Order Fixing the Day on which this Order is Made as the Day on which that Act Comes into Force: SI/2019-44
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 153, Number 14
SI/2019-44 July 10, 2019
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CUSTOMS ACT
Order Fixing the Day on which this Order is Made as the Day on which that Act Comes into Force
P.C. 2019-904 June 22, 2019
Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, pursuant to section 9 of An Act to amend the Customs Act, chapter 30 of the Statutes of Canada, 2018, fixes the day on which this Order is made as the day on which that Act comes into force.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
Pursuant to section 9 of An Act to amend the Customs Act, which received royal assent on December 13, 2018, this Order in Council fixes the day on which the Order is made as the day on which that Act comes into force.
The purpose of this Order in Council is to fix the day on which An Act to amend the Customs Act (the Act) comes into force. The Act introduces new provisions and amendments to the Customs Act. Once the Act and the associated regulations come into force, they will support the full implementation of the Entry/Exit initiative by creating new authorities to allow for the collection of information on all persons leaving Canada and strengthening the administration and enforcement of exported goods by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
In 2011, Canada and the U.S. committed to establishing a coordinated entry and exit system through an exchange of the biographical information of persons crossing the land border so that one country’s record of entry could serve as the other country’s record of exit. Canada also committed to establishing an air exit system, similar to the one already in place in the U.S. Collectively, these commitments became known as the Entry/Exit Initiative.
In 2013, Canada and the U.S. began exchanging information on third-country nationals and permanent residents along the land border, excluding Canadian and U.S. citizens. In August 2016, Canada began sharing information with the U.S. on all U.S. citizens and nationals who entered Canada. Since 2013, over 20 million exit records have been generated and exchanged between the U.S. and Canada. This collection and exchange is seamless to the traveller and has had no discernible impact on the movement of legitimate travellers.
Canada and the U.S. are securely sharing the entry records of approximately 60 000 travellers daily. In February 2017, the leaders of both countries reaffirmed their joint commitment to fully implement the entry and exit system to preserve the integrity of the Canada–U.S. border and to help create a secure North American perimeter.
The Entry/Exit Initiative aligns Canada with its international partners who have, or are in the process of implementing, entry-exit systems. The initiative will benefit Canadians by strengthening security and the efficiency of border management while protecting individual privacy and rights.
The Government of Canada has invested in a suite of new IM/IT enhancements to capture traveller and conveyance information upon entry to Canada; update IT systems to systematically process and store the information collected by the CBSA from the U.S. Customs Border Protection (CBP) and commercial air carriers; and to facilitate data reconciliation and sharing activities between federal departments. These investments serve to support the effective implementation of the legislative amendments in a timely manner.
The Act introduces new authorities for the CBSA to collect basic biographical and travel information on any persons footnote 1 and in relation to prescribed conveyances footnote 2 leaving Canada. Once the provisions of the Act are in force, the Governor in Council will have the authority to make regulations limiting the collection of this information to prescribed sources, persons, and conveyances with respect to persons leaving Canada. The Exit Information Regulations (the Regulations), which apply to the land and air modes, will come into force upon their registration, as indicated in the version of the Regulations published in the Canada Gazette, Part I (i.e. the sections governing the land mode are proposed to come into force on the day the Regulations are registered and the sections pertaining to air mode one year later).
Together, these legislative and regulatory amendments introduce a reliable way of reconciling a traveller’s history, so that information on when and where a traveller leaves the country can be added to information already collected for inbound travellers. The CBSA will assess the feasibility and benefit of the future integration of exit information systems in the marine and rail modes, based on the performance results of the Entry and Exit Initiative in the land and air modes.
The Act also introduces new amendments that will allow customs information (including entry and exit information) to be disclosed to Employment and Social Development Canada to support the administration and enforcement of the Old Age Security Act. Under the new legislative amendments, exit information will be retained for no longer than 15 years.
The Act introduces new obligations on persons leaving Canada. For example, it requires persons leaving Canada, only when requested to do so by a CBSA officer, to present themselves to a CBSA officer, and answer any questions asked by an officer in the performance of their duties.
Finally, new provisions make it an offence for persons to smuggle, or attempt to smuggle out of Canada, goods subject to duties or goods the exportation which is prohibited (e.g. prescribed weapons and devices), controlled (e.g. narcotics), or regulated (e.g. certain endangered species). These amendments align authorities with those currently in place for persons and goods entering Canada.
In the past, the Government of Canada committed to conducting consultations with citizens, groups and other levels of government to hear from them on innovative approaches to security and competitiveness. footnote 3 Through these cross-Canada consultations, under the “Addressing threats early” area of cooperation, a comprehensive domestic stakeholder engagement strategy invited feedback from the Canadian public, as well as from various security, privacy, trade and tourism groups. In general, stakeholders continue to be supportive of the collection and controlled sharing of exit information as a means to protect the safety and security of Canadians, deter fraud, and ensure effective screening of travellers crossing the border.
International air carriers, identified as the primary stakeholder group impacted by business costs that would result from implementing new obligations under the Customs Act and the Regulations, have indicated support for the Entry/Exit Initiative. Concerns raised by the airline industry in the course of developing the CBSA’s Interactive Advance Passenger Information system on inbound, and Air Exit system for outbound transmissions, centred on implementation timelines and the need to align technical requirements with international standards. The regulations adopted and proposed to implement these initiatives were developed in consultation with air carrier representatives in joint working groups.
Furthermore, the CBSA has actively engaged with its federal partners, as well as the U.S., to ensure the successful delivery of Entry/Exit. Canada and the U.S. conferred on data compatibility and interoperability of systems to select the 12 data elements that provide the best reconciliation results. Information sharing arrangements are being updated between the CBSA and its federal partners, and a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed between the CBSA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection before any exit information on Canadians is shared. These arrangements include information management safeguards and privacy protection clauses.
At the bill stage, numerous stakeholders, including unions, academics, and Indigenous groups, shared their views on the draft legislative amendments. Privacy concerns were raised by Canadians and civil liberty advocates regarding what privacy protections would be taken into consideration when the Entry/Exit Initiative is implemented. For example, representatives of civil liberties groups, as well as the offices of the Auditor General of Canada and the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, emphasized the need to ensure that information collection, sharing, and retention are transparent and founded on program-specific uses of the data.
The personal information elements collected by the CBSA have been set in the Act so as to make transparent and binding the elements strictly necessary to accurately match entry and exit records to the traveller. This information will be used, disclosed and retained as per new and existing authorities, and managed by Information Sharing Arrangements to support Government of Canada priorities.
Furthermore, the CBSA has a number of measures in place to protect personal information, such as strict controls on access to the internal databases holding the information and completing IT security assessments for each IT solution. The CBSA also provides travellers, whose information is exchanged, with the opportunity to request access to their personal information, verify its accuracy, and, where applicable, request a correction and/or redress.
A Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA), which addressed potential privacy risks identified in relation to the implementation of the bill, was submitted to the Officer of the Privacy Commissioner in March 2019.
Acting Director General
Travellers Programs Directorate
Canada Border Services Agency