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February 22, 2021

The UK and Canada Issue Sanctions on Myanmar

Following the recent imposition of sanctions on Myanmar individuals and companies by the US, the UK and Canada have now imposed new sanctions. As with the US sanctions, these new measures impact UK and Canadian citizens and companies, and non-UK and non-Canadian companies and citizens with interests in those jurisdictions.

The EU has indicated that it is planning to issue similar sanctions in the near future.

New UK Sanctions

In addition to the 16 individuals already sanctioned by the UK government, on February 18, 2021, the UK government announced that three individuals have been sanctioned for serious human rights violations and are now subject to asset freezes and travel bans. The full list of Myanmar individuals and companies sanctioned by the UK is available on the website of the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation.

Breaches of UK financial sanctions are criminal offences punishable in the UK by up to 7 years imprisonment and heavy fines.

New Canadian Sanctions

Also on February 18, timed to coincide with the UK sanctions, new Canadian sanctions were imposed on nine individuals. As with the UK, Canada already had a number of individuals in the Myanmar military on its sanctions list, and the new additions bring the total number of individuals sanctioned by Canada to 54.

All assets of these individuals in Canada are now frozen, and they are banned from travelling to Canada. Canadian businesses or entities may not do business with any of the 54 individuals.

Full details of the impact of the sanctions are available on the Government of Canada’s website, as is a database of the Myanmar individuals and companies subject to them.

Breach of Canadian sanctions carries with it up to 5 years’ imprisonment in Canada and/or a large fine.

Other Countries

The EU is reportedly drawing up sanctions to be issued in the near future, and other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and other non-EU European countries are likely to follow.

For more information on the sanctions, or on any aspect of doing business in Myanmar, please contact Dr. Ross Taylor on [email protected].


Tilleke & Gibbins would like to thank Justin Tan, partner at Clyde & Co Clasis Singapore, for his contribution to this article.