Introduction

AirplaneThe Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) is a modern, ambitious, progressive trade agreement between Canada, the EU and its 28 member states, which upholds and promotes values shared amongst the parties.

CETA covers virtually all sectors and aspects of Canada-EU trade with the objective of eliminating or reducing barriers. It was signed on October 30, 2016, and approved by the European Parliament on February 15, 2017. Canada’s implementing legislation, Bill C-30,Footnote 1 received Royal Assent on May 16, 2017.

CETA was provisionally implemented on September 21, 2017, bringing into effect its mobility provisions. Full application of CETA, which will bring extra benefits such as investment protection, will only come into force once each EU country has ratified the deal. Notwithstanding BrexitFootnote 2, the UK remains a full member of the EU for the time being so the mobility provisions of CETA will continue to apply to citizens of the UK until that changes.

This Guide focuses on the framework in CETA to facilitate cross border travel or relocation for selected categories of business persons, and to increase transparency and predictability at the border for these key personnel. These mobility provisions differ in many ways from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other international free trade agreements (FTAs) to which Canada is a party.

Chapter 10, “Temporary entry and stay of natural persons for business purposes” is the primary chapter discussed in this Guide. This chapter addresses labour mobility and eliminates many administrative hurdles on prospective business entrants to Canada or the EU. Chapter 10 affirms the preferential trading relationship between Canada and EU countries and the mutual commitments made to facilitate trade in services and investment.

The Guide also briefly touches on some other chapters of CETA: mutual recognition of professional qualifications (Chapter 11) and domestic regulation (Chapter 12). These chapters support broad-based liberalization for services trade between Canada and the EU.