Exporting your agri-food to the European Union

This page helps you gain a general overview of key regulations, considerations and requirements for Canadian agriculture and food entering the European Union (EU) and the European market.

It also provides information on rules of origin for the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) to help enable you to benefit from its preferential tariff treatment.

Note that the specific regulations, requirements or considerations applicable to your exports will depend on your specific products.

Contents:

EU import requirements
CETA rules of origin
EU food labelling regulations

EU export requirements

Products exported to the EU must meet all regulatory and/or sanitary requirements.

Contacting the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) or visiting their Food Exports content can help you identify the specific food requirements you need to meet.

Examples

  • Products such as meat, fruits, vegetables or maple products for export to the EU must be produced in a CFIA federally registered establishment.
  • Meat and meat products such as pork, beef and pet food must be produced in an EU-approved facility.
  • Products must confirm to EU food labelling requirements. This is outlined in greater detail below.
  • Shipments must include an accompanying CFIA export certificate and/or health certificate for your products.

Visit the European Commission import rules for more information, facts and requirements related to EU imports.

Important: CETA does not change on-going EU regulatory or sanitary requirements.

CETA rules of origin

To benefit from CETA’s preferential tariff treatment, you must ensure your products satisfy CETA’s rules of origin provisions.

Rules of origin are provisions in free trade agreements that determine whether a good is “originating”. Only products undergoing sufficient production in Canada or the EU are considered “originating products” and are eligible for CETA’s preferential tariff treatment.

Examples of products satisfying CETA rules of origin

  • Products that are “wholly obtained”, being grown and harvested, in Canada. This includes grains, fruits, vegetables, or fish that are grown, harvested, or caught in Canadian territory.
  • Finished products produced or transformed in Canada using non-originating materials in accordance with the product-specific rules of origin. This includes using imported materials or ingredients in a Canadian product.

Find examples of rules of origin information as well as CETA’s enhanced export opportunities in these factsheets:

Visit the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement protocol on rules of origin and origin procedures to find CETA rules of origin provisions.

Use the Canada Tariff Finder to help identify the tariffs applicable to a specific good in a market.

EU food labelling regulations

All specific labelling requirements must be met in order for your products to be sold in the EU.

Examples include:

  • Conforming to font size standards
  • Identifying genetically modified (GM) ingredients
  • Providing relevant nutrition information

Read about the European Commission’s legislation on food information to consumers.

We can help you

For all questions relating to EU agri-food regulatory requirements or CETA rules of origin, contact us at: mas-sam@agr.gc.ca

Related content

Visit Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement for Agri-Food Exporters to learn how CETA can benefit your agri-food exports to the EU.

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