On July 14, at a ceremony near Ottawa, Prime Minister Stephen
Harper and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced the
conclusion of negotiations on a Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement
The text of the agreement has not yet been released, but
details on the Department of Foreign Affairs,
Trade and Development website, suggest that the achievements of
the agreement are principally in the area of tariff elimination
(with phase-outs of up to seven years) and possibly government
procurement. The biggest beneficiaries among Canadian exporters, at
least in the shorter term, are likely to be in the agriculture and
The agreement does not cover services or investment trade and
most of the disciplines on internal regulation seem to duplicate
those which already apply to Canada and Ukraine as WTO Members.
Similarly, while the agreement addresses intellectual property it
appears to be light on new commitments to protect Canadian
technology and intellectual property from unauthorized use or
appropriation in Ukraine. Nor will it affect the ability of
Canadian producers to bring anti-dumping and subsidy complaints
against imports from Ukraine.
As trade with Ukraine currently represents approximately 0.03%
of Canada's total two-way merchandise trade, the CUFTA was
hardly an economic priority for Canada. However, it was a political
priority, particularly in a federal election year. The agreement is
consistent with the Canadian Government's policy of supporting
western-oriented economic development in Ukraine as it continues to
struggle with Russia and pro-Russian separatist forces in the armed
conflict that began in the Crimean region and eastern Ukraine in
early 2014. The CUFTA announcement comes two weeks after Canada
announced significant new economic sanctions against the Crimea,
including a full import/export ban on the region. (See more details
about the new sanctions in our article
Canada Expands Sanctions on Russia and the Crimea Region of the
The July 14 announcement is only the first step in the process
to bring the CUFTA into force. The agreement will need to undergo a
legal review before it can be signed by the Parties. The Canadian
Government also has a policy of giving Parliament 21 sitting days
to consider treaties after they are signed but before they are
ratified. As well, prior to ratification, Parliament will need to
adopt implementing legislation to give effect to parts of the
agreement. With a federal election scheduled for October, it is
likely to be several months at least before the CUFTA takes
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
While that agreement mandated export measures on Canadian softwood lumber exports destined for the United States, it also protected those lumber exports from the potential imposition of onerous import measures by the U.S.
On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its first tariff classification decision since Canada signed the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System in 1998.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).