Thank you, Mr. Chair. Recognizing the time constraints, I'll give a brief overview so we can move quickly to questions.
This measure, which is covered in clauses 69 to 126 of the bill, includes several structural simplifications and other technical amendments to the customs tariffs with a view to easing administrative burden and red tape, and reducing compliance costs for both importers and the Canada Border Services Agency, the CBSA.
This measure was announced in budget 2018 and it constitutes the government's response to the Auditor General's recommendation in the spring 2017 audit of customs duties to review and simplify Canada's tariff regime.
There are effectively three primary groupings of amendments contained in the bill, the most substantive of which are contained in clauses 121 to 123 and consist of the elimination of several redundant tariff items in order to facilitate classification and administration for importers and the CBSA. As a result of these amendments, the measure reduces the overall number of tariff items in the schedule by just over 6%, significantly reducing the scope for misclassification by importers or government.
The second category of changes includes several amendments to clarify the policy intent of certain provisions such as tariff descriptions in order to improve administrative predictability.
Finally, the third grouping of amendments is primarily of a housekeeping nature. This would include amendments such as a renumbering of tariff items to reflect past changes, as well as amendments to English and French descriptions to address language discrepancies.
The measure does not affect rates of duty for goods imported into Canada. As a result, it has no fiscal impact or impact on ongoing or future trade negotiations. The measure would take effect on January 1, 2019.