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Mandatory reporting standards for payments by extractive industry companies

The government of Canada recently issued a consultation paper regarding proposed mandatory reporting standards for payments by extractive industry companies to governments, both domestic and foreign and including Aboriginal entities. The proposed standards are Canada’s implementation of a commitment made at the 2013 G8 Summit and reflect similar initiatives in several other countries, including the US through the Dodd-Frank Act and the European Union (EU) through its Transparency and Accounting Directives.

The proposed standards will apply to companies operating or headquartered in Canada that are involved in the commercial development of oil, natural gas and minerals, whether in Canada or abroad. Companies involved in transportation within Canada are, apparently, not subject to the proposed standards, although the consultation paper is unclear as to how cross-border transportation undertakings are to be dealt with.

The proposed standards will apply not only to publicly listed companies, but also to medium and large private extractive companies operating in Canada. Medium and large private companies are determined as those that meet two of the three following criteria: (1) CAD20m (£11m) in assets; (2) CAD40m in net turnover; and (3) 250 employees…

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