Rules 1-17

Article 1905 Special Committees

Rules of Procedure for Article 1905 Special Committees

The Parties,

Having regard to Chapter Nineteen of the North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, the United Mexican States and the United States of America;

Acting pursuant to Article 1905.6 of the Agreement;

Adopt the following Rules of Procedure, which shall come into force on the same day as the Agreement enters into force and from that day shall govern all special committee proceedings conducted pursuant to Article 1905 of the Agreement.

Short Title

1. These rules may be cited as the Article 1905 Special Committee Rules.

Statement of General Intent

2. These rules shall apply to special committee proceedings conducted pursuant to Article 1905 of the Agreement, unless the involved Parties otherwise agree. Where a procedural question arises that is not covered by these rules, a special committee may adopt an appropriate procedure that is not inconsistent with the Agreement. In the event of any inconsistency between the provisions of these rules and the Agreement, the Agreement shall prevail.

Interpretation

3. In these rules,

"Agreement" means the North American Free Trade Agreement; (Accord) (Tratado)

"Complaining Party" means a Party who requests, pursuant to Article 1905.2 of the Agreement, that a special committee be established; (Partie plaignante) (Parte reclamante)

"involved Secretariat" means the responsible Secretariat or the section of the Secretariat located in the country of the other involved Party; (Secrétariat en cause) (Secretariado implicado)

"legal holiday" means

(a) with respect to the Canadian Section of the Secretariat, every Saturday and Sunday, New Year's Day (January 1), Good Friday, Easter Monday, Victoria Day, Canada Day (July 1), Labour Day (first Monday in September), Thanksgiving Day (second Monday in October), Remembrance Day (November 11), Christmas Day (December 25), Boxing Day (December 26), any other day fixed as a statutory holiday by the Government of Canada or by the province in which the section is located and any day on which the offices of the Canadian Section of the Secretariat are officially closed in whole or in part,

(b) with respect to the Mexican Section of the Secretariat, every Saturday and Sunday, New Year's Day (January 1), Constitution Day (February 5), Benito Juárez's Birthday (March 21), Labor Day (May 1), Battle of Puebla (May 5), Independence Day (September 16), Congressional Opening Day (November 1), Revolution Day (November 20), Transmission of the Federal Executive Branch (every six years on December 1), Christmas Day (December 25), any day designated as a statutory holiday by the Federal Laws or, in the case of Ordinary Elections, by the Local Electoral Laws and any day on which the offices of the Mexican Section of the Secretariat are officially closed in whole or in part, and

(c) with respect to the United States Section of the Secretariat, every Saturday and Sunday, New Year's Day (January 1), Martin Luther King's Birthday (third Monday in January), Presidents' Day (third Monday in February), Memorial Day (last Monday in May), Independence Day (July 4), Labor Day (first Monday in September), Columbus Day (second Monday in October), Veterans' Day (November 11), Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November), Christmas Day (December 25), any day designated as a holiday by the President or the Congress of the United States and any day on which the offices of the Government of the United States located in the District of Columbia or the offices of the United States Section of the Secretariat are officially closed in whole or in part; (jour férié) (días inhábiles)

"Mexico" means the United Mexican States; (Mexique) (Mexico)

"official publication" means

(a) in the case of the Government of Canada, the Canada Gazette,

(b) in the case of the Government of Mexico, the Diario Oficial de la Federación, and

(c) in the case of the Government of the United States, the Federal Register; (journal officiel) (publicación oficial)

"Party" means the Government of Canada, the Government of Mexico or the Government of the United States; (Partie) (Parte)

"Responding Party" means the Party against whom an allegation is made under Article 1905.1 of the Agreement; (Partie visée par la plainte) (Parte demandada)

"responsible Secretariat" means the section of the Secretariat of the Responding Party; (Secrétariat responsable) (Secretariado responsable)

"responsible Secretary" means the Secretary of the responsible Secretariat; (secrétaire responsable) (Secretario responsable)

"Secretariat" means the Secretariat established pursuant to Article 2002 of the Agreement; (Secrétariat) (Secretariado)

"Secretary" means the Secretary of the United States Section of the Secretariat, the Secretary of the Mexican Section of the Secretariat or the Secretary of the Canadian Section of the Secretariat and includes any person authorized to act on behalf of that Secretary; (secrétaire) (Secretario)

"special committee" means a special committee established pursuant to Article 1905 of the Agreement; (comité spécial) (comite especial)

"United States" means the United States of America. (États-Unis) (Estados Unidos)

Operation of the Special Committee

4. (1) Subject to subrule (2), unless the involved Parties otherwise agree, special committee meetings shall take place at the offices of the responsible Secretariat or at such alternative location as the committee members may agree.

(2) A special committee may conduct meetings or exchange information by any means, including by means of a telephone conference call or facsimile or computer transmission.

5. The members of a special committee shall select from among themselves a chairperson, who shall preside over all meetings and hearings of the special committee.

6. The chairperson of the special committee shall fix the date and time of its meetings in consultation with other special committee members and the responsible Secretary.

7. All reports, findings, determinations and decisions of a special committee shall be made or issued by a majority vote of all members of the special committee.

8. A special committee proceeding commences on the day on which a request for a special committee is filed with the responsible Secretariat and terminates on the day on which a notice of completion of the special committee proceeding is issued pursuant to rule 36.

9. (1) A special committee may adopt internal procedures of its own, not inconsistent with these rules, for routine administrative matters.

(2) A special committee may delegate to its chairperson the authority to make decisions regarding internal procedures or routine administrative matters.

10. The terms of reference of a special committee shall be limited to

(a) making a finding as to whether any allegations set out in Article 1905.1 of the Agreement made by the Complaining Party regarding the application of the Responding Party's domestic law are substantiated;

(b) determining whether a suspension of benefits by the Complaining Party pursuant to Article 1905.8(b) of the Agreement is manifestly excessive; and

(c) determining whether the Responding Party has corrected a problem with respect to which the special committee has made an affirmative finding.

Service of Documents

11. A document to be filed by an involved Party with the responsible Secretariat shall

(a) be served on the other involved Party by express courier, overnight mail or by any other means agreed upon by the involved Parties; and

(b) when filed, be accompanied by a proof of service certifying that the document has been served on the other involved Party, indicating the manner, date and time of service.

Written Submissions

12. All written submissions and responses filed with a responsible Secretariat shall be accompanied by four copies thereof.

13. (1) A request for the establishment of a special committee under Article 1905.2 of the Agreement shall be made by filing the request with the responsible Secretariat.

(2) On the filing of a request under subrule (1), the responsible Secretary and the other involved Secretary shall cause a notice of the filing of the request to be published in the official publications of the countries in which their sections of the Secretariat are located.

14. The written initial submission of a Complaining Party shall be filed with the responsible Secretariat no later than 10 days after the date on which the last member of the special committee is appointed.

15. A written response by the Responding Party shall be filed with the responsible Secretariat no later than 20 days after the filing of the initial submission of the Complaining Party.

16. A special committee may allow each involved Party the opportunity to make an equal number of further written submissions, within such time as may be fixed by the special committee, having regard to the time limits fixed by Annex 1905.6 to Chapter Nineteen of the Agreement.

17. The responsible Secretary shall forward to the other involved Secretary a copy of all documents filed with the responsible Secretariat and of all reports, findings, determinations and decisions issued by the special committee.