The Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act ("ESTMA") came into force on June 1, 2015 to enhance the accountability and transparency of payments made by the mining and oil and gas industries to governments worldwide.
ESTMA requires Reporting Entities to publish on their website, and report to Natural Resources Canada ("NRCan") no later than 150 days after the Reporting Entity's financial year end, payments made to governments during the financial year. For a Reporting Entity with a financial year ended on December 31, 2017, the Reporting Entity must publish its report online and provide a link to the report to NRCan no later than May 30, 2018.
In April NRCan released a new Guidance document, reporting template, validation checklist, and information sheet on reporting payments to Indigenous Payees to assist Reporting Entities with their reporting obligations.
- Payments to Indigenous Payees in Canada may now be reportable if made on or after June 1, 2017
- Reporting Entities may use either the new or old reporting template for the 2017 reporting period
- All reports submitted for the 2017 reporting period will be reviewed based on the new validation checklist and Technical Reporting Specifications
- The new version of the Guidance offers further information and practical advice on a number of matters
All ESTMA reports for the 2017 reporting period must be based on one of the two reporting templates provided on NRCan's website. A step-by-step guide for completing the report is included in the Technical Reporting Specifications, Annex A.
NRCan encourages businesses to use the new template. However, businesses may use the old template until October 31, 2018. As of November 1, 2018, the new template for reporting will become mandatory.
Incoming reports will be reviewed based on the new validation checklist as well as the Technical Reporting Specifications guideline. It must be noted that if a report does not meet the requirements of the new checklist, NRCan will request that corrections be made before linking the report to the ESTMA website.
ESTMA's two-year deferral period for reporting payments to Indigenous Payees in Canada ended on June 1, 2017, and now payments to Indigenous Payees may be reportable if made on or after June 1, 2017.
Reporting Entities should use the same analyses in determining when to report payments made to Indigenous governments as they would with any other government in Canada or abroad.
The Guidance has been developed to help Reporting Entities understand the requirement of ESTMA. It provides practical and illustrative guidance on areas such as: the scope of commercial development of oil, gas and minerals, what entities are subject to the Act, what entities must report payments under ESTMA, and what types of payments should be reported under ESTMA.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.