This morning (July 11, 2016), Canada’s Trade Minister
Chrystia Freeland and Ukraine’s First Vice Prime Minister
Stepan Kubiv signed the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement
(“CUFTA”) in Kiev, Ukraine. Canadian Prime Minister
Justine Trudeau and Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko
watched the historic event.
After the signing ceremony President Poroshenko @poroshenko
Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement offers new opportunities for
both nations.We will continue negotiations to expand scope of the
The text of the CUFTA was released by Global
Affairs Canada on their web-site this morning.
The CUFTA is a trade in goods agreement. It does not cover
services or investment. The CUFTA includes chapters in the areas of
market access for goods, rules of origin and origin procedures,
trade facilitation; emergency action and trade remedies, sanitary
and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, government
procurement, competition policy, monopolies and state enterprises;
intellectual property, electronic commerce, labour, environment,
trade-related cooperation, institutional provisions, and dispute
Upon entry into force of the CUFTA, Ukraine will immediately
eliminate tariffs on 86% of Canada's current exports, with the
balance to be phased out or subject to tariff reductions over
periods of up to seven years. Ukrainian tariffs will be eliminated
on all Canadian exports of industrial products (including
aerospace, automobiles, medical-testing equipment, industrial
machinery, and chemicals and plastics), fish and seafood, and
agricultural products (including cranberries and cherries from
British Columbia, processed foods from Ontario and Quebec, Prince
Edward Island potatoes, Prairie grains and pulses, Annapolis Valley
apples, beef, pork, pet food, soybeans, canola oil, animal feed,
and maple syrup). Key Canadian industrial products benefiting from
the elimination of tariffs include certain articles of iron and
steel, articles of plastics, cosmetics, reservoir tanks and similar
containers, and air compressors. Manufactured goods sold to Ukraine
include medications, coking coal, pharmaceutical cultures, boring
or sinking machinery, trailers and semi-trailers, and certain
tractors. Ukrainska Pravda reports that President
Poroshenko said that the agreement would come into effect
immediately, but the implementation would take place over the
course of seven years. This means no delay for a ratification
Upon entry into force of the CUFTA, Canada will immediately
eliminate tariffs on 99.9% of current imports from Ukraine. This
includes elimination by Canada of tariffs on all industrial
products, fish and seafood, and 99.9 percent of agricultural
imports from Ukraine. Key products from Ukraine that will benefit
from this duty-free access include sunflower oil, sugar and
chocolate confectionery, baked goods, vodka, apparel, ceramics,
iron and steel, and minerals.
The next step is the ratification process in Canada. The CUFTA
will be tabled in the House of Commons for review. The Government
of Canada also needs to table the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade
Agreement Implementation Act in the House of Commons (in order
to implement the CUFTA’s requirements in Canadian domestic
law) and it must pass the House and the Senate. The
Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
will contain the changes necessary to ensure that the agreement can
take effect under Canadian law. For example, the tariff elimination
and reduction schedules must be implemented via changes to the
There are opportunities for Canadian businesses to sell Canadian
goods to Ukraine on a duty free basis now (given that it will take
effect immediately from Ukraine’s perspective). If Canadian
businesses wish to sell goods for which an export permit is
required (e.g., military and defense equipment), the export
controls rules still apply. There also may be important government
procurement opportunities in Ukraine.
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.
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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.
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