Trade by Enterprise Characteristics (TEC)

Detailed information for 2014





Record number:


Trade by Enterprise Characteristics (TEC) - Exporters in Canada, provides aggregate information on the number of exporting enterprises in Canada by industry and the value of exports attributable to these exporting enterprises.

Data release - December 14, 2015


In order to ensure coherence with other national statistical agencies as well as international organizations, Statistics Canada has re-aligned its exporter linkage product with the new statistical domain of TEC, using the enterprise as the statistical unit. In order to differentiate this program from previous vintages of exporter data programs, this new program is called the Trade by Enterprise Characteristics (TEC) - Exporter program.

TEC - Exporters in Canada, provides aggregate information on the number of exporting enterprises in Canada by industry and the value of exports attributable to these exporting enterprises.

By identifying exporters captured by merchandise trade data within the Statistics Canada Business Register (BR), the information contained in the export records can be linked to the information available for the enterprise in the BR, namely business characteristics such as industry engaged in exporting (according to the NAICS of the exporting enterprise), therefore creating profiles of exporting enterprises.

One frequently asked question is how to interpret the counts of exporting enterprises. The method used in compiling the TEC - Exporter product was to identify exporters, the declaring unit, and to link to the exporter in the Business Register, regardless of their status (location, company, establishment, enterprise). The associated Enterprise in the BR structure would then be considered the statistical unit. For example, if there are various exporting plants that all report to one enterprise, the province, and NAICS will all relate to that enterprise (and not the individual plants). Many exporters have one associated enterprise which is the entirety of the firm in the Business Register. This single enterprise is the counted Enterprise in these cases. If there are various enterprises within one complex enterprise, forming an Enterprise Group, a single exporting Enterprise was selected to represent the Enterprise Group that was engaged in the primary export activity.

By selecting one representative enterprise for each Enterprise Group, the TEC-Exporter further reduces volatility in counts and values as a result of organization within an Enterprise Group. By focusing on national counts and values with each enterprise group counting as one representative enterprise, changes year over year should be limited to net changes in the number of exporting enterprises.


  • International trade
  • Merchandise exports

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population for the TEC - Goods is all merchandise exporting businesses as identified from exporter information (declaring units) provided on Customs export documentation (B13A, CAED, G7, Summary Reporting) and obtained through the Canada-US data exchange from US Census Bureau.

Instrument design

This methodology does not apply.


Data are collected for all units of the target population, therefore, no sampling is done.

Data sources

Data are extracted from administrative files.

Data are extracted from administrative files and derived from other Statistics Canada surveys and/or other sources. Canadian exports to the United States are compiled using United States import statistics (from the U.S. Census Bureau) in accordance with the 1987 Memorandum of Understanding between Canada and the United States. This procedure is used for all Canadian exports to the United States except exports of natural gas and electricity. These two commodities are recorded directly from Canadian sources in both Canadian and U.S. customs data.

Data for Canadian exports to countries other than United States are compiled by Statistics Canada from B13A forms received via the Canadian Boarder Services Agency (CBSA) and from Summary Reports and Canadian Automated Export Declarations (CAED) submitted directly to Statistics Canada.

The Generic Statistical Universe File (GSUF), which is the term for an individual vintage of the Business Register (BR, record number 1105), is an integral data source, as exporters (referred to as declaring units) are linked to enterprises and establishments from this universe in order to produce the TEC dataset. A list of operating entity numbers along with other business characteristic variables formed the reference year GSUF extraction. The exporter identification for individual exporters is then linked, through a series of steps, to the BR entity, allowing the exporter to have a statistical equivalent, the exporting enterprise and establishment.

The number of employees used in the TEC dataset primarily comes from the Survey of Employment, Payroll and Hours (SEPH, record number 2612). When employment information is unavailable from SEPH, employment is obtained from the PD7 source which is available on the Business Register. If PD7 employment is 0 for an individual enterprise, that enterprise is counted as having 0 employees. If employment for an individual enterprise is unavailable in PD7, Profiled number of employees on the BR is used. If employment is not found for an individual enterprise from any of the three sources, the enterprise is classified in the 0 or unreported employees category by default.

Error detection

This methodology does not apply.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Quality evaluation

The Trade by Exporter Characteristics - Goods program identifies exporting enterprises and establishments that contribute to domestic export value. Export value that could not be linked resulted from a variety of factors, such as incomplete or invalid information on documents.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Data accuracy

Every effort is made to ensure that administrative data are conceptually correct for the use to which they are put. Any anomalies or inconsistencies detected are verified with the source, and where necessary, adjustments are made to reconcile data with the conceptual framework of our series. The administrative agencies used are considered to be the best source available, and data received from them is judged to be of very good quality, even in those circumstances where adjustments have been made.

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