All those who declare plant, animal or food imports to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) need to be aware of an important deadline coming in the new year. By January 1, 2019, those who declare imports electronically to the CBSA should complete testing and be certified to transmit their import declarations through the Integrated Import Declaration (IID). The IID provides commercial importers/brokers with a single portal to submit all import information and documents required to meet federal government import regulations, and obtain an admissibility decision electronically. The new process also allows importers to transmit their declarations up to 90 days in advance and reduces processing time.
Transport Canada has lifted the mandatory speed restriction for vessels in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to ensure ships can operate safely in winter months. No North Atlantic right whale deaths from vessel strikes were reported this year and Transport Canasda will ask vessels to voluntarily slow down should a whale be spotted in or near the shipping lanes. On April 28, 2018, a speed restriction was implemented for vessels 20 metres or more to a maximum of 10 knots in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence. Ships were allowed to travel at normal speeds in parts of two shipping lanes north and south of Anticosti Island if no whales were spotted in the area.
Canada Border Services Agency’s Technical Commercial Client Unit (TCCU) web page has been updated with more current and relevant Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), application forms, contingency plans, error codes and more. Visit the site at http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/eservices/menu-eng.html.
The Canadian Coast Guard’s two new Channel Survey and Sounding Vessels (CSSVs) built by Kanter Marine of St. Thomas, ON have been accepted and will operate within the St. Lawrence River from Montreal to Isle-aux-Coudres. The CCGS Jean Bourdon and CCGS Helen Irene Battle will enhance the capability of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, as well as other departments and agencies, to monitor and observe marine and environmental conditions. In addition, the new CSSVs will be able to assist with a number of activities related to search and rescue, aids to navigation, law enforcement, emergency response, and natural disasters, as well as supporting ecosystems and fisheries science in the region.
Ministers Wilkinson, Garneau and McKenna participated in search and rescue and environmental response simulations to commemorate the second anniversary of the Oceans Protection Plan. Since the creation of the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada taken steps to protect our endangered whales and Marine Protected Areas with over 11,000 hours of surveillance and enforcement this year alone. The government is also working with Indigenous peoples to help them respond to marine emergencies in their communities by providing marine safety training. The Coast Guard’s capacity to respond to incidents has been enhanced with the purchase of 23 portable skimmers and 67,000 feet of curtain booms to help with oil spills and four new Coast Guard facilities, including two search and rescue stations. Through the Coastal Restoration Fund over 30 aquatic habitats will be restored and 16 new science projects are underway to help respond to oil spills and better understand marine mammals’ environment.
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Sean Fraser, Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced a suite of additional bold measures focused on broadening and strengthening protection for the species. An additional $61.5 million is being committed to implement the new measures. With the suite of actions announced today, we continue our unprecedented initiative to protect and recover this endangered species. The plan is to have additional measures in place by the time the whales usually return to the Salish Sea in greater numbers in late spring. New measures announced include:
• continuing to identify and protect new areas of habitat necessary for survival or recovery of the Southern Resident Killer Whale Population;
• introducing important measures aimed at protecting and recovering Chinook salmon stocks that are significant for the Southern Resident Killer Whales;
• expanding the vessel slowdowns to further reduce underwater noise;
• developing agreements with ferry operators and other marine industry partners to formalize current voluntary measures to reduce noise;
• expanding vessel monitoring systems and capabilities to develop real time ability to avoid whale encounters and providing funding to Ocean Wise for the development and deployment of a Whale Report Alert System;
• launching consultation with marine industry on development and implementation of Noise Management Plans;
• advancing feasibility work on one or more South Resident Killer Whale sanctuaries within sub-areas of critical habitat the whales use for foraging; and
• enhancing regulatory control of five key organic pollutants, including two flame retardants to lessen contaminants impacting these whales.
On Monday, October 29th - the Minister of Finance introduced Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures. This omnibus bill not only included many budget-related legislative amendments, but also significant amendments to both the Canada Shipping Act (CSA) and the Marine Liability Act (MLA). While it was expected that there would be amendments to the CSA to allow the Minister to regulate for environmental reasons, the amendments proposed in the Bill provide for significant new powers and authorities. More details on the amendments can be found under Division 22 and Division 23.
