Key Reporting Obligations
Extractive businesses subject to the Act must report annually on certain payments to all levels of government in Canada and abroad for financial years beginning after June 1, 2015.
Recorded Webinar on the ESTMA
This recorded webinar provides an overview of the Act and the reporting process. To obtain the PowerPoint presentation of this webinar, please send an email to the ESTMA team.
Information Sheet – Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act
Version 1.3, Last published on July 2017
Printable version - PDF (716KB)
The Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA or the Act) came into force on June 1, 2015. The Act introduces new reporting and transparency obligations for the Canadian extractive sector and contributes to global efforts against corruption in the sector. Canada’s requirements are broadly aligned with those in the European Union (EU) (Transparency and Accounting Directives).
Who needs to report?
Reporting Entities are corporations, trusts, partnerships or other unincorporated organizations engaged in the commercial development of oil, gas or minerals directly or through a controlled organization that are either:
- Listed on a Canadian stock exchange.
- Not listed on a Canadian stock exchange but have a place of business in Canada, do business in Canada or have assets in Canada and meet two (2) of the following thresholds in one of their two (2) most recent financial years:
- Have at least C$20 million in assets.
- Generated at least C$40 million in revenue.
- Employ an average of at least 250 employees.
There are no obligations under the ESTMA for those receiving reportable payments.
What needs to be reported?
A payment is considered a reportable payment if it meets all of the following criteria:
- Is made to a Payee (See below)
- Is related to the commercial development of oil, gas or minerals
- Totals at least C$100,000 in at least one (1) of the following categories
- Taxes (other than consumption and personal income).
- Fees (including rental fees, entry fees and regulatory charges, as well as fees or other consideration for licences, permits or concessions).
- Production entitlements.
- Bonuses (including signature, discovery and production bonuses).
- Dividends (other than dividends paid to payees as ordinary shareholders).
- Infrastructure improvement payments.
What is a Payee?
- Any governmentFootnote 1 in Canada or abroad.
- A body established by two or more governments.
- Any trust, board, commission, corporation, body or authority that exercises a function, power or duty of any government in Canada or abroad.
* The Act includes a two-year deferral, which ended June 1, 2017 for reporting payments to Indigenous governments in Canada. As of June 1, 2017, reportable payments must be included in the report following the end of the Reporting Entity’s financial year.
When do you report?
Reporting Entities must report their reportable payments made during each financial year beginning after June 1, 2015. They are required to submit and publish their report within 150 days following the end of their financial year.
How do you enroll and submit a report?
Reporting Entities must enrol with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) prior to submitting their annual report. Consult the Technical Reporting Specifications and Guidance available on the NRCan website for further information on reporting.
How does substitution work?
The Act gives the Canadian Minister of Natural Resources authority to allow Reporting Entities to substitute reports prepared in another jurisdiction (whose requirements are determined to be an acceptable substitute) to meet Canada’s ESTMA requirements. At this time, EU and European Economic Area member countries that have implemented the EU Accounting and Transparency Directives are determined to be an acceptable substitute under the Act.
To find out more on Substitution, including current determinations, visit Substitution Process and Determination.
Information Sheet - ESTMA and payments to Indigenous governments
Version 1.3, Last published on July 2017
Please refer to the section Information Sheet – Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act for completeness.
The following are common questions about the extractive sector reporting payments to Indigenous governments in CanadaFootnote 2 under the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA or the Act).
Are Indigenous governments required to report their revenues under the Act
No. Indigenous governments are not required to report under the Act. The Act requires that extractive companies (those engaged in the commercial development of oil, gas or minerals) report payments they make to all levels of government in Canada and abroad.
How does the Act define government?
The term “government” is broadly defined as payee under the Act and includes any government in Canada or abroad. This comprises federal, provincial, regional, municipal and Indigenous governments, among others. Extractive transparency measures in Canada and the European Union use a similar broad definition that recognizes governments around the world come in many forms.
Why was reporting payments to Indigenous governments in Canada deferred?
The requirement for extractive companies to report payments to Indigenous governments in Canada was deferred by two (2) years until June 1, 2017. The deferral responds to comments from Indigenous peoples and industry during the development of the Act that more time was needed to consider the potential implications of reporting payments made to Indigenous governments. During this period, the Government of Canada continued to engage Indigenous peoples and industry.
How does the Act differ from the First Nations Financial Transparency Act?
The First Nations Financial Transparency Act requires First Nations under the Indian Act to prepare and publish certain documents relating to band finances and expenditures. ESTMA requires oil, gas and mining companies to publicly report payments made to all levels of government in Canada and abroad.
Are extractive companies required to disclose their impact and benefit agreements with Indigenous groups?
No. Extractive companies are not required to disclose impact and benefit agreements (IBA), or other agreements with Indigenous groups. The Act requires extractive companies to report certain types of payments of $100,000 or more made in relation to the commercial development of oil, gas or minerals. Some of these reportable payments might be included in IBAs and other commercial agreements. Extractive companies may provide additional information in their ESTMA report about payments (including those to Indigenous governments).
Will information from the Act affect federal transfer payments to Indigenous governments?
The Act does not modify existing procedures for calculating Canada’s transfer payments to Indigenous communities. Extractive industry reports on payments to Indigenous governments will not be used as a basis to determine federal funding levels.
How has the Government involved Indigenous peoples in developing the Act?
NRCan has engaged Indigenous peoples from the earliest stages of developing the Act in 2013. This has included meeting with Indigenous governments and organizations in bilateral discussions and regional roundtables across the country both during the development of the Act and during the two (2) year deferral period. The previous reports on the Government of Canada’s engagement with Indigenous communities on the ESTMA can be read at: http://open.canada.ca/en/consultations/mandatory-reporting-standards-extractive-sector.
How can I learn more?
Additional information is available online, and questions can be emailed to nrcan.ESTMA-LMTSE.rncan@Canada.ca.
* References above to Indigenous governments in Canada relate to section 29 of the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act.
- Learn how to enrol with Natural Resources Canada
- Learn how to prepare an ESTMA report and download Technical Reporting Specifications, Guidance, reporting templates and forms
- Learn about how Natural Resources Canada determines acceptable substitutes for those under the ESTMA and view current substitution determinations
- View all ESTMA reports published within the last 5 years
- Contact ESTMA