Levels of Tariff Rate Quotas For Agricultural Products

Serial No. 509
Date: May 15, 1995

Table of Contents

1. Purpose

The purpose of this Notice is to inform importers of the import access quantities, or the basis for calculating them, foreseen for agricultural products subject to tariff rate quota administration under the Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA). While this Notice refers to legal authorities and policy commentaries, it is provided for convenience of reference only and does not constitute an undertaking or commitment of the Minister with respect to import quantities; the Minister encourages applicants to consult relevant original materials for purposes of identifying and interpreting applicable requirements.

2. Authority

2.1 Subsection 6.2(1) of the EIPA, as amended, provides that:

Where any goods have been included on the Import Control List for the purpose of implementing an intergovernmental arrangement or commitment, the Minister may determine import access quantities, or the basis for calculating them, for the purposes of subsection (2) and section 8.3 of this Act and for the purposes of the Customs Tariff.

Subsection 6.2(2) empowers the Minister to establish a method for allocating such quantities, and to issue allocations to residents of Canada. Section 8.3 provides for the issuance of import permits to residents of Canada, including amounts supplementary to the import access quantity. Finally, the Customs Tariff provides, at subsection 10(2), that goods shall only be classified under a tariff item determined in accordance with the Harmonized System that contains the phrase "within access commitment" where the importer of the goods holds a permit issued pursuant to Section 8.3 of the EIPA.

3. Policy

3.1 It is anticipated that the Minister will generally set the import access quantities at the levels, or calculated according to the formulas, set out in international trade agreements to which Canada is a party. At present the operative agreements are the Agreement on Agriculture in Annex 1A of the World Trade Organization Agreement ("WTO"), the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement ("FTA"), the bilateral Canada-US agreement on broiler hatching eggs and chicks ("BHE"), and the North American Free Trade Agreement("NAFTA"); of these, the NAFTA incorporates quantitative commitments originally set out in the FTA.

3.2 A table is attached that sets out the levels foreseen in accordance with these agreements. Where the quantitative access commitments under the WTO and the FTA or NAFTA or BHE result in two different levels, it is anticipated that the Minister will set the import access quantity at the higher of the two levels. Inasmuch as certain commitments are expressed as a percentage of domestic production, and given the Minister's discretion to set the quantity, it is not possible to determine in advance which agreement will guide the Minister in the setting of the import access quantity for those products. In such cases, the attached table gives both the percentage formula and the absolute access commitment.

3.3 The products subject to different access obligations under the WTO and the FTA/NAFTA/BHE are chicken, turkey, eggs and egg products, broiler hatching eggs and chicks. For most of these, it is the policy of the Minister to allocate the import access quantities to residents of Canada. Accordingly, it is necessary to issue a Notice to Importers calling for applications before the quantity is known, although the final allocation will be made in the knowledge of that quantity. Rather than reissue this Notice each year, persons wishing to know the import access quantity the Minister has set in any given year are requested to ask the officer responsible for the relevant sector(s), as identified on the Notices calling for applications. Similarly, special access conditions that might apply (e.g. country reserves, distribution of product across tariff lines covered by TRQs) will be covered in the annual sector-specific Notices.

4. Further Information

4.1 For further information please contact:

Trade Controls Policy
Foreign Affairs and International Trade
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G2

Tel.: (613) 995-2744
Fax.: (613) 996-0612