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CPTPP benefits for Canadian fish and seafood exporters

Overview of the CPTPP

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) offers Canadian beef and pork exporters preferential access and tariff reductions to key global markets.

Through this free trade agreement, Canada forms a trading bloc with 10 other countries that represent almost 500 million consumers and 13.5% of global GDP. So far, seven CPTPP signatories have ratified the Agreement:

On December 30, 2018, the CPTPP entered into force between Canada and the first five countries to ratify the agreement (Australia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore). On January 14, 2019, the CPTPP entered into force between Canada and Vietnam.

The remaining signatories are Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia and Peru. The CPTPP will enter into force 60 days after a signatory notifies the CPTPP Depository that it has completed its ratification procedures.

Snapshot of key markets and CPTPP outcomes by product

Sources for all: CPTPP Agreement; Statistics Canada - CATSNET Analytics.

Fish

Market Canada's exports in 2019 (C$) CPTPP tariff reductions and outcomes)
Japan 104 million Most Canadian fish and fish products, such as frozen filets, to Japan are duty-free immediately. This includes cod, herring, halibut, and certain fish livers and roes.

Pacific Bluefin tuna: Tariffs will gradually be reduced from 3.5% to zero by April 1, 2028. Atlantic salmon, Danube salmon and silver Pacific salmon: Tariffs will gradually be reduced from 3.5% to zero by April 1, 2028. Red Pacific salmon: Tariffs will gradually be reduced from 3.5% to zero by April 1, 2023.

Vietnam 16 million All varieties live fish: Duty-free immediately. Tariffs were as high as 20% on certain varieties, such as live eels, before the CPTPP.  All varieties of frozen, fresh or chilled whole and fileted fish: Duty-free immediately. Tariffs were 18% before the CPTPP. All varieties of fish products, such as salted, smoked, dried, brined and meal: Duty-free immediately. Tariffs were as high as 24% on certain fish products, such as livers and roes, before the CPTPP.
Rest of CPTPP 4.9 million Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru and Singapore: CPTPP tariff reductions and outcomes will vary by market and product.

Crustaceans, molluscs and other seafood

Market Canada's exports in 2019 (C$) CPTPP tariff reductions and outcomes)
Japan 177.7 million Most Canadian seafood and seafood products to Japan are duty-free immediately. Frozen, live, fresh or chilled lobsters: Duty-free immediately. Tariffs were as high as 4.8% before the CPTPP.

Most frozen, live, fresh or chilled crabs: Duty-free immediately. Tariffs were as high as 9.6% before the CPTPP. Live, fresh or chilled horsehair crabs are an exception, whereby tariffs will gradually be reduced from 4% to zero by April 1, 2028. Cold-water and other shrimps and prawns: Duty-free immediately. Tariffs were as high as 4.8% before the CPTPP. Frozen, live, fresh or chilled scallops, including queen scallops: Tariffs will gradually be reduced from 10% to zero by April 1, 2028. Frozen, live, fresh, chilled or other (such as salted or in-brine) mussels: Duty-free immediately. Tariffs were as high as 10% before the CPTPP. Frozen, live, fresh or chilled clams, cockles and ark shells: Tariffs vary by specific product. For most products, tariffs will gradually be reduced from a high of 10% to zero by April 1, 2028. Live, fresh or chilled sea urchins: Duty-free immediately. Tariffs were as high as 7% before the CPTPP.

Vietnam 54.5 million All prepared or preserved crustaceans, molluscs and other invertebrates (such as smoked): Tariffs will gradually be reduced from a high of 34% to zero by January 1, 2021. Lobster (Homarus Spp), crabs, and cold-water shrimps and prawns: Previously duty-free before the CPTPP. Other shrimps and prawns, such as tiger prawns and whiteleg shrimps: Duty-free immediately or previously duty-free. Frozen, live, fresh or chilled oysters, clams, cockles and ark shells: Previously duty-free before the CPTPP. Frozen, live, fresh or chilled cuttle fish and squid: Duty-free immediately. Tariffs were as high as 20% before the CPTPP.
Singapore 16.3 million All varieties of crustaceans, molluscs and other seafood: Previously duty-free before the CPTPP. This includes, frozen, live, fresh, chilled, smoked, and prepared varieties.
Malaysia 1.5 million All varieties of crustaceans, molluscs and other seafood: Duty-free immediately or previously duty-free before the CPTPP. This includes, frozen, live, fresh, chilled, smoked, and prepared varieties.
Rest of CPTPP 9.7 million Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand and Peru: CPTPP tariff reductions and outcomes will vary by market and product.

Additional information

Exporters looking for detailed information on all CPTPP outcomes and tariff reductions across all products and markets are encouraged to consult the Consolidated TPP Text, and the tariff schedules of Chapter 2 – National Treatment and Market Access for Goods, in particular.

Rules of origin, origin procedures and tariff rate quotas

Rules of origin

Rules of origin specify the amount of production that must be undertaken on a product in Canada, or a CPTPP market, for it to be considered “originating” and eligible for CPTPP’s preferential tariff treatment.

The rules of origin applicable to fish and seafood vary on a by-product and by-preparation basis. Exporters are strongly encouraged to research the specific rules applicable to their products and chosen export destinations.

At a high-level, fish and seafood must be wholly obtained in CPTPP territorial waters, or in international waters by vessels registered in CPTPP countries. For example, salmon or lobster caught or captured in Canadian seas would meet the rules of origin.

However, there are exceptions for certain preparations and products. For example, non-CPTPP crustaceans and molluscs smoked in Canada would meet the rules of origin as they are considered transformed. That does not apply to non-CPTPP salmon smoked in Canada.

Origin procedures

Origin procedures are used to administer the rules of origin and enable the trade community to take advantage of the preferential tariff treatment afforded under CPTPP.

Importers may seek preferential treatment under the agreement, based on a certification of origin completed by the exporter, producer or importer. The certification of origin does not follow a prescribed format, but is required to contain a minimum set of data. This data can be placed on any commercial document, including the invoice.

Customs officials may require an importer to provide supporting documents or other information to support the certification of origin. Upon written request by an importer, exporter or producer, CPTPP countries will issue an advance written binding ruling with respect to the tariff classification and originating status of a product prior to import.

Additional information

Details can be found in the text of the CPTPP agreement:

Requirements and considerations when exporting to certain CPTPP markets

While the CPTPP expands global opportunities for Canadian companies through tariff elimination and preferential tariff treatment, exporters should note that the CPTPP does not change the import requirements set by each individual market. These may include, but are not limited to, labelling, packaging needs, the level of additives allowed, and others.

Before exporting to a CPTPP market, exporters are encouraged to work with their importer to understand the regulatory and market access requirements that may apply to their products.

Exporters should also consult the following resources should they have questions or require information on other potential impediments to trade that may be applicable to their products in one or more CPTPP countries:

Support for exporters interested in CPTPP markets

Canadian exporters are also encouraged to take advantage of the following resources when they consider CPTPP opportunities:

CPTPP for Agri-Food Exporters
Find out what the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is and how it can benefit your exports to its markets.

Single window for market access services
Contact AAFC's Market Access Secretariat at aafc.mas-sam.aac@canada.ca for questions about CPTPP or accessing one of its markets.
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