Custom Brokers for Importers: The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement

While the North American Free Trade Agreement is under intense pressure by the Trump Administration, the Canadian Government is in the process of seeking approval a free trade agreement with Europe. As one door closes, another one opens.


The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement  aka CETA is a trade agreement which was negotiated between the European Union and Canada and awaits implementation. The agreement was signed in 2016 but it has not yet entered force. It must be ratified by all signatories, meaning that Canada and each constituent EU country must ratify the treaty. Currently, the European Parliament, Latvia, Canada, Denmark, Spain, Croatia, and Portugal have ratified. It is expected to take several more years before the treaty enters force.


Understanding CETA & Custom Duties


ARGO Customs, one of Canada’s leading customs brokers for importers, is maintaining up-to-date information on CETA, its impact on customs, and implementation in Canada.


Once CETA is ratified, it will eliminate customs duties on all imports from EU countries or other CETA beneficiary countries (such as some overseas territories of EU countries). A handful of agricultural goods will remain subject to import customs. However, CETA does not remove non-tariff barriers. For example, the EU maintains a ban on the use of growth hormones in beef. Moreover, both Canada and the EU retain the right to regulate areas of public interest such as health, safety, and the environment.

While CETA does not provide for the immediate revocation of all tariffs, it does utilize a phase-out provision in Chapter 2 for eventual tariff elimination.


Free trade agreements are very disruptive in just about every economic industry. If you are involved in the import or export of goods to Europe, you probably want to retain a professional and licensed by the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) Customs Broker. An ARGO customs broker can assist you with CETA tips for Canadian importers. Customs brokers understand the details of import regulations, conditions for importation of goods, and exemptions from tariffs and other duties.


Customs Brokers for Importers


 ARGO Customs Brokers are training right now on the impact of CETA and can explain the changes and what you should expect in non-technical terms. For instance, the importation of textiles and apparel from the EU, while they enjoy tariff-free importation they only do so if the importer applied for a place in the annual quota.


ARGO Customs Brokers can assist your business with all its importation needs from agricultural compliance to apparel goods as denoted on the Canada Import Control List. ARGO Customs Brokers can review the entire import process from applying for permits, to identifying customs treatment, and all the attendant procedures. Sign up for a business account today!