1st Session, 42nd Parliament,
Volume 150, Issue 110

Thursday, April 6, 2017
The Honourable George J. Furey, Speaker

Conveyance Presentation and Reporting Requirements Modernization Bill

Bill to Amend—Eighth Report of National Security and Defence Committee Adopted

The Senate proceeded to consideration of the eighth report of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (Bill S-233, An Act to amend the Customs Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (presentation and reporting requirements), with amendments), presented in the Senate on April 5, 2017.

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer moved the adoption of the report.

She said: Honourable senators, I rise today to speak to the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence’s amendments to Bill S-233, the Conveyance Presentation and Reporting Requirements Modernization Act.

Senators, there are a number of amendments, and I will have to read these amendments. These amendments were presented in its eighth report.

Bill S-233 was introduced by Senator Runciman to simplify the customs reporting requirements for boats that enter Canadian waters from the United States but do not land or stop. The current Customs Act exempts boaters from reporting to Customs if they cross into Canadian waters on their way directly from one place outside Canada to another place outside Canada. However, they require fishermen or pleasure boaters who aren’t on a direct route to report to Customs as soon as they cross into Canadian waters.

This bill would exempt these boaters from reporting as well, provided they do not land, anchor, moor or make contact with another conveyance while in Canadian waters.

The committee has introduced several amendments to the bill.

1. Amend clause 2 by replacing line 11 on page 1 to line 16 on page 2.

This amendment establishes three goals:

It harmonizes the exemption condition for reporting by persons in all types of marine and air movements, both direct movements and for loop movements. The change also expands the scope of the exemptions to include international waters for vessels that leave Canadian waters and then re-enter Canadian waters without landing, anchoring, mooring or making contact with another conveyance.

Finally, this change simplifies the conditions for aircraft by using the term “landing” instead of mooring and tethering.

2. Amend clause 3 by replacing line 22 on page 2 to line 4 on page 3.

While the previous amendment to clause 2 related to reporting by persons, this amendment relates to reporting of goods. It is otherwise identical, imposing the same restrictions and safeguards.

3. Amend clause 4 by replacing line 14 on page 3 and replacing lines 17 and 18 on page 3.

The previous amendments remove section 5(1) and added its contents within subsection 5. This amendment is required to remove references to subsection 5.1, which no longer exists.

4. Amend clause 5 by replacing line 20 on page 3 and adding after line 27 on page 3.

This amendment is to ensure officers have similar powers under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act as those provided under the Customs Act in Bill S-233. It adds a discretionary or residual power to give officers the ability to examine exempted persons for immigration purposes.

5. Amend clause 7 by replacing line 6 on page 4 and replacing lines 8 to 37 on page 4.

This is an amendment to the coordinating amendment in the bill, which coordinates it with Bill C-21, introduced by the government last year. It is required because of the changes to section 12 of the Customs Act to ensure the language is the same for both import and export of goods.

It ensures consistency in the exemption for reporting of goods under both direct and indirect cross-border movements. It also adds discretionary officer powers regarding exports and provides the authority to create related regulations.

Honourable senators, this bill seeks to amend the Customs Act to ensure that our border laws will not unnecessarily penalize fishers or pleasure boaters as they move near our southern border. I believe the amendments presented today will ensure consistency and clarity as we apply these changes.

The Hon. the Speaker: Are honourable senators ready for the question?

Some Hon. Senators: Question.

The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to and report adopted.)

The Hon. the Speaker: When shall this bill, as amended, be read the third time?

(On motion of Senator Jaffer, bill, as amended, placed on Orders of the Day for third reading at the next sitting of the Senate.)