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Preferential Trade Agreements


MILLAR KREKLEWETZ LLP is a boutique Canadian law firm with lawyers who have significant expertise in customs and trade matters involving Canada's various Preferential Trade programs.

The following is a short introduction to Canada's various Preferential Trade Programs, and the access that they allow Canadian businesses to the free trade in goods and services with many foreign countries.

Preferential Trade Programs

Canada has engaged a number of foreign countries in so-called "Free Trade Agreements" (or "FTAs") which are essentially preferential trade programs aimed at enabling Canadian importers and exporters to compete on an even playing field with local businesses in the particular FTA partner country by removing otherwise artifical barriers to trade in the global markets.

Under preferential trade programs like the ones outlined below, a range of Canadian goods and services benefit from the reduction or elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade, such as quotas or technical barriers.[1]

Canada's FTA's are generally regarded as providing a competitive advantage across a wide range of Canadian industry sectors.

What FTAs does Canada have ?

Canada currently has the following preferential trade programs with the following foreign countries:

Country In Force Date
Korea January 1, 2015
Honduras October 1, 2014
Panama April 1, 2013
Jordan October 1, 2012
Colombia August 15, 2011
Peru August 1, 2009
EFTA* July 1, 2009
Costa Rica November 1, 2002
Israel January 1, 1997
Mexico January 1, 1994
United States           January 1, 1994

In addition, Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and International Development is also in the process of negotiations with more than 60 other countries, crossing the panaply of the world's key markets

Rules of Origin & Assistance

All of the preferential trade agreements set out above operate under very technical rules for determining the duty free status of goods imported and exported to Canada (generally referred to as "Rules of Origin"), and some have similar rules affecting the "marking" requirements for the particular goods (e.g., "Made in Canada", etc.).    Millar Kreklewetz LLP offers assistance in determining the eligibility for duty free status, or other preferential treatement, under these various FTAs.

Exporter Verification

All of the preferential trade agreements set out above also provide rules allowing a country of import to verify the exporters eligibility for duty free import, and the way in which that eligibility may be audited or verified.  Millar Kreklewetz LLP offers assistance with all exporter verifications, whether initiated by the government of Canada (and related to Canadian importations), or initiated by a foreign government in respect of Canadian exported goods.

Trade Disputes

Many of these preferential trade agreements also provide established rules for trade and / investor disputes.  Millar Kreklewetz LLP offers assistance with all FTA relates trade and investor disputes.

Millar Kreklewetz LLP is well-placed to provide both substantive and procedural assistance with any of Canada preferential trade programs or FTAs, and interested persons are encouraged to contact us for a consultation on the issues inherent in their particular matters.

For further information on Canadian's Free Trade regimes, including the policy basis for same, visit Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada by clicking here

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