EU-Canada free trade agreement entered into force provisionally28/09/2017

On 21 September 2017, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada entered into force provisionally.

The Agreement will definitely enter info force after its ratification by all EU Member States, in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements.

Despite the initial Belgian reluctance toward the Agreement due to concerns expressed by the Walloon parliament on the alleged negative impact for small and medium size enterprises in favour of multinationals, on 28 October 2016, the Belgian region of Wallonia formally approved the provisional adoption of the trade deal. Representatives in the Walloon parliament voted by 58 to 5 to approve the controversial CETA deal, breaking an impasse which had threatened to stop the agreement at European level. 

Amongst others, CETA aims at removing customs duties, make European companies more competitive in Canada and make it easier for them to bid for Canadian public contracts. It will also open up the Canadian services market to EU companies, as well as open up markets for European food and drink exports, protecting at the same time traditional European food and drink products (known as Geographical Indications) from being copied. Furthermore, the Agreement will eliminate double product testing requirements in some areas to the benefit of small and medium-sized enterprises. Finally, CETA will also offer greater mobility for employees, a framework to enable the mutual recognition of various professional qualifications and better legal certainty in the service economy.

Further information on the Agreement is available at the following LINK, while information on the impact of CETA on Belgium can be found at the following LINK.