How you import from and export to Canada.
UK-Canada Trade Continuity Agreement (TCA)
The UK has signed a trade agreement with Canada which came into force on 1 April 2021.
This guidance provides information on aspects of trade that are covered by that agreement. It is for UK businesses trading with Canada.
The UK is also negotiating an upgraded free trade agreement with Canada.
What the agreement includes
The UK-Canada trade agreement includes provisions on:
- trade in goods - including provisions on preferential tariffs, tariff rate quotas, rules of origin and sanitary and phytosanitary measures
- trade in services and investment
- intellectual property, including geographical indications
- government procurement
Tariff rates on goods
Preferential tariff rates for bilateral trade in goods between the UK and Canada apply as set out in Annex 2A of the agreement. However, in some cases, the non-preferential applied rates may in fact be lower because of changes in the UK’s Most Favoured Nation tariff schedule.
You can use online tools UK Integrated Online Tariff and Check How to Export Goods to check product-specific and country-specific information on tariffs and regulations that currently apply to UK trade in goods. These tools are regularly updated to reflect any changes.
Tariff rate quotas
Tariff rate quotas in the agreement have been tailored specifically to the UK.
There is no outward tariff rate quota for cheese in the UK-Canada trade agreement. UK cheese exporters will be able to export cheese tariff free, if the importer is a license-holder under the non-EU sources reserve of Canada’s WTO cheese quota.
Read more information in the Notice to exporters 2024/01: update on UK’s cheese exports to Canada.
Rules of origin
Finding the correct rule of origin for export
Depending on the type of good you are seeking to export, in order to claim preferential treatment it will need to be either wholly obtained or sufficiently processed.
To be considered sufficiently processed your good will need to meet the relevant product specific rule (PSR). The PSRs for this agreement use the 2012 version of the Harmonised system (HS) nomenclature. You should apply the PSR for your good using the code in which it was classified under this nomenclature.
In a limited number of cases the code for your good may have changed during HS revisions. We are currently updating our online services to reflect these changes. In the interim correlation tables tracing these changes have been made available by the World Customs Organization and The United Nations
Claiming preferential rates for your exports from the UK
The requirements for claiming preference remain largely unchanged. A claim should be based on an origin declaration from the exporter that the product is originating.
When exporting to Canada you must include your EORI number in any origin declaration you issue to your customer, regardless of the value.
The origin declaration must be provided on an invoice, or any other commercial document (excluding a bill of lading), describing the originating product in sufficient detail to enable its identification.
Using EU materials and processing in your exports to Canada
You can use EU materials or processing in your exports to Canada. You must also ensure the working or processing you do in the UK goes beyond the minimal operations listed in the trade agreement and the other relevant conditions are met.
For example, you cannot simply package or label a product from the EU and export it to Canada as a good originating in the UK.
See the list of operations which are insufficient in the incorporated Article 7 of the Rules of Origin Protocol.
The ability to consider materials from, or processing carried out in, another country as originating when incorporated into your product is called cumulation.
You should check with the appropriate customs authorities regarding your trade between the UK and Canada. The provisions on cumulation of EU content agreed under the UK-Canada trade agreement will be reviewed no later than October 2023.
Sending your goods to Canada through the EU and other countries
Goods transited through non-EU countries are subject to the same restrictions as those transited through the EU.
You can split a consignment in any third country when exporting goods to Canada, provided the goods comprising the consignment remain under customs control in the third country.
Origin quotas in the agreement have been tailored specifically to the UK.
Please see tables 5 and 6 listed in the agreement Parliamentary Report, which details the origin quotas.
Services and investment
Preferential conditions for bilateral trade in services and investment between the UK and Canada apply as set out in the agreement. This provides legal certainty for UK and Canadian services suppliers and investors by binding the actual level of liberalisation in both Canada and the UK.
Under the agreement UK businesses are able to temporarily move highly skilled professionals so they can provide services in Canada.
The agreement also sets out measures that facilitate investment between the UK and Canada, ensuring:
- continuity of the measures that remove barriers to establishing UK investment in Canada
- fair treatment for established investments and investors
The provisions on the resolution of investment disputes between investors and states (including financial services) won’t come into force with the rest of the agreement. This is set out in Article V of the UK-Canada trade agreement. Instead, these provisions will be subject to a comprehensive joint review.
Geographical indications (GIs) protect the geographical names of food, drink and agricultural products.
The following UK GIs, including ‘transborder GIs’ that relate to the territory of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, are protected in this agreement:
- Irish whiskey
- Irish cream
- Scotch whisky
Find out about moving goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland.
Freight forwarding may save you time and money if you’re exporting large volumes of goods or high value items by sea or air freight. Find out more about moving goods and using freight forwarders.
This guidance is for information only. You should consult your legal advisers if you wish to ensure you understand the legal implications of trading for your business.
If you have queries about trade, contact the Department for Business and Trade (DBT).
Should you wish to speak to someone directly, we have local trade offices based around the UK. Within each office, you can contact an international trade adviser. Find your local trade office.