Signed at the EU-Canada Summit on 30th October 2016, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a trade agreement, designed to strengthen economic relations and develop business between the European Union and Canada.

It includes a chapter on technical barriers to trade that encourages cooperation in technical regulations, standards to avoid unnecessary obstacles to international trade, by positioning conformity assessment as a prerequisite to business on the European and Canadian markets.
The details are covered in the CETA Protocol on the Mutual Acceptance of the Results of Conformity Assessment (CA Protocol).
The CETA CA Protocol may be summarized that products being placed on the Canadian or the EU market shall be certified by recognized Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs). These CABs shall be accredited by a recognized National Accreditation Body (NAB). The CABs and NABs shall be located either in Canada or in the EU. The provisions for recognition are defined in the CA Protocol.
In order to facilitate the recognition of CABs and NABs, EA and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) signed a Bilateral Cooperation Agreement in 2016.
The implementation of the CA Protocol, facilitated by the BCA between EA and SCC, includes inter alia the selection of a first pilot project, based on the ATEX /HAZLOC systems (equipment allowed in explosive atmosphere) as ATEX in Europe is very similar to HAZLOC in Canada. The pilot project includes:

  • Exchange of relevant information, notably regarding the applicable standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures,
  • Assessment of a Canadian CAB according ISO/IEC 17065 and HAZLOC requirements, performed by SCC and observed by EA,
  • Assessment of a CAB located in the EU according ISO/IEC 17065 and ATEX requirements, performed by the French NAB COFRAC and observed by SCC.

The pilot project is almost concluded. The observation activities have taken place and the requirements according ATEX and HAZLOC have been analyzed.
The next step is to start with the recognition of NABs and CABs according the CA Protocol. Therefore, in March – May 2018, assessments shall be performed:

  • in Europe, according ISO/IEC 17065 and the HAZLOC requirements;
  • in Canada, according ISO/IEC 17065 and the ATEX requirements.

The assessments shall be performed by the NAB located in the country of the CAB. The assessments will be performed in English or French and CABs, interested on recognition under CETA, may contact their National Accreditation Body.

To get detailed information on:
– the BCA signed between EA and SCC, click here to read the brochure “CETA Agreement and Conformity Assessment Accreditation: a tool to enhance trade between the European Union and Canada”,
– the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), click here