EU-Canada CETA Steps Closer to Ratification

After months of uncertainty, the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) has received positive statements from a German Court and the European Parliament, paving the way for its ratification.

The EU-Canada agreement, which features a positive maritime chapter and will lay the basis for future free trade agreements (FTAs), has now taken a further step to ratification.

“The CETA agreement is one of the best agreements the EU has ever negotiated, not only for shipping but for the EU in general. Through CETA the European Commission should show that it will not cave in to populism and that free trade is important for sustained European growth,” Director EU Affairs, Simon Bergulf from the Danish Shipowners’ Association, said.

The Committee will vote on CETA on December 5, 2016, followed by a plenary vote in January 2017.  If approved CETA will then be applied provisionally and before all EU national parliaments have had their official say.

Additionally, this Thursday, the last big hurdle was averted as the German Federal Constitutional Court rejected a legal challenge to CETA and gave a green light for the German government to sign the provisional agreement.

Now the Council is expected to ratify the agreement at a Trade Ministers meeting on October 18, which should then pave the way for the Commission to sign the provisional agreement on an EU-Canada Summit scheduled for the October 27, 2016.

The CETA agreement will benefit trade with Canada, but also includes several specific maritime initiatives such as opportunities to provide maritime services like dredging, moving empty containers, and the shipping of certain cargo within Canada.