Questionnaire on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between Canada and India

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Table of Contents

  • Instructions
  • A) General Questions
  • B) Trade in Goods
  • C) Cross-Border Trade in Services
  • D)Temporary Entry of Business Persons
  • E) Investment


This questionnaire seeks your input on trade in goods, trade in services, temporary entry and investment with regard to Canadian business activities in India. 

We invite you to submit your input as per the following instructions:

  1. Please type your answers into the grey boxes in this document
  2. Please complete section A) General Questions
  3. Please complete questions in sections B), C), D), and/or E) depending on whether these sections are relevant to your company or association’s activities

Contributions may be sent via email, fax or mail to:

  • Email:
  • Fax: (613) 992-6002
  • Mail:
    Canada-India CEPA Consultations
    Trade Negotiations I Division (TPE)
    Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development
    Lester B. Pearson Building
    125 Sussex Drive,
    Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2

In addition, please note that this questionnaire has been written for respondents from Canadian companies and associations.  Throughout the text, we refer to both companies and associations with the term ‘organization’.  Questions that are to be answered by either companies or associations will be specifically identified.

A) General Questions

1. Please provide a brief description of your organization including the following:

  • Sector (e.g., manufacturing, resources, agriculture, services, technology, etc.)
  • Size of membership or number of employees
  • Key lines of business (e.g., products or activities)
  • Investment activities in India
  • Importing or exporting status and history vis-à-vis India

2. For companies - in which Indian State(s)/ Territory(ies) is your company currently conducting business? Does your company plan to expand its activities to additional States or Territories in the next five years? If your company does not already have a presence in the Indian market, does your company plan to enter the market within the next five years? (For associations - please respond to this question with general or specific reference to the activities of your members.)

  • A Global Value Chain (GVC) can be defined as the full range of activities a business performs to produce a product or service and deliver it to the customer from its conception to its end use. This includes activities such as research and design, production, marketing, distribution, and support to the final consumer. When activities are scattered internationally, a GVC exists. In a GVC a product might be: developed in Montreal, while parts manufacturing is done in China; assembled in India; packaged in Turkey; and sold in Europe, with an American firm offering after-sales support.
  • Is your company active in a GVC where a product or service has interaction with the Indian market? If yes, please elaborate

3. In which Canadian city is your organization’s headquarters located?

Does your organization have offices in other Canadian cities?  If yes, please list.

4. May we contact you in the future regarding the Canada-India trade relationship?

If yes, please provide your name and contact information below:

Phone Number:

B) Trade in Goods

Canada’s trade relationship with India is significant and growing. Bilateral merchandise trade with India totaled $4.1 billion in 2009, an increase of 70.2 per cent from 2004. India accounted for $2.1 billion of Canada’s global merchandise exports and $2.0 billion of Canada’s global merchandise imports in 2009.

We are seeking Canadian business community views on the elimination of tariffs and technical barriers to trade, for goods originating in both Canada and India. Consistent with Canada’s approach to other trade agreements, we anticipate that tariff elimination and phase-outs will be negotiated on an individual tariff line (or product) basis.

1. Canadian Export Interests

Please identify Canadian export interest(s) to India that would benefit from the elimination of Indian tariffs. Please identify products using as much detail as possible, including their specific Harmonized System (HS) tariff line number and corresponding product description.

When identifying products where you would see the greatest benefit in having India remove its current tariff quickly, please (i) provide a rationale for choosing the product; and (ii) prioritize products identified in order of importance to you (high, medium, low).

2. Canadian Imports

Please provide your views on tariff elimination for Indian product(s) into the Canadian market, including identifying product(s) for which elimination of tariff should be immediate, expedited or phased over time. Please identify: 1) Indian product(s) for which a tariff phase-out period of some length would be required in order to allow Canadian industry to better adjust to increased import competition from India; and/or 2) Indian product(s) for which you have an interest in importing. Please identify products using as much detail as possible, including their specific Harmonized System (HS) tariff line number and corresponding product descriptions.

