The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada

  • Frihandelsavtalet

    CETA Photo: Pär Forslund

CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement), offers opportunities for enhanced trade and business relations between the European Union and Canada. The agreement, which entered into force provisionally on 21 September 2017, removes duties on 98% of products (tariff lines) that are traded between Canada and the EU.

CETA also gives companies from both the EU and Canada access to bid on the corresponding countries’ public procurement contracts at the federal, provincial and municipal level.

The agreement especially benefits smaller companies as it facilitates the export and import processes. Small businesses save time and money, for example, by avoiding duplicate product testing requirements and costly legal fees. Member States’ authorities dealing with export promotion (such as Sweden’s Kommerskollegium) are ready to assist businesses with exporting overseas, boost existing trade and attract investment.

CETA creates new opportunities for trade within the food and beverage industries. The EU has opened its market for certain competing Canadian products in a limited and calibrated way, while securing improved access to the Canadian market for important European export products. These include cheese, wine and spirits, fruit and vegetables, and processed products.

The agreement also offers better legal certainty in the service economy, greater mobility for company employees, and a framework to enable the mutual recognition of professional qualifications, from architects to crane operators.

Moreover, a Joint Interpretative Instrument, which will have legal force, clearly and unambiguously outlines what the EU and Canada have agreed to in a number of CETA articles.

Procedure and next steps

The EU and Canada signed CETA on 30 October 2016, following the EU Member States' approval. On 15 February 2017 the European Parliament gave its consent and the Canadian side ratified CETA on 16 May. This paved the way for provisional application which entered into force on 21 September. CETA will be fully implemented once all parties ratify the deal according to their respective constitutional requirements. On November 30 2017 the Swedish government submitted a proposition with the agreement to the parliament, which will be processed in the beginning of 2018.

For more information on the CETA agreement (EU) and at Global Affairs Canada