Canada-Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement
Part Six: Administrative and Institutional Provisions
Chapter XII: Publication, Notification and Administration of Laws
Article XII.1 Contact Points
Each Party shall designate, within 60 days of the entry into force of the Agreement, a contact point to facilitate communications between the Parties on any matter covered by this Agreement. On the request of the other Party, the contact point shall identify the office or official responsible for the matter and assist, as necessary, in facilitating communication with the requesting Party.
Article XII.2 Publication
1. Each Party shall ensure that its laws, regulations, procedures and administrative rulings of general application respecting any matter covered by this Agreement are promptly published or otherwise made available in such a manner as to enable interested persons and the other Party to become acquainted with them.
2. To the extent possible, each Party shall:
- a. publish in advance any such measure that it proposes to adopt; and
- b. provide interested persons and the other Party a reasonable opportunity to comment on such proposed measures.
Article XII.3 Notification and Provision of Information
1. To the maximum extent possible, each Party shall notify the other Party of any proposed or actual measure that the Party considers might materially affect the operation of this Agreement or otherwise substantially affect the other Party's interests under this Agreement.
2. On request of the other Party, a Party shall promptly provide information and respond to questions pertaining to any actual or proposed measure, whether or not the other Party has been previously notified of that measure.
3. Any notification or information provided under this Article shall be without prejudice as to whether the measure is consistent with this Agreement.
Article XII.4 Administrative Proceedings
1. With a view to administering in a consistent, impartial and reasonable manner all measures of general application affecting matters covered by this Agreement, each Party shall ensure that in its administrative proceedings applying measures referred to in Article XII.2 to particular persons, goods or services of the other Party in specific cases:
- a. wherever possible, persons of the other Party that are directly affected by a proceeding are provided reasonable notice, in accordance with domestic procedures, when a proceeding is initiated, including a description of the nature of the proceeding, a statement of the legal authority under which the proceeding is initiated and a general description of any issues in controversy;
- b. such persons are afforded a reasonable opportunity to present facts and arguments in support of their positions prior to any final administrative action, when permitted by time, the nature of the proceeding, and the public interest; and
- c. its procedures are in accordance with domestic law.
Article XII.5 Review and Appeal
1. Each Party shall establish or maintain judicial, quasi-judicial or administrative tribunals or procedures for the purpose of the prompt review and, where warranted, correction of final administrative actions regarding matters covered by this Agreement. Such tribunals shall be impartial and independent of the office or authority entrusted with administrative enforcement and shall not have any substantial interest in the outcome of the matter.
2. Each Party shall ensure that, in any such tribunals or procedures, the parties to the proceeding are provided with the right to:
- a. a reasonable opportunity to support or defend their respective positions; and
- b. a decision based on the evidence and submissions of record or, where required by domestic law, the record compiled by the administrative authority.
3. Each Party shall ensure, subject to appeal or further review as provided in its domestic law, that such decisions shall be implemented by, and shall govern the practice of, the offices or authorities with respect to the administrative action at issue.
Article XII.6 Definitions
For purposes of this Chapter:
administrative ruling of general application means an administrative ruling or interpretation that applies to all persons and fact situations that fall generally within its ambit and that establishes a norm of conduct but does not include:
1. a determination or ruling made in an administrative or quasi-judicial proceeding that applies to a particular person, good or service of the other Party in a specific case; or
2. a ruling that adjudicates with respect to a particular act or practice.
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