The North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA is an agreement signed by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994. It superseded the Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Canada.
The Agreement is the first multi-lateral Mutual Acceptance Agreement, in any field, fully compliant with the WTO’s Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement. For winemakers, exporters and importers the implications of the Agreement assures access to markets without the costs and frustrations of barriers to trade based on differences in oenological practices.
Wine industry and government representatives from the US, Chile, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand and Canada reached agreement on standardizing the information on wine labels and inclusion of an Icewine definition.
The MOU states that participating countries should not require certification related to vintage, varietal or regional claims for a wine unless they have legitimate concerns about such claims. If participants find certification to be necessary, the MOU encourages them to accept certificates issued by the official certification body or by an officially recognized certification body of the exporting country. The MOU seeks to reduce the need for routine certification requirements, while protecting the rights of each participant to require certification for health and safety reasons and does not affect members’ international rights or obligations. Likewise, the MOU does not affect labeling pre-approval, bioterrorism controls, or ad hoc testing by an importing country.
This Protocol minimizes unnecessary labelling-related barriers by establishing parameters for acceptable labelling in WWTG member countries, related to items including Alcohol Tolerance, Vintage, Variety, and Wine Region. The Protocol was signed on March 2013 in Brussels, Belgium.
World Wine Trade Group (WWTG) Tblisi Statement on Analytical Methodology and Regulatory Limits (2014)
This agreement, made between Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Georgia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States, was adopted to remove unnecessary obstacles to international wine exports, bringing in more regulatory coherence in the trade of wine internationally. The agreement states that all participating countries should establish regulatory limits that are based on risk, rather than requiring unnecessary analyses.
World Wine Trade Group (WWTG) Arrangement on Information Exchange, Technical Cooperation and Counterfeiting (2017)
This agreement, made by WWTG member countries including Canada, encourages participants to exchange information and changes to their wine laws, regulations, policies, procedures, standards, labelling administration, import and export certification arrangements with one another. The agreement is significant in efforts to curb counterfeit wine worldwide.
The Canada-European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) reduces import tariffs on Canadian wine being exported to the EU to 0.0%. CETA negotiations began in October 2009 and the agreement was signed in October 2016 at the EU-Canada Summit. The agreement takes effect on September 21, 2017.
The Canada-EU Wine and Spirits Agreement, which came into force in June 2004, and significantly opened the European market to Canadian products, is included in CETA.