What is ESTMA?
On June 1, 2015, the federal Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act, (“ESTMA”) came into effect for fiscal periods beginning after this date.
This new federal legislation imposes mandatory reporting requirements on certain entities engaged in the “commercial development of oil, gas or minerals”, which includes exploration, extraction and holding permits to do so.
All companies subject to ESTMA are required to report payments over CDN $100,000 made to any level of a Canadian or foreign government, including royalty payments, taxes (other than consumption taxes and personal income taxes), fees, production entitlements, bonuses, dividends (other than ordinary dividends paid to shareholders), infrastructure improvement payments and other prescribed categories of payments.
These categories are separate; therefore, even if the aggregate of payments across the categories are greater than $100,000, one or more individual categories must reach the threshold for the report to be required. The reporting requirement for payments made to First Nations governments has been deferred until May 31, 2017. Entities are also required to complete and host this report on its website no later than 150 days after the end of its fiscal reporting period and retain these reports for five years.