Berlin, 2 December 2022 (TDI): German Bundestag, the lower house of Parliament, approved a free-trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and Canada, on Thursday.

The ratification is given five years after the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) provisionally went into force. CETA was signed in late 2016.

Most of its terms were implemented provisionally since 2017. But the deal will only come into force when the 27 members of the EU approve it.

Several EU member states, including Italy and France, have yet to ratify the agreement. Canada has already ratified it. The ratification by Germany has brought the agreement a step closer to implementation.

Also read: EU-Canada Joint Ministerial Committee Meeting

The German Lawmakers approved the agreement by a vote of 559 to 110. The deal eliminates practically all customs duties and increases quotas for certain key products in Canada and the EU’s respective markets.

During the voting process, Verena Hubertz, a member of the German Bundestag, addressed Parliament’s lower house. She said, “We are optimistic that others will also follow very quickly now that we are moving forward.”

“Germany had to wait for the court verdict, but we have eliminated concerns about the details of a dispute mechanism built into the pact.” Hubertz reaffirmed.

It is pertinent to note that the EU claims that the agreement will save its companies some 600 million euros ($623 million) a year in duties.

About CETA

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a progressive trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and Canada. It has been provisionally applied since 2017, thus removing 98% of the pre-existing tariffs between the two parts.

Also read: 5th Anniversary of EU-Canada CETA

As it is a mixed agreement with the EU, the approval of the EU member states is mandatory to fully effect the agreement. However, substantial parts are provisionally applied, excluding investment protection.

Out of 28 EU member states, only 16 have ratified the agreement in the past. The number has now climbed to 17 after Germany’s ratification. The other countries include Austria, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden among others.