March 24, 2022 | Circular No. 11424

Dear Member,

Further to CL 11420 on the recent Canadian sanctions against Russia, Transport Canada (Marine Safety and Security) has advised that its role in enforcing this regime is to conduct an analysis of incoming ships to determine whether they have a link to a sanctioned individual, entity, or activity, and to then communicate the results of this analysis to Global Affairs Canada. Any ship that is identified as potentially violating a sanction will be notified by TC prior to its entry into Canada’s EEZ.

As previously noted, sanctions that are applicable to shipping fall under three general categories:

  • Ships that are registered in Russia, as well as ships that are used, leased or chartered (in whole or in part) by, on behalf of, or for the benefit of Russia, a designated person, or a person in Russia.
  • Ships that have a connection to a designated individual or person who is subject to an asset freeze and dealings prohibition, as set out in Schedule 1 of the Russia Regulations (see CL 11420).
  • Ships that are carrying petroleum products that have been imported, purchased or acquired from Russia or from any person in Russia, as per Schedule 5 of the Russia Regulations (see CL 11420).

Although Global Affairs Canada provides an application process for potentially obtaining a permit to carry out a sanctioned activity, the department has clarified that this process is based on very stringent criteria and is to be used in exceptional circumstances only. The department has also indicated that it cannot provide advice as to whether or not the sanctions will apply in any given case.

In view of the above, shipowners, operators and agents are advised to conduct their own due diligence and consult with legal counsel if they are concerned that a given ship or activity may be subject to the above-noted sanctions, and to refrain from engaging in such activity if there is any possibility that a sanctions violation may be involved.

We will continue to monitor this situation and provide additional information on the sanctions regime as it becomes available.


Karen Kancens
Vice President