Canada-EU trade agreement gets go-ahead

Published 17 February 17

The bilateral trade agreement with Canada was voted through by the European Parliament on 15 February 2017. The key benefit of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) to the dairy industry will be the improved access to the Canadian market for cheese. It also grants protection of European ‘geographical indicators’ on the Canadian market.

Canada operates a supply management system in its dairy industry, and protects its market from global price competition through the use of high tariff rates on dairy product imports.

The EU currently has some access via a tariff rate quota (TRQ) which allows annual imports of 20,412 tonnes of cheese at a lower tariff rate. The EU currently has 66% of this TRQ, amounting to 13,472 tonnes.

Under the CETA agreement, the TRQ for the EU will be increased by 2,950 tonnes per year over a period of six years, giving access to an additional 17,700 tonnes of cheese. The majority of this TRQ is allocated to ‘high-quality cheese’, with 1,700 tonnes allocated to industrial cheese plus an increase of 800 tonnes from a technical adjustment. At the end of the 6-year period, the EU will have a TRQ of 31,972 tonnes of cheese, more than double its current volume.

CETA will be fully implemented once the parliaments in all Member States ratify the deal according to their respective domestic constitutional requirements.