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Canadian Sanctions Related to Zimbabwe

Types of sanctions

Arms embargo

Asset freeze

Financial Prohibitions

Technical assistance prohibition

Recent developments

  • 2023-03-27 - Regulations were amended
  • 2019-03-04 - Regulations were amended
  • 2008-09-04 - Regulations entered into force
Do you need a permit or certificate?


Sanctions related to Zimbabwe were enacted under the Special Economic Measures Act in response to human rights violations, political violence and a worsening humanitarian situation.

Subject to certain exceptions, the measures implemented by the Special Economic Measures (Zimbabwe) Regulations include:

  • a ban on the export of arms and related material to Zimbabwe or to any person in Zimbabwe;
  • a prohibition on the transport of arms and related material to Zimbabwe aboard a Canadian vessel or aircraft;
  • a prohibition on the provision of technical or financial assistance or services relating to arms and related material, including the provision, transfer or communication of technical data, to Zimbabwe or any person in Zimbabwe;
  • requirement on any person in Canada and Canadian outside of Canada to freeze the assets of listed Zimbabwean persons and entities; and
  • a prohibition on Zimbabwean aircraft from flying over or landing in Canada.


There are some exceptions, including for the following:

  • supplies of non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use, and related technical assistance and training;
  • supplies of protective clothing and equipment for the personal use of United Nations or African Union personnel, representatives of the media and humanitarian and development workers and associated personnel; and
  • members of the Canadian Forces in, or travelling to, Zimbabwe.

The Regulations include a list of names of persons for whom the Governor in Council believes there are reasonable grounds to believe that they are connected with the Government of Zimbabwe or persons or entities engaged in activities that seriously undermine democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law in Zimbabwe.

Permits and Certificates

The Special Economic Measures (Zimbabwe) 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 or any Canadian outside Canada a permit to carry out a specified activity or transaction, or any class of activity or transaction, that is restricted or prohibited pursuant to the Regulations.


On September 4, 2008, the Special Economic Measures (Zimbabwe) Regulations came into force in order to respond to the gravity of the situation in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe had been in serious decline for a decade. In Zimbabwe there continue to be human rights violations and violence directed at the political opposition, significant electoral irregularities, the denial of a peaceful democratic transition and a worsening humanitarian situation.

On March 27, 2023, Canada amended its regulations to delist individuals who were either deceased, were deemed to no longer be involved in human rights violations and political violence, or are widowed, divorced or separated from listed individuals. The measures and exemptions under the Special Economic Measures (Zimbabwe) Regulations remain nonetheless enforced.

Selected documents


Regulations and Orders made under the Special Economic Measures 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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