CETA trade deal will cause Canada’s EU seafood exports to spike

Published on
November 3, 2016

Following the signing of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in late October, the Canadian seafood industry is expected to ship many more products – including shrimp and lobster – to the European Union.

At the beginning of CETA implementation, which requires legislative approval in Canada, nearly 96 percent of EU tariffs on Canadian fish and seafood will be duty-free. Until now, tariff rates were 20 percent on processed lobster, 20 percent on cooked and peeled shrimp, 16 percent on frozen lobster, 12 percent on frozen shrimp, 8 percent on snow crab and 8 percent on live lobster.

“CETA presents a great opportunity to the Canadian fish and seafood sector,” Carole Saindon, senior advisor of media relations for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, told SeafoodSource. “Fisheries and Oceans Canada is committed to working with the provinces and territories to position the Canadian industry to take advantage of the benefits of CETA and make the sector more competitive globally.”

As of the first day of its implementation, Canada will eliminate duties worth CAD 595 million (USD 444 million, EUR 400 million) for goods originating in the EU. At the end of transitional periods for duty elimination, that figure will rise to more than CAD 743 million (USD 555 million, EUR 500 million) per year, according to a European Commission press release.

In addition, CETA will provide Canada with access to the EU’s more than 500 million consumers and an economy that generates CAD 20 trillion (USD 15 trillion, EUR 13.5 trillion) in annual economic activity, according to the office of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“This modern and progressive agreement will reinforce the strong links between Canada and the EU, and create vast new opportunities for Canadians and Europeans alike – opening new markets for our exporters, offering more choices and better prices to consumers, and forging stronger ties between our economies,” Trudeau said.
Nova Scotia’s fisheries stand to benefit greatly, since tariffs will be virtually eliminated on many of the major seafood species it exports. Between 2010 and 2012, the province’s seafood exports to the EU were worth an average of CAD 142.6 million (USD 106.5 million, EUR 95.8 million) annually between 2010 and 2012, according to a Canadian government report.

“By eliminating tariffs on value-added goods, like cooked and peeled shrimp, frozen cod fillets and processed crab and lobster, CETA will make these goods more competitive in the EU, allowing Nova Scotia processors to sell more of their goods and create new jobs,” the report said.

Currently, only about 25 percent of Canadian goods exported to the EU are duty-free. On day one of CETA's entry into force, 98 percent of EU tariff lines will be duty-free for goods that originate in Canada. Another one percent will be eliminated over a period of up to seven years.

Once CETA is fully implemented, 99 percent of EU tariff lines will be duty-free, according to Trudeau’s office.

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