Are You Ready to Export to the European Union?

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union (CETA) entered into force on September 21, 2017. This agreement will give Canadian companies access to the world’s second largest integrated economy (28-member states), with more than 510 million consumers and a GDP of more than $21.7 trillion. In other words, it’s never been easier to export to the European Union.

What are the Benefits?

98% of all EU tariff lines are now duty-free. And, over a seven-year period, an additional 1% will be eliminated. Service providers will gain improved access to the EU, labour mobility for business-related travel will be enhanced and companies will have the ability to bid on procurement contracts at all levels of the EU government and in terms of investment. CETA will also provide greater certainty, stability and protection.

How do I Know if My Product is Duty-Free?

To verify that your product benefits from the duty-free treatment, you should:

  1. Classify your goods under the HS code
  2. Verify if the HS code is listed in the EU’s Negative List Tariff Schedule
  3. If it is not, your product will enter the EU market duty-free
  4. If it is, you should check the tariff

For a product to benefit from CETA preferential tariff treatment it must satisfy the rules of origin set out in the agreement. Rules of origin define whether a product has been produced or ‘originates’ in the territory of one or both of the parties (Canada or the EU). Exporters need to make sure that they obtain the proof of origin.

What About Government Procurement?

The EU is the world’s largest government procurement market, worth an estimated $3.3 trillion per year. Canadian businesses are now able to compete equally with their EU counterparts on government procurement opportunities covered under CETA.  Canadian companies can access tender notices for all CETA-covered procurements using the Tenders Electronic Daily (TED). The coverage of CETA’s procurement is explained in the Government Procurement chapter of the Agreement.

For more information on the agreement visit Canada’s CETA information portal.

Canada has now 14 trade agreements which provides preferential market access to 51 countries,  so make sure your company is not missing out on those opportunities.

How Can Small Business BC Help Me?

Small Business BC has a lot of resources for companies interested in foreign markets. Import and export advisory services, trade related seminars and the Export Navigator Program, a pilot program that offers businesses in BC access to community-based export specialists.