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Colombia free trade deal comes into effect Aug. 15

Published by Steve Coleman on August 09, 2011

Canadian manufacturers and exporters will have freer access to their second-largest South American trading partner next week.

The bilateral trading agreement between Canada and Colombia comes into effect Aug. 15, opening the doors to the country before a separate deal between the U.S. and Colombia starts operation.

The Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CCOFTA) was signed November 21, 2008, but couldn’t come into effect until Parliament passed enabling legislation. The agreement became law on the Canadian side June 29, 2010 when it received Royal Assent.

Prior to the agreement, Canadian manufacturers faced an across-the-board 11.8 per cent price hike from tariffs. For agricultural exporters, most goods sent to the South American country were subject to an average 16.6 per cent tariff.

Not all of the tariffs will be reduced on manufactured goods at once. While some will disappear, others will be phased out over five, seven or 10 years, depending on the agreed schedule.

For agricultural products, it will take a little longer – anywhere from three to 22 years – before most goods are duty free.

“Wheat, barley, peas, lentils and, within specified volume limits, beans and beef (among other products) will become duty-free immediately,” says a CCOFTA primer written by Blakes. “Over time, the tariffs on other products will be gradually eliminated, including those on pork, canola oil, other oilseeds, animal fat, frozen French fries and whiskey.”

The trade agreement also opens up the doors to service professionals and sets up a basis for the two countries to start talks about recognizing each other’s licensing and qualification requirements.
Canadian companies sold $746.3 million in goods and services to Colombia in 2010, most of it agricultural. In return, Colombia sold $717.2 million in products to Canada, ranging from flowers to bananas, coal and coffee.

Canadian manufacturers and exporters will have freer access to their second-largest South American trading partner next week.

The bilateral trading agreement between Canada and Colombia comes into effect Aug. 15, opening the doors to the country before a separate deal between the U.S. and Colombia starts operation.

The Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CCOFTA) was signed November 21, 2008, but couldn't come into effect until Parliament passed enabling legislation. The agreement became law on the Canadian side June 29, 2010 when it received Royal Assent.

Prior to the agreement, Canadian manufacturers faced an across-the-board 11.8 per cent price hike from tariffs. For agricultural exporters, most goods sent to the South American country were subject to an average 16.6 per cent tariff.

Not all of the tariffs will be reduced on manufactured goods at once. While some will disappear, others will be phased out over five, seven or 10 years, depending on the agreed schedule.

For agricultural products, it will take a little longer - anywhere from three to 22 years - before most goods are duty free.

"Wheat, barley, peas, lentils and, within specified volume limits, beans and beef (among other products) will become duty-free immediately," says a CCOFTA primer written by Blakes. "Over time, the tariffs on other products will be gradually eliminated, including those on pork, canola oil, other oilseeds, animal fat, frozen French fries and whiskey."

The trade agreement also opens up the doors to service professionals and sets up a basis for the two countries to start talks about recognizing each other's licensing and qualification requirements.
Canadian companies sold $746.3 million in goods and services to Colombia in 2010, most of it agricultural. In return, Colombia sold $717.2 million in products to Canada, ranging from flowers to bananas, coal and coffee.

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