After months of uncertainty, the free trade agreement with Canada is finally heading in the right direction.
A German Court and the European Parliament both issued positive statements paving the way for a ratification of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
The EU-Canada agreement is important for shipping as it features a positive maritime chapter and will lay the basis for future FTAs.
Despite growing protectionism and after weeks of standstill, the CETA agreement moved closer to ratification this week.
The positive developments are important as it was decided before summer, that the deal should be a mixed agreement meaning all national parliaments should give their go-ahead before it could be implemented.
“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,” said Director EU Affairs, Simon Bergulf from the Danish Shipowners’ Association.
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.
Now the Council is expected to ratify the agreement at a Trade Ministers meeting on 18 October, which should then pave the way for the Commission to sign the provisional agreement on an EU-Canada Summit scheduled for the 27 October 2016.