Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations: SOR/2024-40

Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 158, Number 6

SOR/2024-40 February 29, 2024


P.C. 2024-169 February 29, 2024

Whereas the Governor in Council is of the opinion that gross and systematic human rights violations have been committed in the Russian Federation;

Therefore, Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations under paragraph 4(1)(a)footnote a and subsections 4(1.1)footnote b, (2)footnote c and (3) of the Special Economic Measures Act footnote d.

Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations


1 Part 1.1 of Schedule 1 to the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations footnote 1 is amended by adding the following in numerical order:

Application Before Publication

2 For the purpose of paragraph 11(2)(a) of the Statutory Instruments Act, these Regulations apply according to their terms before they are published in the Canada Gazette.

Coming into Force

3 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.


(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)


The Russian Federation continues to commit human rights violations in Russia. The Russian judicial system is under federal political control, does not afford fair and impartial proceedings, and has been used to sentence opposition voices. The imprisonment and recent death of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny is an example of such actions of the Russian Federation.


The Russian’ government’s decades-long persecution of Alexey Navalny through prosecution, imprisonment, attempted murder through chemical poisoning, torture and eventual death in an Arctic penal colony demonstrates the Russian government’s ongoing contempt for the values of the rule of law and the human rights of its citizens. The treatment of Alexey Navalny at the hands of Russian authorities is a gross and systematic human rights abuse and but one example of a pattern of behaviour which suggests that Vladimir Putin and his officials will continue to target opposition voices and those deemed to threaten their control of the Russian people.

In January 2021, upon his return from treatment in Germany following a suspected poisoning attempt on his life by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), the modern-day KGB (Committee for State Security), Navalny was detained and imprisoned in a penal colony in central Russia. At the end of 2023, Navalny’s associates received information that he was being transferred to an isolated Arctic penal colony, Polar Wolf, in the Yamal region. This is one of the northernmost colonies in Russia, where people convicted of the most serious crimes serve their sentences. There have been numerous reports of murders, torture and other systematic human rights violations in the Polar Wolf penal colony. Numerous independent media sources have quoted former prisoners of Polar Wolf as saying that the administration of this penal colony routinely uses torture, such as pouring cold water on people in freezing outside temperatures, for the slightest offence. In Polar Wolf Navalny was held in extreme conditions and kept inside a “penalty lockup” — a solitary confinement type of punishment cell.

On February 15, 2024, Alexey Navalny participated in a court session via video link. The footage, aired by an unofficial source a day before Navalny’s reported death, is the last known footage of him and shows him standing by himself and using humour to engage with the authorities persecuting him. The next day, Russian authorities announced Alexey Navalny was dead. Russian authorities have rejected international calls for an independent and transparent investigation into his death and have long refused to cooperate with his family, and only released his body for burial a week after his reported death after numerous requests and reports of ultimatums from Russian authorities to Navalny’s mother. At the same time, they have brutally repressed Navalny’s mourners across the country, arbitrarily arresting people, beating them, putting them on trial and imprisoning them.

Canada has consistently condemned the treatment of Alexey Navalny at the hands of Russian authorities and has issued three previous rounds of sanctions targeting members of the Russian justice and security sectors, including judiciary and investigative committee senior officials who have mistreated him and abused his human rights. Following the announcement of his death, Canada has joined its international partners in condemning the treatment of Mr. Navalny and holding Russian President Vladimir Putin fully responsible for his death. On February 21, 2024, Global Affairs Canada’s Assistant Deputy Minister for Europe, Arctic, Middle East and Maghreb called in Russia’s Ambassador to Canada, Oleg Stepanov, to condemn in the strongest terms Navalny’s death. Canada has made it clear that it expects a full and transparent investigation into the death of Alexey Navalny.

Mr. Navalny is not the only individual to have been targeted by the regime for opposition activities. Russia under Vladimir Putin has a demonstrated history of human rights violations, targeting political opponents and critics, and repressing internal dissent, sometimes violently. International and local human rights groups cite reports of multiple incidents of mistreatment committed by law enforcement and correctional bodies, including physical abuse of detainees at the hands of the police, torture or severe mistreatment of inmates in prison colonies, and detention of individuals for association with opposition organizations. The Russian government has also made it clear it is unwilling to engage with the concerns of the international community on these issues.



The amendments add six individuals to Schedule 1 of the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations (the Regulations) who have participated in gross and systematic human rights violations in Russia. These persons include individuals who are senior officials or high-ranking employees in Russia’s prosecution, judicial and penitentiary services who have been involved in the ill-treatment and death of Mr. Navalny.

Any person in Canada or Canadian outside Canada is prohibited from dealing in the property of, entering into transactions with, providing services to, transferring property to, or otherwise making goods available to the listed persons. These measures will also render listed individuals inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Regulatory development


Global Affairs Canada engages regularly with relevant stakeholders, including civil society organizations, cultural communities and other like-minded governments, regarding Canada’s approach to sanctions implementation.