When identifying products where you would want Canadian tariffs to be phased-out over time, please provide a rationale for choosing the product and describe the need for a phase-out period.

3. Rules of Origin

Please provide any views regarding the rules of origin and/or advice on appropriate rules of origin for specific products or sectors.  When identifying products, please specify product descriptions and/or the Harmonized System (HS) number.

4. Technical Barriers to Trade

As global tariffs have substantially decreased, there has been increased focus on ensuring non-tariff measures or policies do not restrict or distort international trade. Governments use technical regulations and standards to achieve a range of policy goals, such as ensuring the health and safety of their citizens, protection of the environment, and consumer protection. While the vast majority of technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures are designed to achieve non-trade related objectives, they become technical barriers to trade when they have the unintended (or intended) effect of unnecessarily restricting or distorting trade.

a) Please identify any 'technical barriers to trade' (TBTs) that you have encountered when exporting or conducting business in India.

TBTs may result from:

  • technical requirements established by standards, regulations or conformity assessment procedures (e.g. inspection, testing or certification) that are unnecessarily trade restrictive; and/or
  • government measures designed to achieve non-trade related objectives such as the protection of human (as well as animal and plant) health and safety, the environment or the protection of consumers against deceptive practices.

Examples of TBTs could include: overly burdensome labelling requirements; duplicative testing or certification requirements; and unnecessarily restrictive requirements resulting from mandatory requirements related to product characteristics or performance.

Please provide as much detail as possible, including specific products, rules or regulations, and any other related documentation.

b) If you have encountered TBTs when exporting or doing business in India, do you consider these barriers to be the result of a specific rule or regulation, or are they symptomatic of a more systemic problem?

Examples of issues that might be symptomatic of systemic challenges include:

  • lack of transparency in the rule making process or the surveillance/enforcement of existing rules;
  • unique, duplicative or overly burdensome testing, certification, inspection requirements;
  • requirements (performance, testing or otherwise) that are not based on international standards, deviate significantly from them, or are unique;
  • requirements that are unnecessarily trade restrictive, such as excessive or discriminatory labelling requirements; or
  • the lack of recognition of conformity assessment results conducted by Canadian bodies and the need to duplicate conformity assessment procedures with bodies established in India.
    • i) If the TBT resulted from a specific measure (e.g. law, regulation, directive or standard) please specify the name of the measure.
    • ii) If it’s symptomatic of a more systemic problem, please provide as much detail as you can on the nature of the problem and its source (if possible).

c) If you have encountered TBTs when exporting or doing business in India, please explain in detail how they impact your ability to access the Indian market and compete with local suppliers.

d) If your organization submitted comments as part of the development of an Indian law, regulation or standard, in your opinion were these comments taken into account?

e) Has your organization experienced any problems as a result of compliance with or application of laws, regulations and/or standards in India?

f) Please provide comments, suggestions, and recommendations on how to resolve the TBTs you have encountered and facilitate trade.

5. Non-Tariff Barriers and Other Issues

Please identify any non-tariff barriers or any other issues with regard to trade in goods that you have encountered when exporting or conducting business in India. Please provide as much detail as possible, including specific products, rules or regulations, the resulting negative impact on Canada-India trade, and any other related documentation.

Trade in goods issues may include the following:

