Canadian producers, manufacturers and exporters will have greater opportunities to export to the European Union (EU), thanks to the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). It will provide greater choice and lower prices to consumers, and create jobs in many sectors on both sides of the Atlantic, including for the middle class.
Trade in Goods
Currently, only about 25 per cent of EU tariff lines on which Canadian goods are exported enter the EU duty-free. On day one of CETA's entry into force, 98 per cent of EU tariff lines will be duty-free for goods that originate in Canada. Another one per cent will be eliminated over a period of up to seven years. Once CETA is fully implemented, 99 per cent of EU tariff lines will be duty-free.
That means tangible and significant opportunities for Canadians in the EU market. Canadian goods that face tariffs – on everything from machinery to maple syrup – will become more competitive in the EU market, giving Canadian exporters an advantage over other exporters. It will also allow Canadian exporters to create new markets for their goods in the EU or expand existing ones.
Customs and Trade Facilitation
Cost savings may also be achieved for businesses, including small and medium sized enterprises, through CETA commitments on customs and trade facilitation, which are aimed at reducing processing times at the border and making the movement of goods cheaper, faster, more predictable and efficient. This includes providing access to advance rulings on the origin or tariff classification of products, the automation of border procedures, and the creation of a transparent system for addressing complaints about customs rulings and decisions.
Another unique feature of CETA is the Protocol on Conformity Assessment, which is designed to allow Canadian producers in certain sectors to have their products tested and certified for the EU market right here in Canada. This protocol is expected to reduce testing and certification costs and associated delays for manufacturers. Canada and the EU are also committed to continuing discussions with a view to adding new products to this protocol in the future.
Trade in Services
CETA gives Canadian service providers greater market access than the EU has ever granted to any of its trade partners.
The EU is the largest importer of services in the world. In 2015 alone, the EU imported $936 billion in services, including $16.5 billion from Canada.
Management, financial, and information and communications technology services are among the EU's top services imports, and are also among Canada's top services exports to the EU. Once CETA enters into force, Canadian services exporters will be treated the same way as those from the EU (with certain exceptions). Canadian services exporters will enjoy better predictability and transparency in a large number of service sectors of interest to Canada, including architectural, engineering, and research and development services. Any future regulatory or legal changes which make it easier for Canadian service suppliers to access the EU market will automatically be locked in under CETA. The EU will also treat Canadian service suppliers no less favourably than it treats service suppliers from its existing or future free trade agreement partners.
CETA's chapter on temporary entry addresses administrative requirements at the border such as labour market tests or other numerical limitations that can impose time delays and administrative costs on prospective business employees entering Canada or the EU. A large number of EU Member States have improved their commitments for Canadian professionals such as architects and computer analysts, short-term business visitors, investors and technologists compared to the level of access granted by the EU to its recent trading partners.
Recognition of Professional Qualifications
CETA establishes a streamlined process for the recognition of foreign qualifications in certain sectors, and a detailed framework through which regulators or professional organizations may negotiate mutual recognition agreements for other professions.
Under CETA, Canada will gain new access to opportunities in EU regions and municipalities. That means access to procurement contracts offered by local government, public utilities in the areas of gas, electricity, heat and water distribution as well as the urban transit and rail sectors throughout the EU.