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Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada

16 February 2017
by eub2 -- last modified 16 February 2017

The European Parliament voted in favour of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada on 15 February 2017, concluding the ratification process of this deal at the EU level.


What will CETA do?

CETA creates new opportunities for EU companies. It will save EU businesses over €500 million a year currently paid in tariffs on goods that are exported to Canada. Almost 99% of these savings start from day one. It will give EU companies the best access they've ever had to Canadian public procurement contracts, including at provincial level (as well as federal and municipal).

The agreement will overwhelmingly benefit smaller companies who can least afford the cost of red tape. Small businesses will save time and money, for example by avoiding duplicative testing requirements, lengthy customs procedures and costly legal fees.

CETA will create new opportunities for farmers and food producers, while fully protecting the sensitivities of the EU. The EU's openings on certain products are limited and calibrated and are balanced out by Canadian openings that satisfy important European exporting interests, such as cheese, wine and spirits, fruit and vegetables, processed products and the protection of 143 high quality European products (so-called "geographical indications") on the Canadian market.

The EU's 500 million consumers will also benefit from CETA. The agreement offers greater choice while upholding European standards, as only products and services that fully respect all EU regulations will be able to enter the EU market. This means that CETA will not change the way the EU regulates food safety, including GMO products or the ban on hormone-treated beef.

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

The current form of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) that exists in many bilateral trade agreements negotiated by EU governments has been replaced with a new and improved Investment Court System. The new mechanism will be transparent and not based on ad hoc tribunals.

Member States will continue to be able to organise public services as they wish. This and other issues have been further clarified in a Joint Interpretative Instrument that will have legal force and that clearly and unambiguously outlines what Canada and the European Union have agreed in a number of CETA articles.

Background and next steps

On 30 October, the EU and Canada signed the trade agreement and today the European Parliament gave its consent. This paves the way for CETA to enter into force provisionally, once it has also been ratified on the Canadian side. CETA will be fully implemented once the parliaments in all Member States ratify the deal according to their respective domestic constitutional requirements.

There is clear proof that free trade agreements spur European growth and jobs. As an example, EU exports to South Korea have increased by more than 55% since the EU-Korea trade deal entered into force in 2011. Exports of certain agricultural products increased by 70%, and EU car sales in South Korea tripled over this five-year period. The Korea agreement was also provisionally applied during its ratification process. On average, each additional €1 billion of exports supports 15.000 jobs in the EU. 31 million jobs in Europe depend on exports.

Factsheet: CETA – a trade deal that sets a new standard for global trade

CETA in your town - interactive map with country info, as well as infographics by country

CETA: Background, Q&A, contents

Benefits of CETA & exporters' stories

Text of the agreement

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