On 8 March 2019, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a free trade agreement between Canada and 11 countries, was signed. The purpose of this agreement is to facilitate trade by eliminating most of customs fees for the concerned countries.
What are the opportunities for Canadians?
When the agreement comes into full force, it will open a market of 495 million consumers for Canadian companies. A number that could increase as other states such as the United Kingdom or South Korea are interested in joining the agreement.
The CPTPP also includes several parallel agreements, affecting Canada on different scales. For example, Japan and the Canadian government have an agreement on agriculture, chemicals and forest products. The important thing for any company wishing to trade outside of Canada is to learn about these side agreements.
How to model your activity to make the most of the agreement?
When the CPTPP will be applied, most custom duties will be removed except for some, which must be taken into account.
You will have to keep a register listing all the files proving the conformity of the products in relation to the legislation, and keep the record for 5 years.
One of the most helpful tips for you and your business is to build a plan. As a first step, you will need to assess which markets are the most profitable for your business. Get to know the rules that apply to your business and products. Do not forget to calculate the shipping costs of your products to countries that interest you. Finally, if it can be profitable for your company, consider creating another version of your products for a specific target, in order to take full advantage of the CPTPP.