  • lack of transparency;
  • issues and experiences regarding the use of customs valuation databanks for the determinations of a customs value of imported goods and any resulting delays;
  • undue administrative and customs delays and procedures, including lack of uniform administration between States and/or Territories;
  • complex documentation, information and permit requirements, including excessive import or registration fees, as well as requirements that differ among Indian States and/or Territories;
  • difficulty in temporarily importing professional equipment, equipment for trade fairs, samples or sports equipment that will be re-exported;
  • difficulty in importing samples or advertising materials that will not be re-exported;
  • differential taxation for imported and domestic products, as well as different taxation rates and exemption rules across States and/or Territories (measures can include value-added taxes (VAT) and excise duties);
  • competitive concerns related to duty drawback or duty deferral;
  • subsidies provided by the government;
  • export subsidies or export refunds;
  • issues and experiences regarding trade remedies (i.e. anti-dumping and countervailing measures) taken between Canada and India;
  • issues and experiences regarding geographic indications, trade-marks, copyright, patents, or other areas of intellectual property;
  • special tariff regimes: seasonal tariffs, tariff relief, and tariff rate quotas -TRQs including their size, administration, licensing;
  • burdensome/redundant/duplicative testing, standards, labelling and certification requirements;
  • difficulties in accessing distribution channels;
  • differential or restrictive safety, consumer protection and environmental regulations.

Please provide as much detail as possible, including specific products, rules or regulations, the resulting negative impact on Canada-India trade, and any other related documentation.

C) Cross-Border Trade in Services

Trade in services is affected by a variety of domestic regulations and covers sectors as diverse as professional services, telecommunications, information and communication technologies, energy, transportation, distribution and retail trade.

Negotiations on Cross-Border Trade in Services will serve to establish a framework of rules designed to address domestic regulatory impediments applied on a sectoral basis as well as on the means through which the service is delivered.

The following questions seek to identify barriers to trade which may affect access and the effective delivery of services to the Indian market.

1. Mode of Delivery of Services

Examples of ways services can be delivered include:

  • using communications technologies to provide services to Indian customers while remaining in Canada;
  • establishing a branch, subsidiary or commercial presence in India;
  • travelling to India to provide services;
  • providing services to Indian customers who travel to Canada.

Please describe the ways in which your organization provides (or intends to provide) services to Indian customers.

2.Services Barriers

Please describe any barriers that your organization has encountered that have affected your ability to provide services to Indian customers. Barriers to trade in services can include:

  1. restrictions on the number of service operations determined, for example, by a quota or economic needs test;
  2. restrictions on the total number of service operations or quantity of service output;
  3. restrictions on the number of persons supplying a service (e.g. foreign labour should not exceed 10% of total);
  4. requirements for specific types of legal entities (e.g. limiting commercial presence to a joint venture, partnership or sole proprietorship);
  5. lack of transparency (e.g., laws and/or regulations are not publicly available or published);
  6. regulations that discriminate in favour of Indian service suppliers (e.g., against Canadian service suppliers) such as:
    • a requirement for service suppliers to be citizens or to reside in the country;
    • a higher tax rate for service consumers dealing with foreign service suppliers;
    • licensing/qualification requirements (i.e. residency requirements, having to obtain an education/degree from a particular institution);
    • subsidies;
    • intellectual property rights & enforcement;
    • a requirement to own property or land.
  7. Qualification requirements and procedures, technical standards and licensing requirements and procedures, and technical standards constituting unnecessary barriers to trade in services (more burdensome than necessary to ensure the quality of the service).

When describing service barriers, please provide as much detail as possible including the specific sector(s) involved, rules or regulations encountered, and any other related information. Please describe not only barriers specific to your sector, but any barriers related to the means by which you provide services (for example, regulations pertaining to electronic commerce).

3. Cooperation

Please identify any area where you believe your organization would benefit from closer cooperation, including Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) on professional qualifications, between Canada and India. Please provide as much specificity as possible, including a description of the sector and the type of cooperation envisioned.

4. Barriers to Trade in Goods Affecting the Sale of Services

We are also aware that your organization may sell services which are dependent on the sale of a particular good. Should the selling of these services be related to the ability to sell certain goods abroad, we would be interested in hearing about these problems.

5. Other Issues

Please provide any additional information on problems encountered in the Indian market.

D) Temporary Entry of Business Persons

1. Impediments to Entry to the Indian Market

Many business persons must travel to foreign markets to facilitate trade and investment.

