Softwood Lumber Agreement expires, but export permits remain

The Government of Canada will continue to monitor shipments of softwood lumber products first manufactured in all provinces and territories of Canada to the United States following the expiry of the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement on October 12, 2015.  Beginning on October 13, 2015 a monitoring program will be administered through the issuance of export permits by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The object of this monitoring program is to collect data respecting softwood lumber exports to the U.S. of products first manufactured in all Canadian provinces and territories.

As of October 13, 2015, softwood lumber products will continue to be listed on the Export Control List (ECL) pursuant to subsection 3(1) and section 6 of the Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA). As of that date all exports of softwood lumber first manufactured in all provinces and territories destined to the United States will require an export permit. This ECL listing will enable Canada to monitor exports of softwood lumber to the United States.

The Softwood Lumber Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America (the Agreement) came into force on October 12, 2006 for an initial term of seven years and was subsequently extended for two additional years. It contains export measures that include an export charge on softwood lumber products originating in Canada and shipped to the U.S.

Upon the expiry of the Agreement, the Minister of National Revenue will recommend to the Governor in Council a regulation under the Act whereby the export charge imposition provisions will cease to be in force effective October 13, 2015. However, registrants will continue to be subject to certain obligations under the Act after the Agreement expires (i.e. the requirement of an export permit).

The Canada Revenue Agency and Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada have both outlined the impact of the expiry of the Agreement on their respective websites.