Canada - Colombia Free Trade Agreement to Be Implemented on August 15, 2011The Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CCOFTA), the Labour Cooperation Agreement and the Agreement on the Environment will be implemented on August 15, 2011.
On July 12, 2011 the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) issued Customs Notice 11-007 to announce the implementation of the CCOFTA on August 15, 2011. With the exception of a few agricultural goods, the CCOFTA will essentially eliminate the duties on all related imports, either immediately upon implementation of the agreement or through a tariff phase-out.
According to the CBSA, a new preferential tariff treatment is being introduced, namely the Colombia Tariff. The notice specifies that the newly assigned tariff treatment code is Colombia Tariff (COLT) - Code 26. In order to claim the preferential tariff treatment accorded under the CCOFTA, importers must have in their possession the Canada-Colombia Certificate of Origin (which is the required proof of origin) completed by the exporter in Colombia.
In terms of shipment requirements, goods may be shipped directly from Colombia, with or without transshipment, to Canada.
As the notice is intended to serve only as an overview, in part to summarize the requirements to take advantage of the CCOFTA preferential rates of duty, the CBSA advises importers to review the agreement in its entirety and consult Bill C-2 (www.parl.gc.ca) prior to importing goods that may benefit from the agreement.
The text of the agreement can be found on the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada website: www.international.gc.ca.
Customs Notice 11-007 may be viewed at: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/cn-ad/cn11-007-eng.pdf.
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Source: Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Canada Border Services Agency