Canada

Relation: 

The EFTA States signed a Free Trade Agreement with Canada in Davos, Switzerland, on 26 January 2008. The Agreement entered into force on 1 July 2009.

Summary
The Agreement covers trade in industrial products, including fish and other marine products, and processed agricultural products. Basic agricultural products are covered by agreements concluded bilaterally between Canada and Iceland, and Norway, and Switzerland, at the same time as the Free Trade Agreement. Switzerland represents Liechtenstein for purposes of these bilateral agreements, which form part of the instruments establishing a free trade area between the Parties.

The Agreement aims at liberalising and facilitating trade in goods in conformity with the relevant WTO provisions. Most industrial goods, including fish and other marine products, will benefit from duty-free access to the respective markets as of the entry into force of the Agreement. 

The Agreement also includes references to existing WTO obligations in the areas such as services, investment and public procurement. General principles regarding competition law and policy are also set out in the Agreement. The Canada-EFTA Joint Committee, established by the Agreement, will supervise the application of the Agreement which also provides for binding arbitration.

 

Content of the Free Trade Agreement

The main Agreement consists of nine Chapters, 43 Articles and eleven annexes. The Agreement covers the following main subjects:

Trade in Goods

Industrial Goods and Fish and marine products

Most industrial goods, including fish and other marine products, will benefit from duty-free access to the respective markets as of the entry into force of the Agreement. For ships, boats and floating structures imported into Canada, customs duties are to be eliminated after a transitional period of up to 15 years.

Agricultural products

The Agreement provides for tariff concessions on processed agricultural products. Tariff concessions on selected basic agricultural products are covered by the bilateral agricultural agreements, which are part of the instruments establishing a free trade area between the Parties.

Rules of Origin

For the rules of origin, determining whether a product is eligible for preferential treatment, the Agreement adopts a hybrid of the Canadian and EFTA approaches.

Trade Facilitation 

The Agreement contains provisions on trade facilitation, according to which the Parties shall simplify procedures for trade in goods and related services, promote multilateral co-operation among them and co-operate on trade facilitation within the framework of the Joint Committee. 

Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS)

The Agreement includes a provision on sanitary and phytosanitary measures in conformity with the relevant WTO Agreements.

Technical Barrier to Trade (TBT)

The Agreement includes provisions on technical regulations in conformity with the relevant WTO Agreement and other agreements between the Parties.

Trade Remedies

The Agreement contains provisions on subsidies, anti-dumping and state trading enterprises, which are in line with the respective WTO rules. 

Trade in Services and Investment

The Parties recognise the increasing importance of trade in services and investment in their economies. They agree to work together to create the most favourable conditions for expanding investment and achieving further liberalisation and additional mutual opening of markets for trade in services whilst taking into account on-going work under the auspices of the WTO. They also agree to encourage the relevant bodies in their respective territories to cooperate with a view to achieving mutual recognition for licensing and certification of professional service suppliers, and to facilitate temporary entry of services suppliers in accordance with each Party's applicable laws. The Joint Committee shall review issues related to services and investment and consider the adoption of liberalisation measures.

Government Procurement

The Agreement contains a provision on government procurement referring to the relevant WTO Agreement. The Parties agree to co-operate in the Joint Committee with the aim of achieving further liberalisation among them of government procurement markets and greater transparency in government procurement. 

Competition

The Parties agree that anti-competitive business conduct can hinder the fulfilment of the objectives of the Agreement. Accordingly, each Party shall adopt or maintain measures to prohibit such conduct.

The Parties also recognise the importance of co-operation and co-ordination on general issues relating to competition law enforcement policy.

Institutional Provisions

A Joint Committee is established which supervises and administers the Agreement and oversees the further elaboration of the Agreement. The Joint Committee may take decisions in cases provided for by the Agreement and make recommendations in other matters.

Dispute Settlement

A chapter on dispute settlement contains rules and procedures for the settlement of disputes arising from the Agreement between one or more EFTA States and Canada.

Annexes and Record of Understanding
Bilateral Agreements on Agriculture
Iceland English French
Norway English French
Switzerland English French

 

Joint Committee Decisions
Decision Subject Adopted Entry into force
2014      
No. 1/2014 Amendments to Annex C on Rules of Origin and Administrative Co-operation 05.05.2014 pending
2010      
No. 1/2010 Rules of Procedure 17.11.2010 17.11.2010

 

Statistics

For EFTA-Canada trade statistics, see EFTA Trade Statistics Tool

Officer
Trade Relations Division

+41 223322 633