In compliance with its mandate to provide information and education, the Secretariat has compiled and organized responses to frequently asked questions about the “mechanism”, the Secretariat, Factual Records and other related issues. If you can't find answers to your question, you can write us at info@saa-sem.org.

The environmental submission mechanism:

  1. What is the environmental submissions mechanism?
  2. What is the objective of the environmental submissions mechanism?
  3. How does the mechanism work?
  4. What stages are there in the mechanism?
  5. What results does the mechanism offer?
  6. Who can use the mechanism?

The CAFTA-DR Secretariat for Environmental Matters:

  1. What are the functions of the Secretariat?
  2. Is the Secretariat a governmental entity?
  3. Is the Secretariat part of SIECA?
  4. Does the Secretariat have offices in each country Party to the Agreement?
  5. What is the Secretariat's sources of funding?
  6. Who does the Secretariat report to?

Submissions asserting alleged failure to comply with its environmental legislation:

  1. Are submissions complaints or suits?
  2. Is an attorney required to file a submission?
  3. Where do I send my submission?
  4. Where do I find information on how to prepare my submission?
  5. What requirements must I meet when filing my submission?
  6. Can I request “precautionary measures” in my submission?
  7. Can I request someone be fined and/or sanctioned in my submission?
  8. Can I file a submission with the Secretariat without having presented a complaint it with the environmental authorities in my country?
  9. In what situations, may the Secretariat suspend processing my submission?

Factual Records:

  1. What is a Factual Record?
  2. Who prepares a Factual Record?
  3. What is contained in a Factual Record?
  4. Who funds the preparation of a Factual Record?
  5. What is the role of the submitter in the preparation of a Factual Record?
  6. How many Factual Records have been prepared?

The Environmental Affairs Council:

  1. Who forms part of the Environmental Affairs Council?
  2. What are the functions of the Council?

Points of Contact for Trade and the Environment

  1. What are the functions of the points of contact?
  2. Who are the points of contact in each country?

Environmental issues and civil society

  1. Which sectors of society have filed the most submission?


  1. Are governments sanctioned for failing to effectively comply with their environmental legislation?