With respect to the amendments, public consultation would not have been appropriate given the urgency to impose these measures. Publicizing the names of the persons targeted by sanctions would also have potentially resulted in asset flight prior to the coming into force of the amendments.

Modern treaty obligations and Indigenous engagement and consultation

An initial assessment of the geographical scope of the initiative was conducted and did not identify any modern treaty obligations, as the Regulations do not take effect in a modern treaty area.

Instrument choice

Regulations are the sole method to enact sanctions in Canada. No other instrument could be considered.

Regulatory analysis

Benefits and costs

The incremental cost to the Government of Canada to administer and enforce these additional prohibitions is minimal. Sanctions targeting specific individuals and entities also have less impact on Canadian businesses than traditional broad-based economic sanctions and have limited impact on the citizens of the country of the listed individuals and entities. Based on initial assessment of available open-source information, it is believed that the individuals listed have limited linkages with Canada and, therefore, do not have significant business dealings that are relevant to the Canadian economy. It is therefore anticipated that there will be no significant impacts on Canadians and Canadian businesses as a result of these amendments.

Canadian banks and financial institutions are required to comply with sanctions. They will do so by adding the newly listed individuals and entities to their existing monitoring systems, which may result in a compliance cost.

Small business lens

Analysis under the small business lens concluded that the amendments could impact Canadian small businesses. The Regulations prohibit Canadian businesses from dealing with, providing services to, or otherwise making goods available to listed persons, but do not create any direct administrative obligations related to them. While Canadian businesses may seek permits under the Regulations, they are granted on an exceptional basis, and Global Affairs Canada does not anticipate any applications resulting from listing these individuals; thus there would be no incremental administrative burden arising from this requirement. Canadian small businesses are also subject to the duty to disclose under the Regulations, which would represent a direct compliance requirement. However, as the newly listed individuals have limited known linkages with Canada, Global Affairs Canada does not anticipate any disclosures resulting from the amendments.

One-for-one rule

The one-for-one rule does not apply, as there is no incremental change in administrative burden on businesses. The permitting process for businesses meets the definition of “administrative burden” in the Red Tape Reduction Act; however, while permits may be granted under the Regulations on an exceptional basis, given that the listed individuals have limited business ties to Canadian economy, Global Affairs Canada does not anticipate any permit applications with respect to the amendments.

Regulatory cooperation and alignment

The amendments are not related to a work plan or commitment under a formal regulatory cooperation forum. These measures align with actions taken by Canada’s allies. Sanctions are most effective when they are applied in a coordinated manner.

Strategic environmental assessment

The amendments are unlikely to result in important environmental effects. In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, a preliminary scan concluded that a strategic environmental assessment is not required.

Gender-based analysis plus (GBA+)

The subject of economic sanctions has previously been assessed for effects on gender and diversity. Although intended to facilitate a change in behaviour through economic pressure on individuals in foreign states, sanctions under the Special Economic Measures Act (SEMA) can nevertheless have an unintended impact on certain vulnerable groups and individuals. Rather than affecting the whole region, these targeted sanctions impact individuals who have participated in gross and systematic human rights violations in Russia. Therefore, these sanctions are unlikely to have a significant impact on vulnerable groups, as compared to traditional broad-based economic sanctions directed toward a foreign state and should limit the collateral effects to those dependent on the targeted individuals.

Implementation, compliance and enforcement, and service standards

The amendments come into force on the day they are registered.

Consequential to being listed in the Regulations, and pursuant to the application of paragraph 35.1(b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the listed individuals would be inadmissible to Canada.

The names of the listed individuals will be available online for financial institutions to review and will be added to the Consolidated Canadian Autonomous Sanctions List. This will help to facilitate compliance with the Regulations.

Under the SEMA, both Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canada Border Services Agency officers have the power to enforce sanctions violations through their authorities, as defined under the Customs Act, the Excise Act or the Excise Act, 2001, and sections 487 to 490, 491.1 and 491.2 of the Criminal Code.

In accordance with section 8 of the SEMA, every person who knowingly contravenes or fails to comply with the Regulations is liable, upon summary conviction, to a fine of not more than $25,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to both; or, upon conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years.

The Department’s Trade Commissioner Service (TCS), abroad and in Canada, continues to assist clients in understanding Canadian sanctions regulations, and notably the impact of the regulations on any activities in which Canadians may be engaged. The Department is also increasing outreach efforts across Canada — including to engage with businesses, universities, and provincial/territorial governments — to enhance national awareness of and compliance with Canadian sanctions.


Andreas Weichert
Eastern Europe and Eurasia Relations Division
Global Affairs Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G2
Telephone: 613‑203‑3603