Canadian trade agreement opens up door to exports

The new agreement will see 96% of EU tariffs scrapped – including those for Canadian frozen mackerel The new agreement will see 96% of EU tariffs scrapped – including those for Canadian frozen mackerel

The new Comprehensive Ecomomic and Trade Agreement between Canada and Europe should bring huge benefits to the Canadian fish and seafood export market.

When it comes into force, the Canada-EU trade agreement will open up the world’s largest common market to Canadian fish and seafood products. It will also mean that 96% of all EU tariffs will be scrapped, with the remaining 4% to be phased out after the seventh year of the agreement.

Gail Shea, Canadian Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, said: “This historic agreement is Canada’s most ambitious ever and is a big win for those who harvest, process and sell fish.”

Minister Shea added that the Canadian government intends to do all it can to create opportunities that will further strengthen the fishing industry.

Currently, certain Canadian fish and seafood products incur significant tariffs in the EU which can be as high as 20% - frozen mackerel and cooked and peeled shrimp, for example. The new agreement will allow Canada to take better advantage of its third largest export market, the EU, which had a value of more than $350m in 2012.

It’s also hoped it will benefit coastal communities across Canada bringing more jobs, better wages and long term prosperity to the industry.

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