Trade and Customs CETA update

July 31, 2017


On July 8, 2017, the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, issued a joint statement on reaching a date for the provisional application of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada.

CETA will provisionally enter into force as of September 21, 2017. With reference to our previous news update on CETA this leads to the following.

Elimination of import duties 

CETA will eliminate most of the restrictions on moving across the Atlantic for temporary work, ensures the mutual recognition of professional qualifications, opens up the Canadian services market and encourages investment. In addition, an important aspect of CETA is that most import duties will be eliminated. As soon as the agreement takes effect, as of September 21, 2017, approximately 98% of all import duties between Canada and the EU will directly be eliminated. Another 1% of import duties will be phased out over a period of up to seven years.

In this respect is it important to note that in order to benefit from a 0% import duty rate, the products imported into Canada need to be of ‘EU origin’ (likewise, of Canadian origin for products imported into the EU). The EU preferential origin criteria have been included in CETA. We strongly recommend that you take these preferential origin criteria into account in order to avoid assessments and penalties at a later stage and to ensure that your company enjoys the full benefit of this.

Registered Exporter

Unlike most other free trade agreements, under CETA certificates of origin will not be issued by the customs authorities and the EUR 1 form will not be accepted as proof of origin. Instead, exporters will have to issue an ‘origin declaration’ themselves. The recently introduced Registered Exporter System (REX) must therefore be used. Only those companies that are registered in the REX database may issue origin declarations.


We have specialists dedicated to international Trade & Customs, ensuring that we are well-placed to help understand local and global operating requirements and answer any questions you may have in this respect.

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