Border Commercial Consultative Committees
Policy and Projects Committee

In this section

Terms of Reference

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is committed to engaging with Canadian commercial stakeholders on its strategies, policies, operational programs and administrative procedures that govern and affect Canada's commercial trade.

The purpose of this engagement is to promote and strengthen collaboration on border matters between the CBSA and the Canadian commercial trade community, for the benefit of Canada, the Canadian economy and Canada's trade sector.

The Committee will strive to achieve a balanced membership, seeking equal representation from industry partners and regions, and applying equity principles by embracing diversity and inclusion.

1. Mandate

The objective of the Policy and Projects Committee (hereafter called the Committee) is to consult stakeholders on the development and implementation of the CBSA’s proposed commercial and trade policies, projects, and transformation initiatives to inform decision making.

2. Roles and Responsibilities

In carrying out the Committee’s mandate:

  • co-chairs are expected to work towards the resolution of any issues that may arise;
  • co-chairs are to meet at least once a year with the co-chairs of the two other Border Commercial Consultative committees and ensure that any issues that may interconnect with other committees are reported and that linkages are made; and
  • alternate co-chairs will not be identified; should a co-chair be absent for an extended period of time or unable to continue with their mandate, a replacement (temporary or permanent) co-chair will be selected in the same manner as the original co-chair.

All members will collaborate by:

  • analyzing and providing recommendations for advancing and resolving issues;
  • raising topics for discussion;
  • being active participants, engaging in committee discussions on all agenda items and providing regular updates to relevant program areas, associations and association members; and
  • attending scheduled meetings, and if unavailable, sending an alternate with equivalent expertise, knowledge and willingness to actively participate.

3. Key Activities

At every spring meeting, the CBSA and industry will jointly establish the Committee’s priorities for the coming fiscal year.

Together, committee members will:

  • identify key deliverables and accompanying performance indicators in support of the approved annual priorities;
  • adapt annual priorities and deliverables based on emerging or pressing issues;
  • identify working groups, their mandates, duration and membership; and
  • oversee the implementation of the priorities set out in the working groups to ensure overall alignment and achievements of objectives to support result-based outcomes.

4. Accountability

The Committee will prepare a report against its identified priorities and key deliverables, including the activities, accomplishments and recommendations of each working group, on an annual basis.

The annual report will be distributed to all committee members and within the CBSA up to the highest level, including the Commercial Advisory Council.

5. Working Groups

  • The Committee may establish any number of working groups to advance key elements of its annual priorities, including any transformation initiatives, on an as-needed basis;
  • Each working group must only address one single specific issue, and have clear and measurable objectives;
  • A working group must be of limited duration and not exceed one year unless warranted by the nature and complexity of the work involved.
  • External membership will be open to any organization, association or individual with relevant knowledge and expertise;
  • Membership will not necessarily be drawn from committee members; and
    • Examples of working group topics include:
    • eCommerce
    • Export Reporting
    • eManifest Freight Forwarder Implications
    • Pre-clearance
    • Integrated Importer Declaration – Single Window Initiave Timeframes
    • Trusted Trader Improvements
    • Warehouse Registration Process

6. Communication

In addition to the Accountability and Administration responsibilities already outlined in the Terms of Reference, the following also applies:

  • Committee and Working Groups:
    • The Committee will share its record of meeting with the Commercial and Operations Committee, the Trade and Recourse Committee and with the Commercial Advisory Council, as required.
    • The working groups will provide quarterly progress reports and brief the Committee as required.
    • Hold plenary sessions, as required.
    • In relation to the commercial and trade programs:
    • Make information accessible to everyone who has an interest in learning about upcoming changes to legislation, policies and systems.
    • Expand outreach and engagement capacity.
    • Improve information sharing, including how to make greater use of traditional and social media tools.
    • Provide real time client support, assisting to resolve issues.
  • Secretariat:
    • Tools and templates will be provided to assist reporting.

7. Membership

CBSA Co-Chair:

Fred Gaspar
Director General, Commercial Programs Directorate

Private sector Co-Chair

Janice McBride
Vice-President, Canadian Society of Customs Brokers

Private sector members will designate the co-chair according to a nomination and voting process. Private sector members will have an opportunity to retain the current co-chair or select a new representative. There will be no alternate representation. Should a co-chair not be available to attend the committee meeting, another date and time will be selected so that both co-chairs are in attendance.

Members

Membership will be reviewed annually to ensure it remains aligned with the Committee’s priorities.

Membership should not exceed 20 members.

Current membership

  • Association of International Customs and Border Agencies (AICBA)
  • Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters (IE Canada)
  • Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)
  • Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA)
  • Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME)
  • Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA)
  • Canadian Society of Customs Brokers (CSCB)
  • Canadian Sufferance Warehouse Association (CSWA)
  • Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA)
  • Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association (CVMA)
  • International Air Transport Association (IATA)
  • Landmark
  • Livingston International
  • Railway Association of Canada (RAC)
  • United Parcel Services (UPS)

CBSA

CBSA membership is open to all areas responsible for the promotion and improvement of commercial and trade policy program and project management. Membership will include representation from the Commercial Program; Trade and Anti-dumping; Commercial Transformation; Commercial Projects and the CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM); Recourse; and Operations.

Private Sector

  • The CBSA Co-Chair will invite national associations that have a direct stake and/or expertise in commercial and trade policy programs and projects to join the Committee;
  • Other organizations, and/or private sector businesses with relevant expertise and experience may be invited if applicable;
  • Invitees will recommend the individual(s) who will represent them on the Committee.

Special Guests

Others, such as representatives from other government departments or other Customs administrations, may be invited as required.

8. Meetings

  • The Committee will meet two times per year (once in the spring and once in the fall), and as otherwise required, either virtually or in-person, at the call of the co-chairs;
  • The Committee will only meet when both co-chairs are available and if there are at least 50 percent of the membership present, virtually or in person.
  • The co-chairs will endeavour to confirm the exact meeting date at least four weeks prior to the meeting.

9. Administration

The Commercial Program Directorate will provide secretariat services for the Committee. The secretariat will:

  • maintain the list of representatives;
  • organize committee meetings;
  • distribute agendas and materials in advance of scheduled meetings;
  • prepare and distribute committee meeting debriefs;
  • receive working groups’ meeting debriefs/recommendations to remain informed of activities;
  • draft the Committee’s annual report; and
  • communicate information, as appropriate.

Appendix A – Private Sector Co-Chair

  1. The Committee Private Sector Co-Chair (PSCC) will be selected by and from among the current members of the Committee.  
  2. The PSCC will serve for a minimum of two years. There is no limit to the duration the PSCC can remain in the position.
  3. All interested individuals will be asked to submit their names. If there is only one nominee, that individual will be appointed to the position. Otherwise, the names of the nominees for each open position will be shared between them. If, after discussion, all wish to leave their names on the ballot, a vote will be conducted. The individual who receives the highest number of votes will be named the PSCC.
  4. The PSCC will assume this role immediately following the election. An outgoing PSCC is expected to assist in the transition.
  5. If a PSCC steps down before the end of the two year mandate, a replacement will be identified who will assume the role of PSCC and serve for the balance of the term.
  6. The Committee private sector co-chair (PSCC) will be responsible for:
    1. Creating an atmosphere of trust and collaboration that is conducive to active member participation and consensus building;
    2. Working with the CBSA co-chair to plan operations and direct the committee’s business (e.g. meeting agendas, forward planning);  
    3. Building consensus on committee priorities and action items; and
    4. Liaising with working group leads to ensure alignment with committee decisions and direction.
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