Special Economic Measures (People's Republic of China) Permit Authorization Order: SOR/2021-50
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 155, Number 8
SOR/2021-50 March 24, 2021
SPECIAL ECONOMIC MEASURES ACT
Special Economic Measures (People's Republic of China) Permit Authorization Order
P.C. 2021-180 March 23, 2021
His Excellency the Administrator of the Government of Canada in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, pursuant to subsection 4(4) of the Special Economic Measures Act footnote a, 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 under the Special Economic Measures (People's Republic of China) Regulations footnote b.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Order.)
Since 2017, credible reports have continued to emerge of mass arbitrary detentions of Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) on the basis of their religion and ethnicity. Throughout the XUAR, Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities face repressive physical and digital surveillance, which includes severe restrictions on movement, the forced collection of biometric data, and coercive police surveillance. Family members of Canadian citizens have also disappeared and are incommunicado. These detentions are directed by the central and regional governments under the pretext of countering terrorism and violent extremism. While in detention, Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities face torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, obligatory patriotic and cultural education, forced labour, and mass arbitrary forced separation of children from their parents. There are also credible reports of systematic rape and gender-based sexual violence, and witnesses and victims have reported forced medical procedures which are performed without the patient's consent, including forced sterilization, abortions, contraceptive device insertion, and organ removal. In July 2019, Chinese authorities stated that detention camps had been closed. However, there is strong evidence, including satellite imagery, leaked government documents, and witness testimony, suggesting that the detention facilities remain in operation. The Chinese government denies any such human rights abuses against Uyghur people and rejects any accountability for wrongdoing, instead seeking to discredit as well as intimidate victims and those who choose to speak out.
The Special Economic Measures (People's Republic of China) Regulations (the Regulations) list one entity and four individuals and prohibit persons (individuals and entities) in Canada and Canadians outside Canada from conducting the specified activities, such as dealing in any property, wherever situated, that is owned, held or controlled by a listed person or by a person acting on behalf of a listed person, or providing any financial or related services to or for the benefit of a listed person. These measures are intended to put pressure on the Government of the People's Republic of China to change its behaviour, to communicate a clear message to the Government of the People's Republic of China that Canada stands with the international community and its allies in condemning the gross and systematic human rights violations that continue to take place at the hands of the State with impunity, and to raise the costs to the Chinese government of continuing the policies of repression against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in the XUAR.
Typically, when the government imposes sanctions, individuals or entities in Canada and any Canadian outside Canada can be permitted to carry out activities that are otherwise prohibited if authorized by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
- To enable the Minister of Foreign Affairs to issue permits
Description and rationale
The Special Economic Measures (People's Republic of China) Permit Authorization Order (the Order) authorizes the Minister of Foreign Affairs to issue to any individual or entity in Canada and any Canadian outside Canada a permit to carry out a specified activity or transaction, or any class of activity or transaction that is otherwise restricted or prohibited pursuant to the Regulations.
The Order will create additional compliance costs for businesses seeking permits that would authorize them to carry out specified activities or transactions that are otherwise prohibited. However, costs will likely be low, as it is unlikely that Canadian businesses have dealings with the newly listed persons.
One-for-one rule and small business lens
On January 12, 2021, in coordination with the United Kingdom, Canada announced that it was adopting a comprehensive approach to defending the rights of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities, including by advancing measures to address the risk of having forced labour (knowingly or unknowingly) taint the supply chains of Canadian businesses. Announced measures also included the banning of imports produced, wholly or in part, using forced labour. The sanctions will complement the measures adopted on January 12.
The one-for-one rule does not apply, as there is no change in administrative costs or burden to businesses.
The Order potentially creates additional compliance costs for small businesses seeking permits that would authorize them to carry out specified activities or transactions that are otherwise prohibited.
Greater China Policy and Coordination Division