CETA: provisional application of EU-Canada trade agreement starting in February

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Finalised in July 2016 after two years of negotiations, CETA, the trade agreement between the EU and Canada, aiming at strengthening economic relations between the countries concerned, is not as yet binding under international law. However, the European Council has decided to proceed with the provisional application of the agreement starting from this month of February.

A committee formed by representatives of both the EU and Canada will review the implementation, operation and impact of the agreement on an annual basis and will oversee the works of the various committees specialised in the various aspects of the agreement.

CETA will have a significant importance for the EU economy and, consequently, for the Italian economy. Promoting new and better commercial opportunities for EU companies in Canada, the agreement will contribute, in both cases, to the creation of new jobs.

The pursuit of these goals will be made possible by the abolition of 99% of customs duties (as well as of many other obstacles to EU-Canada trade that are currently in place), enabling exporting companies to save more than € 500 million per year. The opening will also involve the public sector: with CETA, EU companies will be fully entitled to tender for public procurement contracts in Canada.

The agreement will create new opportunities also for the agricultural sector and the food and wine sector, while ensuring compliance with EU law on food safety and labour law. EU openings on certain products will be limited and will be counterbalanced by Canadian openings on important EU exports, such as cheese, wine, spirits, fruit and vegetables. The above while guaranteeing full conformity with EU legislation on registered designations of origin (DOP and IGP products). In a nutshell, only Canadian products that comply with EU laws and regulations will be able to access the single market.

The agreement will also be advantageous for the EU’s 500 million consumers, who will be able to choose from an increasingly larger selection of products, while being reassured that their purchases will still offer high quality standards.

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