Despite almost collapsing at the last minute, due to an initial rejection by the Belgian region of Wallonia, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was signed by EU leaders, Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk, as well as the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, on October 27th. Whilst the deal is still subject to a vote by the European Parliament, anticipated by early 2017 and ratification by EU Member States, it is expected to provisionally come into force next year. This deal is the most ambitious free-trade agreement that the EU has completed to date and it cited by some as a potential template for a UK-EU arrangement post-Brexit. So what are the implications for CETA for the UK arable sector? This month’s InsideTrack examines the key areas of CETA of most relevance to UK farming and how Brexit fits into this equation.
Under CETA, Canada will eliminate duties for 90.9% of all its agricultural tariff lines upon entry into force. After 7 years, this figure will rise to 91.7% with the remainder being sensitive products, which will either be offered as a tariff rate quota (e.g. dairy) or excluded altogether from liberalisation obligations (e.g. chicken and poultry meat, eggs and egg products). For its part, the EU will eliminate 92.2% of its agricultural tariffs at entry into force with this figure rising to 93.8% after 7 years. The remainder include:
- Products to which an entry price system applies
- Sensitive products for which zero duty but quantitatively limited tariff rate quotas (TRQ) are offered (e.g. beef, pork and canned sweetcorn)
- Sensitive products excluded from tariff reductions (chicken and turkey meat, eggs and egg products).
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