The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada was signed at an EU-Canada Summit in Brussels in October 2016, following on to the conclusion of negotiations in 2014, subsequent translation into all official languages of the EU and Canada, the legal verification of the texts and the preparation of an additional Joint Interpretative Instrument.

After approval in the European Parliament in February 2017, CETA received parliamentary approval in both chambers of the Canadian Parliament and Royal Assent was granted by the Governor General on the 16th of May 2017.

CETA will take full effect once all EU Member States national parliaments have also approved and ratified the agreement, as the agreement was finally concluded as a so-called mixed EU agreement. This procedure has been completed already in Latvia and Denmark and is well under way in a number of other EU member states.

However, and in line with EU precedents, provisional application of the vast majority of CETA is meant to allow a meaningful application of its substance right from the start.

The European Commission and the Canadian government are thus in a process of identifying jointly the formal date for the start of provisional application of CETA, still to be expected in Summer 2017, and thus not affected by the ongoing national ratification procedures in EU member states.

Preparations for putting in place relevant domestic implementation laws, regulations and measures, are already well under way, as well as the preparation of the start of the work of the numerous institutional mechanisms under CETA.

In line with a decision  of the Council of the European Union and in joint agreement with Canada, only a few very specific areas of CETA will not be covered by this immediate provisional application, including notably the relevant CETA provisions in relation to Investment protection, Investment market access with regards to portfolio investment and the new Investment Court System.

CETA will be the most advanced and progressive trade agreement to date. It contains ambitious chapters on sustainable development, labour and the environment. CETA will not only help foster trade and economic activity, but also allows the EU and Canada to shape globalization according to our joint values. It will benefit producers, manufactures, exporters and consumers and will create jobs in many sectors in both the EU and Canada.

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is clearly a milestone that sets the benchmark for future trade agreements.