Archived—SOR/2007-192 - Order Repealing the Telecommunications Apparatus Assessment and Testing Fees Order

Department of Industry

Registration
SOR/2007-192 August 15, 2007

Financial Administration Act

Amendment

1. The Telecommunications Apparatus Assessment and Testing Fees Order 1 is repealed.

Coming into Force

2. This Order comes into force on September 10, 2007.

The Minister of Industry, pursuant to Order in Council P.C. 1993-428 of March 9, 1993 a, made pursuant to paragraph 19 (1)(b) b of the Financial Administration Act, hereby makes the annexed Order Repealing the Telecommunications Apparatus Assessment and Testing Fees Order.


Footnotes

1. SOR/93-365

a. SI/93-32

b. S.C. 1991, c.24, s.6


Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement

(This statement is not part of the Order.)

Description

Telecommunications apparatus and radio apparatus are indispensable elements of the Canadian communications infrastructure supporting essential cultural, economic and public safety requirements. Such apparatus includes telephones, cellular phones, WiFi equipment for public wireless Internet connection, and radios used by emergency response agencies and the police. The Department of Industry (the Department) is responsible for the regulatory framework that sets out the requirements for the importation, manufacturing, sale and operation of such apparatus.

Consistent with the objectives of Advantage Canada: Building a Strong Economy for Canadians, the Department is undertaking a new initiative to further improve the efficiency and effectiveness of this regulatory framework. One element of this initiative requires that the Department rescind the Telecommunications Apparatus Assessment and Testing Fees Order (ATF) and introduce a modernized, more effective regulatory instrument under the Department of Industry Act.

The current regulatory requirements have been established to protect networks from harm by ensuring that apparatus that makes use of these facilities conforms to established technical requirements. To give evidence of conformity, apparatus is registered or certified and marked with an Industry Canada registration or certification number. This allows business to distribute, lease, sell, or import the apparatus into Canada. Traditionally, the Certification and Engineering Bureau (CEB) of the Department, through its testing and certification services, ensures that apparatus conforms to the technical requirements and provides businesses with labels for marking. The CEB charges fees for these services and labels as prescribed under the ATF, issued pursuant to paragraph 19(1)(b) of the Financial Administration Act (FAA) in 1993 by the then Minister of Communications.

Since the coming into force of the ATF, the Department has undertaken several initiatives to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of this regulatory framework, which has resulted in a reduced regulatory and administrative burden on business. It has introduced a Declaration of Conformity and registration regime that replaced the former certification regime relating to telecommunications apparatus. The Department has also entered into international mutual recognition agreements or arrangements (MRAs) that require the streamlining of Industry Canada's conformity assessment processes. However, the requirements of the ATF do not reflect these changes and are creating an unnecessary burden on business and the Department. For example, since 2002, a business can apply its own mark on apparatus to indicate conformity to the Department's technical requirements. Nonetheless, under the ATF, a business must still pay label fees to Industry Canada for every labelled product. With the rapid growth in the market for such apparatus, this fee has become a financial burden on industry.

To address this issue, the Department has proposed a new fee structure, the Telecommunications and Radio Apparatus Fee Order, under the Department of Industry Act, which will take effect as soon as the ATF is revoked. A detailed public consultation has been held and the Department received support for the new fee structure. Parliament has also reviewed the new fee structure as required under the User Fees Act (UFA). To give effect to the new fee structure, the ATF must be rescinded. This efficient regulatory regime is necessary in order to promote a fair and competitive market economy.

Alternatives

Maintaining the existing fee order is the only alternative. However, doing so would fail to capitalize on the efficiencies created by streamlining the regulations on telecommunications and radio apparatus. Additionally, the administrative and financial burden would continue to fall upon businesses and further hinder their abilities to be responsive to the new realities of the market.

Benefits and Costs

The proposed fee structure will reduce the regulatory costs and paper burden to the industry. It is anticipated that the proposed new fee structure will reduce the total fees paid by the industry to the government from approximately two million dollars per year to less than one million dollars per year and be compatible with the fees charged by Canada's trading partners for similar services.

Consultation

The Department has presented the proposal to industry and consultative committees that have direct interests in the field of telecommunications and radio apparatus; these committees included the Terminal Attachment Program Advisory Committee (TAPAC) and the Radio Advisory Board of Canada (RABC). The feedback provided by these committees on the proposal was entirely positive and committee members were eager to see this initiative proceed. In order to meet the requirements of the UFA, a public consultation on the proposed new fee structure began on March 5, 2004 (Gazette Notice No. SMSE-006-04 - Consultation on a New Fee Structure For Services Provided by Industry Canada Relating to Telecommunications and Radio Apparatus) and closed on May 20, 2004. No negative comments were received. Industry stakeholders continue to inquire about and emphasize the importance of the implementation of the new fee structure.

During the 1st Session of the 39th Parliament, the new fee proposal was tabled before both Houses and was referred to the appropriate committees, in accordance with the UFA. Both committees approved the proposal.

Compliance and Enforcement

Compliance and enforcement measures are not required for the revocation of the existing fee order.

Contact Person

Claude Beaudoin
Director, Certification and Engineering Bureau
Spectrum Engineering Branch
Industry Canada
Building 94 -Room: 101
3701 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario K2H 8S2

Tel.: 613-990-4950
Fax.: 613-990-4752
Email: beaudoin.claude@ic.gc.ca

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