Archived — Notice No. SMSE-017-01

Telecommunications and Radiocommunication Acts

Notice No. SMSE-017-01 — Public Discussion on a Proposed Importation Monitoring Scheme For Radio and Telecommunications Equipment

1. Intent

The purpose of this notice is to invite public comments on a proposed importation monitoring scheme for radio and telecommunications equipment entering into Canada. This proposal would allow Industry Canada to focus its attention on high risk importers. Through this consultation, the Department seeks to establish whether the public interest would be served if the proposed approach would be implemented.

2. Background

Mutual Recognition Agreements / Arrangements (MRAs) have greatly contributed to promote the streamlining of conformity assessment processes. As well, a worldwide trend to deregulation has resulted in having many countries opting for different forms of Declaration of Conformity (DOC) processes. As a result, more and more of the conformity assessment functions will be performed by the manufacturers themselves or by organizations which are not located in Canada. Industry Canada is currently the only organization which certifies radio and terminal equipment for the Canadian market. With Phase II of the MRAs (acceptance of certificates produced by foreign bodies) and potentially DOC for terminal equipment, Industry Canada will have to be much more active in market surveillance activities. Industry Canada has had a minimum involvement in the past with importation monitoring. However in a market surveillance environment, Industry Canada recognizes that this must change.

In comparison, the U.S. Customs Agency is collecting information on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) form 740 for radio equipment on behalf of the FCC. The information that has to be provided is quite comprehensive (e.g., FCC ID, harmonized system code, model No., manufacturer, quantity, etc …) and it has to be provided at time of importation or at least be on file with the U.S. Customs Agency.

3. Current Import Situation

During our discussions with representatives of the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) and Canadian industry, the following points emerged with regards to importation aspects.

A new business environment

  • CCRA importation and accounting streamlining, putting into practice processes that are founded on the principles of voluntary compliance and self-assessment, and which transfer control from Customs systems to that of business operations. Accounting information can be consolidated and provided on a monthly basis.
  • Non-targeted importation monitoring schemes are very expensive to implement and maintain.

Importation industry issues

  • "Just in time" inventory processes means business sensitivity to delays and other requirements such as requesting additional information to be provided at time of importation. The industry has raised the point that it is difficult to obtain detailed information in a very short period before the shipment arrives at the border.
  • Physical examination at the border is expensive and labour intensive.
  • It is expensive for brokers and importers to adapt their processes and information management systems to provide new data at time of importation.

4. Proposal

Use "managed risk" based approaches with regards to importation monitoring. Move to the second approach proposed only if the number, type and impact of non-compliances detected in products imported using the first approach persist and justify closer monitoring.

First Approach

This approach will contain two processes:

A. Obtaining currently available importation data on Industry Canada regulated products (B3 data) from CCRA through existing Customs systems. This would be analysed to identify high risk areas. This data is readily available and does not impose additional requirements on importers.

B. Receiving a notification from CCRA when shipments identified as high risk by Industry Canada through for example, complaints received on products or a past history of non-compliance with Industry Canada requirements by an importer, have entered into Canada.

This approach can readily be implemented in cooperation with CCRA as it would be using existing systems, processes and procedures. No additional data, invoice or form have to be provided by brokers or importers.

Second Approach

The first approach would have already laid much of the groundwork and would continue to be used. The second approach would add two components:

A. Pre-approved importers (Low Risk) - Industry Canada would set up agreements whereby importers can show that they have a system in place to ensure that only compliant products are imported and that imports could be traced if a problem occurs. These importers will be able to use the normal importation processes with no changes. They would not have to provide specific information at time of importation. Information would be provided to Industry Canada on demand only. This option would allow importers to participate in the CCRA Customs Self-Assessment (CSA) program if they import Industry Canada regulated goods.

B. Other importers (unknown risk) - Industry Canada would require the provision of extra data elements at time of importation (i.e. model number and Harmonized System code) using the Other Government Department options of the CCRA Accelerated Customs Release Operations Support System (ACROSS) for targeted Industry Canada regulated products. Preferably, this information would be provided electronically through the existing CCRA ACROSS system. When release information is provided on paper, the release information would be forwarded to Industry Canada.

Industry Canada recognizes that the implementation of this second approach would require development and/or modifications to importers and brokers systems and would consider this in its implementation plan. This approach would be implemented only if the level of non-compliance with Industry Canada's requirements cannot be addressed effectively through education and enforcement measures.

5. Proposed Implementation

The first approach (notification\analysis of existing Customs data) would be implemented by mid 2001. It would allow an effective and focussed monitoring scheme which can be implemented with a minimum impact on the Industry. Should the first approach prove insufficient or closer monitoring be justified by market behavior, the second approach would then be available to provide a more rigorous monitoring process.

6. Invitation to Comment

Industry Canada, through this public consultation, must determine whether the public interest would be served by implementing the proposed importation monitoring scheme starting with the first approach and moving to second one only if necessary. Industry Canada invites comments on the above proposal.

Based on the comments received and further consideration of these and any other relevant issues, the Department will, at an appropriate time, announce its decision.

This Notice is available electronically at the following Internet address: World Wide Web (WWW), http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/home or can be obtained in hard copy, for a fee from:

Organization:
Tyrell Press Ltd.
Address:
2714 Fenton Road, Gloucester, Ontario K1T 3T7 Canada
toll-free telephone: 
1-800-267-4862
United States toll-free telephone: 
1-800-574-0137
Worldwide telephone: 
613-822-0740
Facsimile: 
613-822-1089

and

Organization:
DLS, St-Joseph Print Group Inc.
Address:
45 Sacré-CoeurBoulevard Hull, Quebec K1A 0S7 Canada
toll-free telephone:
 1-888-562-5561
Canada toll-free facsimile: 
1-800-565-7757
Worldwide telephone:
 819-779-4335
Worldwide facsimile:
 819-779-2833

Interested parties should submit their comments in electronic format (WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, Adobe PDF or ASCII TXT) to facilitate posting on the Department's Web site. Documents submitted should be sent with a note specifying the software, version number and operating system used. All comments should make reference to "Comments - Gazette Notice SMSE-017-01" and be sent to:kwan.andy@ic.gc.ca. Written submissions must be addressed to the Deputy Director, Telecommunication Engineering and Certification, Industry Canada, 300 Slater Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0C8. They must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, the publication date, the title and the Notice reference number (SMSE-017-01).

To ensure that all comments are duly considered, submissions must be received no later than 60 days following the publication of this notice. All comments will be posted on the Industry Canada Web site (http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/home) shortly thereafter.

R.W. McCaughern
Director General
Spectrum Engineering Branch

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