On April 16, 2020, the Government of Canada issued Notice to Exporters Serial 992 "Notice to Exporters – Export of items listed on the Export Control List to Turkey" in which Global Affairs Canada announced that it had lessened the export permit restrictions on Turkey. On October 15, 2019, Canada announced that had temporarily suspended the issuance of any new export permits to Turkey, particularly for military equipment and technology. The April 16th announcement reversed the previous suspension in part.
Now, as a general rule, Global Affairs Canada will review, on a case-by-case basis, export permit applications for Export Control List (ECL) goods, with the exception of Group 2 (military goods) of the ECL.
There is an exception to the General Rule for goods in Group 2 of the ECL. With respect to goods covered by Group 2 of the ECL, Global Affairs Canada will presumptively deny any new export permit application with respect to military goods on the ECL where the destination is Turkey. This means that the Minister will issue any export permits for military controlled goods when the destination is Turkey.
There is an exception to this exception. Global Affairs Canada may grant an export permit for Group 2 goods in exceptional circumstances. What consitutes an exception circumstancse is not indicated in the notice to exporters.
While there is a possibility that an export permit will be approved, the new requirement in the Export and Import Permits Act limits the Minister's ability to issue an export permit in respect of arms, ammunition, implements or munitions of war if, after considering available mitigating measures, he or she determines that there is a substantial risk that the export or the brokering of the goods or technology specified in the application for the permit would result in certain negative consequences. The negative consequences that the Minister must consider are whether the goods or technology specified in the application for the permit:
(a) would contribute to peace and security or undermine it; and
(b) could be used to commit or facilitate
(i) a serious violation of international humanitarian law,
(ii) a serious violation of international human rights law,
(iii) an act constituting an offence under international conventions or protocols relating to terrorism to which Canada is a party,
iv) an act constituting an offence under international conventions or protocols relating to transnational organized crime to which Canada is a party, or
(v) serious acts of gender-based violence or serious acts of violence against women and children.
Given the incursion into Syria, these criteria are presumptively satisfied.
That being said, it has been reported that Charles-Marie Matte, the Deputy Director of the Export Controls Division at Canada's Global Affairs stated that there are "exceptional circumstances" where the ban may not apply, including the export of components for any "Nato missile defence system".
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