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The Government of Canada is Seeking Views of Canadians on Possible Increase in Certain Most-Favoured-Nation (MFN) Tariffs

Closing date: June 25, 2005

On May 1, 2004, ten additional countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta) became members of the European Union (EU). Once they joined the EU, the new member states withdrew their individual tariff schedules and adopted the EU’s tariff schedule. In certain cases, the EU tariffs are higher than acceding members’ previous tariffs. Under WTO rules, Article XXIV:6 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) provides for compensation in such circumstances. Canada is currently negotiating with the EU to ensure that adequate compensation is obtained. However, should the negotiations for a compensation package fail, Canada has the right, under WTO rules, to withdraw substantially equivalent concessions before August 1, 2005. The purpose of this consultation is to obtain views on a short list of items that could be subject to an MFN tariff increase.

The proposed increase in MFN tariffs would not affect imports originating in Canada's North American Free Trade Agreement partners, other bilateral free trade partners or countries eligible for existing preferential tariff treatments.

For more information on this issue and on the procedures for submitting a request, we invite you to consult the Canada Gazette Notice of May 28, 2005. All interested parties are invited to submit their views by June 25, 2005.