Canadian Sanctions Related to South Sudan

Types of sanctions

Asset freeze

Financial Prohibitions

Recent developments

  • 2019-03-04 - Regulations were amended (SEMA) and (UNA)
  • 2015-06-18 - Regulations entered into force (UNA)
  • 2014-10-23 - Regulations entered into force (SEMA)
Do you need a permit or certificate?


Sanctions related to South Sudan were implemented under the Special Economic Measures Act and the United Nations Act in response to the ongoing conflict in that country.

The Special Economic Measures (South Sudan) Regulations impose an asset freeze on designated persons identified in the Schedule to the regulations. They prohibit persons in Canada and Canadians abroad from:

  • dealing in any property, wherever situated, held by or on behalf of a designated person;
  • entering into or facilitating, directly or indirectly, any transaction related to such a dealing;
  • providing any financial or related service in respect of such a dealing;
  • making goods, wherever situated, available to a designated person; and,
  • providing any financial or related service to or for the benefit of a designated person.

Causing, assisting or promoting prohibited activities is likewise prohibited.

The Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolution on South Sudan also impose an asset freeze on persons designated by the United Nations Security Council Committee concerning South Sudan (the “Committee”).


Under the Special Economic Measures (South Sudan) Regulations, some exceptions to the prohibitions exist, including for the following:

  • payments made by or on behalf of a designated person that is due under a contract entered into their designation, provided that the payment is not to a designated person or for their benefit;
  • pension payments to any person in Canada or Canadian abroad;
  • certain transactions in respect of diplomatic missions;
  • transactions to UN agencies, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and Canadian NGOs in certain circumstances;
  • transactions necessary for a Canadian to transfer to a non-designated person any accounts, funds or investments held by a designated person when that person became a designated person;
  • financial services required in order for a designated person to obtain certain legal services in Canada;
  • certain payments to persons in Canada or Canadians abroad in respect of loan payments; and
  • payments to any person in Canada or any Canadian abroad in respect of loans entered into prior the date on which a person became a designated person

Permits and Certificates

The Special Economic Measures (South Sudan) Permit Authorization Order, made pursuant to subsection 4(4) of the Special Economic Measures Act, authorizes the Minister of Foreign Affairs to issue to any person in Canada and any Canadian outside Canada a permit to carry out a specified activity or transaction, or any class of activity or transaction, with a designated person that is otherwise restricted or prohibited pursuant to the Special Economic Measures (South Sudan) Regulations.

Persons affected by the Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolution on South Sudan can also apply for a certificate as per sections 7-10 of the same regulations, although these may require notification to and/or a decision from the United Nations Security Council or the Committee.


Since December 2013, forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar have engaged in violent conflict, much of it along ethnic lines. The IGAD (a regional body consisting of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda, as well as South Sudan) is leading peace talks. A Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) Agreement was signed by both parties on January 23, 2014, followed by an Agreement to Resolve the Crisis in South Sudan signed on May 9, 2014. Both agreements were violated shortly thereafter and international observers suspect that both sides have been deliberately stalling negotiations in hopes of furthering their military gains. On June 10, 2014, Kiir and Machar agreed to end fighting and form a transitional government within 60 days, but little progress has been made since then.

Estimates of casualties due to the conflict range from 10,000 to 40,000 people and are possibly much higher, and over 1.5 million have been displaced internally or as refugees. On May 12, 2014, UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon called for a special tribunal for South Sudan, saying there are grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed during the crisis.

On October 23, 2014, the Special Economic Measures (South Sudan) Regulations came into force. The Regulations include a list of names of persons for whom the Governor in Council considers that there are reasonable grounds to believe is a person engaged in activities that directly or indirectly facilitate, support, provide funding for or contribute to a violation or attempted violation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.

On June 18, 2015, the Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolution on South Sudan came into force, implementing decisions of the United Nations Security Council into Canadian domestic law.

Selected documents


Regulations and orders made under the Special Economic Measures Act:

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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