As eCommerce fosters massively trade across borders there are many Canadian companies which also send emails overseas. For those CASL has some nice surprises:
First: You can choose which legislation to use.
In the “ELECTRONIC COMMERCE PROTECTION REGULATIONS” I see: “3. Section 6 of the Act does not apply to a commercial electronic message […] if the person who sends the message or causes or permits it to be sent reasonably believes the message will be accessed in a foreign state that is listed in the schedule and the message conforms to the law of the foreign state that addresses conduct that is substantially similar to conduct prohibited under section 6 of the Act;”
Read this carefully and you will find out: If you believe your message does NOT comply with the foreign regulations, than CASL will apply. Good to know, I think.
Second: This text also implies that the foreign states, listed in the schedule, are considered to have a “substantially similar” legislation as Canada (after CASL). Otherwise you would not need the schedule at all. The funny thing is, that the schedule includes countries like the USA and Switzerland.
Both countries pursue an opt-out policy on commercial emails. I really cannot think of a bigger difference as “consent, consent, consent”-CASL versus an opt-out legislation.
Do not get me wrong: I think it is really good to make this exemption, because otherwise you would de facto ban email marketing for Canadian businesses in these countries. But the legislator also should realise, that legislation abroad is “substantially different”.