SIMA Registry and Disclosure Unit: Follow-up to Public Consultations

In January 2017, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) launched public consultations to explore ways to make our services more secure, efficient and responsive to stakeholder needs. Submissions were received and a summary of feedback was posted on the CBSA’s website. The SIMA Registry and Disclosure Unit (the Registry) has carefully considered each submission and will implement the following measures in response.

(1) Posting of Exhibits

The CBSA will update its Listing of Exhibits and Information for each active case on Tuesdays and Thursdays by 3:00PM with new exhibits. During high volume periods, this area will be updated more frequently.

Note: Proper non-confidential versions are necessary for the posting of exhibits. Instructions for preparing a non-confidential version are included in all outgoing Requests for Information (RFIs).

(2) Exhibit Requests

Registry Clerks will action and send exhibit requests without delay and within no more than two business days following receipt of the request.

(3) Proactive Disclosure of Information

In order to increase efficiency at critical points in SIMA cases, the CBSA will proactively disclose information at the following points in a proceeding:

If exhibits are ready for disclosure prior to two business days, the CBSA will send them earlier. Counsel will be notified that the information has been sent or is ready for pick-up. The CBSA will test this for a few cases and then, depending on stakeholder feedback, decide whether to make this a permanent practice.

In order to allow the Registry to disclose such exhibits in a timely manner, all parties must respect deadlines.

The CBSA will continue to allow for the release of exhibits to parties at any time on request and will seek to include all recently received exhibits when responding to these requests.

(4) Transmission of Information

Although stakeholders did not generally express a preference for the transmission of information over USB rather than DVD, there was a general consensus that the preferred method for the transmission of information is a secure online portal. Accordingly, the Registry will not transition to USB keys and will instead actively explore options for a secure online portal.

In the interim, the CBSA will share protected information by email in the form of encrypted zip files.

The CBSA will continue to send disclosure packages that exceed the CBSA’s 10MB email limit on DVD via courier.

(5) Disclosure Undertaking

The disclosure undertaking has been modified to reflect the current uses of technology.

The changes to the undertaking will allow parties to use computers and company networks for viewing, copying and sharing exhibits.

(6) Access to Standard Forms and Letters

The Registry has published a counsel toolkit with templates for the following standard documentation used in SIMA proceedings:

(7) File Naming Convention

The titles of all files submitted in SIMA proceedings must be in English or French only, using an English or French keyboard, with no special characters.

Other important changes

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