Last week, Salam Toronto published an article titled “Canada blocks all transactions with Iranian banks” where it was reported that Canada had imposed more sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Salam Toronto has received numerous inquiries regarding how the sanctions affect the Iranian-Canadian community. We have contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade asking for answers and they have responded.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ian Trites said the added sanctions prohibit Canadians “from having dealings with designated persons” and “from providing or acquiring financial services to or from Iran or any person in Iran, exporting a wide variety of goods or providing technical data with respect to those goods”.
There are some exemptions, said Trites.
Trites also said “any Canadian engaged in financial transactions with Iran using non-Canadian financial institutions should seek legal advice on the legality of their particular transaction”.
Sending money to family
Q. So Iranian-Canadians can send $40,000 or less to family members in Iran? How can they do this legally? Are there any exceptions?
A. The prohibition on financial transactions does not apply to any non-commercial remittance to or from Iran, provided the amount is $40,000 or less.
All financial transactions are prohibited except for non-commercial remittances (transfer of money) to or from Iran. For Canadians wanting to send money to family members in Iran, they may do so long as the amount is $40,000 CAD or less. Also, there is no limit as to how many transactions you can make.
Importing goods from Iran
Q. Are all imports from Iran now prohibited? Can Iranian-Canadian business owners, like supermarkets that buy Iranian goods, continue buying when their contracts are up?
A. There is no separate prohibition on the import of Iranian goods. However, the general prohibition on the provision of financial services will make it difficult to find legal means to arrange payment.
In terms of importing goods from Iran, there are no sanctions. Since Canadian businesses cannot make financial transactions with Iranian financial institutions, Canadians must find a legal means to pay for goods like applying for a certificate or permit from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs so long as the persons they are doing business with in Iran are not stated as designated persons according to the sanctions. (see blow for link to designated individuals and entities).
Q. Many members of the Iranian-Canadian community are newcomers and after they get settled in, some of them would like to sell their assets back in Iran and invest in their second home. With these sanctions, would they be able to do that?
A. The Regulations contain an exemption for any non-commercial remittance to or from Iran, provided the amount is $40,000 or less. There is no express limit on the number of times this exemption can be used. Furthermore, anyone may apply to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for a permit to conduct any transaction or activity that is otherwise prohibited by the Regulations.
Canadians are permitted to sell their properties in Iran. But in order to bring the money back to Canada, one must make a non-commercial transfer of money equal to or less than $40,000 at one time. You can also apply for a permit with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to conduct a transaction or activity. You can do this by contacting the Ministry directly through the contact information provided below.
Q. Do you expect any loopholes in terms of financial transactions, like the use of third party financial institutions?
A. We expect Canadians and persons in Canada, both individuals and financial institutions, to abide by the law. Any Canadian engaged in financial transactions with Iran using non-Canadian financial institutions should seek legal advice on the legality of their particular transaction.
Q. With the U.S., U.K. and Canadian sanctions on the petrochemical, oil and gas industries, do you expect gas prices to increase as a result?
A. We cannot speculate on the effect of sanctions on oil prices.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Contact:
To submit an application, or for more about information about this process and other certificate provisions under the regulations, please contact:
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Economic Law Section (JLHB)
125 Sussex Drive
Canada K1A 0G2
A list of all designated entities and individuals can be found by visiting,
A list of frequently asked questions regarding the sanctions can be found by visiting, http://www.international.gc.ca/sanctions/iran_faq.aspx?lang=eng&view=d#10