Both Canada and the European Union (EU) are now in the process of ratifying and implementing The Canada and European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

Under the terms of CETA, Canada will open for the EU a new bilateral quota of 17,700 tonnes of cheese, 16,000 tonnes of which will be for high-quality cheeses and 1,700 tonnes for industrial cheese. Moreover, 800 tonnes of high-quality cheese will be added through a technical adjustment to the EU portion of an existing WTO Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ). The effective total will therefore be 18,500 tonnes, thus more than doubling EU exports of cheese to Canada. This will result in an increase of EU exports of 128 percent and corresponds to more than 4 percent of the Canadian market.

As part of Canada’s implementation of CETA ,Global Affairs Canada has posted an invitation to comment on the administration of the new Tariff Rate Quotas and Origin Quotas that will be established under the CETA.

Producers, manufacturers, processors, importers, exporters, distributors and retailers interested in receiving additional import permits under the new TRQ for EU originating cheese have until July 21, 2016 to submit comments on the new quotas including on the rules and procedure which ought to govern the allocation and administration of permits under the new quotas.

Interested participants are well advised to act early in shaping the rules governing this new quota regime and to employ a dual legal and advocacy approach to ensure that they receive permits under the new EU quota. TRQ regimes and the rules which govern them are complex and far-reaching. DW international trade lawyers are experienced in the rules governing TRQ regimes and available to assist companies in making submissions and ensuring that they have access to this new source of cheese import quota.