and 1546 (2004). The United Nations Iraq Regulations (SOR/90-531) were repealed when new regulations, also entitled the United Nations Iraq Regulations (SOR/2003-221), were made to implement these decisions of the Security Council in Canadian domestic law.

Selected documents


Regulations 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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