Have Your Say: Development of a Model Canadian Digital Trade Agreement

Trade Update • July 27, 2022

anada has launched consultations inviting Canadians to share their views regarding the development of a model Canadian digital trade agreement. All interested parties are invited to submit their written input by September 13, 2022.


Digital trade broadly covers digitally enabled transactions involving trade in either goods and services that can be digitally or physically delivered to consumers, firms, and governments. Canada’s international trade initiatives in the context of digital trade aim to facilitate commercial activity; address potential market access impediments; build consumer trust and confidence; and promote interests in inclusive trade.

The Government of Canada has started work to develop a model Canadian digital trade agreement. A model digital trade agreement would allow Canada to build upon previous international trade initiatives, including the electronic commerce/digital trade chapters of Canada’s existing free trade agreements, such as the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Through such an agreement, Canada could address emerging technology issues, as well as promote its interests in inclusive trade. By establishing a model Canadian digital agreement, Canada would be at the forefront of the development of international rules governing digital trade policies.

Have Your Say

The Government of Canada is committed to policies that expand opportunities for more Canadians to compete and succeed in international markets. Global Affairs Canada is soliciting input from interested individuals and stakeholders regarding the development of a model Canadian digital trade agreement. The Government of Canada is also committed to ensure that more Canadians have access to the benefits and opportunities that flow from international trade and investment. Therefore, traditionally underrepresented groups such as women; micro, small and medium-sized enterprises; and Indigenous peoples are encouraged to provide their input.

The purpose of this consultation is to inform Canada’s position, interests, and sensitivities with respect to international digital trade. Global Affairs Canada invites all Canadians to share their views regarding the development of this model agreement, including feedback on its potential scope and content, as well as identifying potential trading partners Canada may seek to undertake negotiations with.

More information on the Government’s consultations on a model digital trade agreement can be found on the Global Affairs Canada consultation webpage.

Input can be sent by email or mail to:

Services Trade Policy Division (TMS)
Global Affairs Canada
111 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G2
Email: TMSconsultation@international.gc.ca

Please read the privacy statement carefully prior to sending a written submission.

Source: Canada Gazette

GHY’s Summary

When the NAFTA Agreement came out prior to CUSMA, there was a lot of talk on whether or not documentation provided electronically should be taken into account for Duty and GST purposes for Canada and Duty and Merchandise Processing Fees in the US. The NAFTA and CUSMA/USMCA Agreements allow for no clearance or reporting on digitally sent products.


An example would be blueprints for buildings or in the case of apparel companies sketches, artwork and patterns. At one time these were physically sent, where both CBSA and/or CBP would require the goods to be released much like any other transaction. For the most part, duties did not apply, but GST would need to be paid in Canada and in the US the Merchandise Processing Fee would be applicable.


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