Businesses involved in exporting products, services or information outside of Canada risk exposure to significant civil and criminal sanctions if they violate Canada’s export control laws. In addition, pursuant to Canada’s economic sanctions laws, restrictions also apply to dealing with designated persons in certain jurisdictions and sometimes more broadly to certain types of dealings with any person in such jurisdictions. These sanctions may be imposed in accordance with actions taken by the United Nations or other like-minded countries or sometimes unilaterally by Canada.

With a leading team of International Trade lawyers, Blakes is the firm of choice for companies across industries seeking export control and sanctions advice. We regularly advise clients on the full range of export controls and sanctions matters pursuant to the Export and Import Permits Act, United Nations Act and the Special Economic Measures Act. Our expertise includes providing advice on the applicability of export control and sanctions legislation, obtaining permits and exemptions where applicable, limiting licence requirements or reducing sanctions, facilitating disclosures, responding to government requests for additional information, obtaining a speedy resolution in instances where goods are detained at the border and representing clients in instances of prosecution. In addition, we have regularly assisted clients with developing and implementing export control and trade sanctions compliance programs.

We frequently work with clients in a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, defence, information technology, oil and gas, software, and telecommunications, which are particularly vulnerable to regulation.

Clients rely on Blakes throughout their business life cycle to assist them with registrations, identification and classification of controlled assets, export licence applications, due diligence, copyright and other intellectual property issues resulting from regulation, and the negotiation of export control-compliant trade agreements as well as other transactions involving entities or countries subject to economic sanctions, export controls and other trade regulation.

Blakes litigators have represented clients at all levels within the Canada Border Services Agency, as well as before the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Tribunal, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal and the Federal Court of Appeal. We continually monitor export control and sanctions law developments and rulings in order to provide current advice on the challenges our clients face.

Representative Matters

  • Advised one of the world's leading manufacturers of construction and mining equipment on relevant export control laws applicable to imports of encryption technology and re-exports of the technology stored in laptop computers.
  • Advised a global mining, oil and gas company in connection with its proposed multibillion-dollar offer to acquire a commodity producer on the World Trade Organization law applicable to the creation of export cartels and monopoly export marketing agencies and export control laws applicable to the commodity in issue.
  • Represented a world leader in the development and application of innovative technologies for the inspection, monitoring and management of physical infrastructure to obtain regulatory approvals and permits to continue to do business in Libya respecting commercial activities otherwise prohibited by sanctions.
  • Advised a U.S. manufacturer of carbon fibre and graphite products on the application of the Controlled Goods Program, and negotiated with Canadian export control officials licence-free exports by its Canadian subsidiary to third countries.
  • Provided export control advice to a leading global investment bank regarding encryption technology and electronic banking services.
  • Advised the world's largest independent gas turbine engine and accessory repair and overhaul company respecting the export of highly sensitive technology to a foreign government.


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Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4306
Areas of Expertise: International Trade, Customs & Import Controls, Sanctions & Export Controls, Sales & Commodity Taxes, Drones
Chair, Asia Region | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9692
Areas of Expertise: Oil & Gas, Energy, Mergers & Acquisitions, China, Plan Nord, Corporate & Commercial, Foreign Investment, Customs & Import Controls, International Trade, Investment Treaty Arbitration, Sanctions & Export Controls, Trade Litigation, Trade Negotiation & Compliance, Downstream & Marketing, E&P Conventional, E&P Unconventional, Joint Venture & Co-Ownership Structuring, Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures, Oil Field Services, Pipeline & Midstream, Korea, Japan, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Major Projects, Transportation, Oil Sands, LNG, E&P Conventional
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4154
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services, Financial Services Regulatory, Banking, Anti-Money Laundering, Payment Cards & Technologies, Debt Finance & Lending, Insurance, Reinsurance, Payment Cards & Technologies, Sanctions & Export Controls, Capital Markets, Credit Unions
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