The Government of Canada received royal assent to Bill C-79, the act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) today. Canada will be among the first group of CPTPP countries to bring the agreement into force, thus ensuring the country retains first-mover advantage in many thriving Asia-Pacific markets, including those with whom Canada did not previously have an agreement such as Japan and Singapore. Once the CPTPP is implemented, 99% of Canada’s current exports to CPTPP markets will enter tariff-free.
The Government of Canada has announced the creation of a stand-alone Arctic Region inclusive of the four regions of Inuit Nunangat for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the Canadian Coast Guard. The creation of the Arctic Region will be implemented in phases and has already begun with the hiring of new DFO Regional Director General, Gabriel Nirlungayuk, who will be based in Rankin Inlet, and a new Assistant Commissioner of the Coast Guard, Neil O’Rourke, who will be based in Yellowknife. They will both work with Inuit and all Indigenous peoples, as well as residents of the North to define the borders of the new Region and its activities.
The Standing Senate Committee on Banking,Trade and Commerce’s has released recommendations in a report called Canada: Still Open For Business? The report outlined a number of recommendations to the federal government to improve Canadian business competitiveness, including improving the movement of Canadian products to market.
The federal government’s $7.2 million investment in the marine satellite innovation company based in Cambridge will help exactEarth create and maintain 67 jobs and will support the Canadian company in becoming a world leader in real-time satellite Automatic Identification System (AIS) services for ship tracking. The project will allow the company to update its existing satellite network and to develop and integrate big data analytics into its services. exactEarth’s products will be used by the global shipping industry to optimize ship routing, in turn helping reduce fossil fuel consumption and the impact of shipping on the ocean environment.
Thanks in part to this investment, exactEarth will invest more in R&D, see more intellectual property developed and retained in Canada, and continue its collaboration with universities and research institutions in the Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR) group. This collaboration includes exactEarth’s support for the WHaLE project, which focuses on developing a satellite system to reduce the number of collisions between whales and ships.
Transport Canada has issued Ship Safety Bulletin #12/2018 – Legalization of cannabis in Canada and vessel operation. The bulletin reminds authorized representatives and seafarers of their responsibility to operate vessels safely, taking into account the implications of the Cannabis Act and related amendments.
The push is on for Parliament to quickly ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade agreement so that Canada can reap the benefits that come from being an early adopter of the deal. Canada's CPTPP legislation, Bill C-79, passed the House of Commons on Tuesday and it is just now starting its journey through the Senate.
The federal government has given Lockheed Martin Canada the first crack at inking a contract to design Canada’s $60-billion fleet of new warships. Lockheed’s proposed design beat out two rival submissions to design the replacements for the navy’s entire frigate and destroyer fleets. Lockheed Martin Canada Inc. must pass the due diligence process first and it is anticipated a contract award will be in place this winter, with construction beginning in the early 2020s. The Canadian Surface Combatant project is the largest, most complex procurement ever undertaken by the Government of Canada.
Canada Border Services Agency has issued Customs Notice 18-17, an order imposing a 25% surtax on the importation of certain steel goods effective October 25, 2018. This includes, steel plate, concrete reinforcing bar, energy tubular products, hot-rolled sheet, pre-painted steel, stainless steel wire and wire rod. Absent a specific permit, the safeguard surtax will apply to all goods including those released from a Customs Bonded Warehouse or Sufferance Warehouse on or after October 25, 2018 when the Order comes into force.
BC Premier John Horgan, Washington state Governor, Jay Inslee, and Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Jonathan Wilkinson, met this week to discussion regional issues including the importance of ongoing joint efforts on protecting whale populations, specifically the at-risk Southern Resident Killer Whale population in view of the growing concerns about activity on the water and prey availability. BC and Washington State entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to act jointly to grow the region’s innovation economy, protect the environment and combat climate change, promote trade and improve transportation connectivity.
Canada Border Services Agency has issued Customs Notice 18-14, on the Arctic Shipping Electronic Commercial Clearances Program (ASECC) pilot program. The program provides a risk-based alternative approach for clearing commercial cargo and conveyances in the marine mode, for specific vessels destined to the Arctic. The program is being updated for the 2019 arctic shipping season.