Consultations on the Fifth Review of the Record of Discussion on Trade in Pharmaceutical Products

The Government of Canada is seeking the views of Canadians on a proposed fifth review of the 1994 Record of Discussion on Trade in Pharmaceutical Products (the “arrangement”) concluded among the following World Trade Organization (WTO) Members: Canada, the European Union (EU), Japan, Macao (China), Norway, Switzerland, and the United States.


Pursuant to the 1994 arrangement, participating WTO members have eliminated their duties, on a Most Favoured Nation basis, for specified pharmaceutical ingredients and intermediates.

The Record of Discussion was notified by the participating WTO Members on March 25, 1994, and covered over 6,000 pharmaceutical-related products. To expand the coverage of tariff elimination to new pharmaceutical-related products that are developed, the Record of Discussion provides for the periodic review of the product coverage. Four earlier reviews occurred in 1996, 1998, 2007 and 2010. As a result of the reviews, the arrangement currently covers nearly 9,000 pharmaceutical-related products.

With respect to a fifth review of the arrangement, it has been suggested that the coverage of the arrangement be expanded to include additional compounds published by the World Health Organization (WHO) as Proposed International Nonproprietary Names (lists are available here).

Submissions by interested parties

The Government of Canada is seeking to identify the interests of Canadians in terms of product coverage as well as any concerns with the proposed elimination of Canadian tariffs for these products. To help inform this process, the Government is embarking on a public consultation process to give all interested stakeholders an opportunity to provide input. Interested parties wishing to contribute to this process are invited to provide responses to the following three questions:

  1. Do you support the proposed fifth review of the product scope of the Record of Discussion on the Trade in Pharmaceutical Products? Please provide a rationale for your response.
  2. Do you face tariff barriers in any participant countries with respect to exports of pharmaceutical ingredients or intermediates? If so, are they related to specific pharmaceutical ingredients or intermediates? Please provide the Harmonized System (HS) subheading codes.
  3. Do you have any views on the elimination of Canadian import tariffs on the pharmaceutical ingredients and intermediates listed by the WHO and cited above? If so, please provide a description of the ingredients or intermediates and their HS subheading codes.

The deadline for receiving input and comments is March 10, 2017. Please be advised that any information received as a result of this consultation will be considered as public information, unless explicitly designated as private. Submissions should include the contributor’s name and address and, if applicable, his or her organization, institution or business.

Additional information

For more information on the Record of Discussions of the Trade in Pharmaceutical Products, please consult this document (.PDF).

Contact points

Questions and contributions may be sent by email or mail to:

WTO Pharmaceutical Initiative, Tariffs and Goods Market Access Division (TPG), Global Affairs Canada, 111 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0G2

Questions or comments regarding the Canadian tariffs should be sent by email or mail to:

WTO Pharmaceutical Initiative, International Trade Policy Division, Department of Finance, 90 Elgin Street, 14th Floor, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0G5

December 24, 2016