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Factual Records

Frequently Asked Questions

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All these answers and more can be obtained from the Work Procedures for Submissions Handbook

What is a Factual Record?

A Factual Record is a document prepared by the Secretariat that compiles all the information, starting with the communication that initiated the procedure and which objectively presents the facts related to the assertion raised in the communication.

The Secretariat prepares a preliminary draft of the Factual Record no later than 120 calendar days from the receipt of the Council's communication instructing its preparation. The preliminary draft of the Factual Record will be submitted to the Board for comment on the accuracy of the draft. Having received comments from either Party on the accuracy of the facts, or meeting the comment deadline, the Secretariat incorporates those comments and/or contributions it deems pertinent, prepares the final Factual Record, and submits it to the Council within 30 calendar days.

The Secretariat's preparation of a Factual Record is without prejudice to any additional steps that may be taken with respect to any communication.

What information does the Secretariat consider in the preparation of a Factual Record?

In drafting and finalizing the factual record, the Secretariat shall take into consideration any other information submitted by a Party and may consider any relevant technical, scientific or other information that:

  • is available to the public;
  • submitted by an interested person;
  • submitted by a national advisory or advisory committee of a Party;
  • prepared by an independent expert; either
  • prepared by the Parties under the ACA.
What happens after the development of a Factual Record?

The Secretary will make the Factual Record available to the public by posting it on its website, if directed by a Board member, which is normally done within 60 calendar days after submission to Board. If the Council directs the Secretary to publish the Factual Record, it will do so within 30 calendar days after the Council's instruction. In addition, the Council, as appropriate, will provide recommendations to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation related to issues addressed in the Factual Record, including recommendations on the development of mechanisms to monitor the Party's compliance with environmental laws.