SIMA Registry and Disclosure Unit issues a Follow-up to Public Consultations

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In January 2017, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) launched public consultations to explore ways to make their services more secure, efficient and responsive to stakeholder needs. Submissions were received and a summary of feedback was posted on the CBSA’s website. The SIMA Registry and Disclosure Unit (the Registry) has carefully considered each submission and will implement the following measures in response.

(1) Posting of Exhibits
The CBSA will update its Listing of Exhibits and Information for each active case on Tuesdays and Thursdays by 3:00PM with new exhibits. During high volume periods, this area will be updated more frequently.

Proper non-confidential versions are necessary for the posting of exhibits. Instructions for preparing a non-confidential version are included in all outgoing Requests for Information (RFIs).

(2) Exhibit Requests
Registry Clerks will action and send exhibit requests without delay and within no more than two business days following receipt of the request.

(3) Proactive Disclosure of Information
In order to increase efficiency at critical points in SIMA cases, the CBSA will proactively disclose information at the following points in a proceeding:

  • Within two business days following the close of record;
  • Within two business days following the due date of case arguments; and
  • Within two business days following the due date of reply submissions.

If exhibits are ready for disclosure prior to two business days, the CBSA will send them earlier. Counsel will be notified that the information has been sent or is ready for pick-up. The CBSA will test this for a few cases and then, depending on stakeholder feedback, decide whether to make this a permanent practice.

All parties must respect deadlines.

The CBSA will continue to allow for the release of exhibits to parties at any time on request and will seek to include all recently received exhibits when responding to these requests.

(4) Transmission of Information
There was a general consensus that the preferred method for the transmission of information is a secure online portal. Accordingly, the Registry will not transition to USB keys and will instead actively explore options for a secure online portal.

In the interim, the CBSA will share protected information by email in the form of encrypted zip files.

The CBSA will continue to send disclosure packages that exceed the CBSA’s 10MB email limit on DVD via courier.

(5) Disclosure Undertaking
The disclosure undertaking has been modified to reflect the current uses of technology.

The changes to the undertaking will allow parties to use computers and company networks for viewing, copying and sharing exhibits.

(6) Access to Standard Forms and Letters
The Registry has published a counsel toolkit with templates for standard documentation used in SIMA proceedings.

(7) File Naming Convention
The titles of all files submitted in SIMA proceedings must be in English or French only, using an English or French keyboard, with no special characters.

Other important changes

  • Annexes Required for Company-Specific Information
    Any information pertaining to a specific party participating in a SIMA proceeding must be annexed separately for each individual party. This new administrative guideline will expedite the fulfillment of requests by companies, or those authorized to receive disclosure on their behalf, to receive annexed information specifically relating to their company. Guidelines on the Disclosure of Confidential Information in SIMA Proceedings have been updated to reflect this requirement.
  • Elimination of Exhibit Request Fees
    The Registry has eliminated all fees relating to exhibit requests.
  • Email Alert Service
    Stakeholders are invited to subscribe to the SIMA email alert service at http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/alert-avis/sima-lmsi-eng.html for notification each time an announcement is posted in the What’s New area of the CBSA’s Anti-dumping and Countervailing website.
  • Hard Copies Not Required
    The Registry does not require hard copies of submissions and prefers digital submissions, including verification exhibits and disclosure declarations and undertakings. Parties can submit hard copies in exceptional circumstances only where submitting a digital version is not possible.
  • SIMA Handbook
    The SIMA Handbook is available at request. Contact the SIMA Registry at simaregistry-depotlmsi@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca for a copy of the SIMA Handbook.
  • SIMA Appeals
    SIMA Appeals relating to subjectivity, which provides a summary of decisions made by the CBSA pursuant to paragraphs 59(1)(a) and (e) of SIMA, and information on the application of anti-dumping and countervailing duty assessments have been made available.
  • Feedback Form
    A feedback tab has been added to our Contact Us webpage to encourage stakeholders to provide us with their ideas on how we can improve our website and administrative procedures.

The complete Follow-up to Public Consultations is found on the CBSA Website.