Examples of issues that may cause difficulties in getting entry visas and/or work permits include:

  • documentation being refused as inadequate;
  • education or skills training said to be inadequate;
  • local restrictions on entry due to nationality, ethnicity, or gender;
  • local restrictions on entry due to occupation;
  • local quotas on foreign workers, including payroll quotas;
  • lack of transparency regarding necessary procedures and requirements for entry visas and/or work permits;
  • excessive delays in processing times;
  • high fees for application/processing.

What challenges does your organization face in obtaining entry visas and/or work permits for employees including executives, managers, management trainees, professional staff, specialized personnel and spouses of staff?

2. Impediments to Entry to the Canadian Market

The business of some Canadian service providers relies on the entry of Indians into Canada. For example, Canadian firms may sell to Indians in Canada, close deals during visits by prospective Indian clients to Canada, and import services via the entry of business persons from India.

What challenges do you face in obtaining visas or work permits for Indian visitors, clients or personnel you have invited to Canada?

3. Coverage of Professionals

For professional associations: Canada’s current approach for the coverage of professionals (which normally requires a four-year university degree) in bilateral trade agreements is to include all occupations at a professional level except the following:

  1. All health, education, and social services occupations and related occupations, including:
    • managers in health/education/social and community services
    • physicians/dentists/optometrists/chiropractors/other health professions
    • pharmacists, dieticians and nutritionists
    • therapy and assessment professionals
    • nurse supervisors and registered nurses
    • psychologists/social workers
    • university professors and assistants
    • college and other vocational instructors
    • secondary/elementary school teachers and counsellors
  2. All professional occupations related to cultural industries as defined in Canada’s trade agreements as well as:
    • managers in libraries, archives, museums and art galleries
    • creative and performing artists
  3. Recreation, sports and fitness program and service directors
  4. Managers in telecommunication carriers
  5. Managers in postal and courier services
  6. Managers in manufacturing
  7. Managers in utilities
  8. Managers in construction and transportation
  9. Judges, lawyers and notaries, except foreign legal consultants

Please comment on whether or not this list requires modification. If so, please describe and provide the rationale for any suggested modifications.

E) Investment

While the bilateral Canada-India investment relationship has been expanding in recent years, it remains modest compared to the level of investment each country receives from the rest of the world. In 2009, official statistics valued Canadian direct investment into India at $601 million and Indian direct investment into Canada at $3.0 billion. The following questions are aimed at furthering our understanding of the formal and informal barriers to Canadian investment in India.

1. Barriers to Investment

a) Are there particular areas where your company or a member of your association has experienced difficulty in establishing or maintaining an investment in India? Potential issue areas could include:

  • formal restrictions on foreign equity participation in particular sectors;
  • limitations on the movement of personnel;
  • residency requirements for members of boards/senior management;
  • difficulties in transferring funds to and from your investment;
  • non-transparent ownership and control conditions;
  • variances in tax and social contributions;
  • import controls;
  • lack of regulatory transparency;
  • difficulty concluding an investment due to Indian competition law or policy;
  • any other form of discrimination levelled against your company by any level of the Indian government, India state-owned enterprises, or local monopolies;
  • any past or ongoing legal cases of your company in the Indian judicial system (i.e., courts, tax tribunals etc..) and what was your level of satisfaction with the judicial proceedings?

Please describe the area(s) of difficulty encountered and explain by providing short example(s).

b) While operating in India, were you or your company ever asked to maintain a minimal level of representation of Indian nationals in senior management positions or on a Board of Directors, thereby materially impairing your (a Canadian investor's) management of the investment? If yes, please describe the situation and how did you manage it?

2. Corporate Social Responsibility

As part of your existing investments in the Indian market, do you follow any self-imposed constraints, such as voluntary codes of conduct (e.g. corporate social responsibility) related to environmental and social aspects of sustainable development?

3. Additional Information

Is there any additional information you would like to share with regard to your organization’s investment activities with India?