The Canada-EFTA Free Trade Agreement

Creating valuable opportunities for Canadian businesses like yours.


Canada has a free trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), a trading bloc consisting of Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. The agreement gives Canadian producers and exporters a competitive advantage in those four countries. It eliminates tariffs on selected Canadian industrial goods exports and eliminates or reduces tariffs on selected Canadian agricultural and agri-food products.

Learn more about the free trade agreement with EFTA and discover your next market today.

Canada-EFTA Trade Relations

Representing some of the wealthiest and most sophisticated economies in the world, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland together make up the eighth-largest destination for Canadian exports. In 2011 trade between Canada and the EFTA countries totalled $11.5 billion, a 15.4-percent increase from 2010.

Opportunities for Canadian Companies in Agriculture and Agri-food

Exporters of a range of Canadian agricultural and agri-food products enjoy preferential access to the EFTA markets thanks to reduced or eliminated tariffs under the agreement. During its free trade negotiations with EFTA, Canada established separate two-way agriculture agreements with each of the EFTA states. For example, Iceland reduced its tariffs on Canadian frozen french fries by about 30 percent, while Norway decreased its tariffs by 15 percent. The agreement also provides tariff concessions for Canadian agricultural and agri-food products such as durum wheat, frozen blueberries, canola oil, beer and horse meat.

Opportunities for Canadian Companies in Industrial Goods

The agreement eliminates all tariffs on industrial products—some had been as high as 20 percent—providing a competitive advantage for Canadian companies, including those that export infrastructure and building products such as:

  • steel structures
  • aluminum structures
  • doors and windows
  • nuts and bolts
  • prefabricated buildings
  • aluminum bars

Opportunities for Canadian Companies in Consumer Products

The agreement eliminated the 10-percent tariff that had been charged on most Canadian exports of apparel, making those products more competitive in this lucrative market. Canadian manufacturers of cosmetics, textiles and other consumer products also benefit from the reduction or elimination of tariffs.

Opportunities for Canadian Companies in Other Sectors

The agreement provides for tariff elimination on a wide variety of products, creating competitive advantages for Canadian exporters of a variety of other goods, including:

  • crude petroleum
  • nickel
  • pharmaceutical products
  • forest products
  • pulp and paper products
  • motor vehicles
  • aerospace products
  • scientific and precision instruments
  • cathode ray tubes

Investment

The Canada-EFTA Free Trade Agreement does not contain specific investment provisions. However, as part of their efforts to gradually develop and broaden their cooperation, the partners have agreed to work together on creating the most favourable conditions for expanding investment between them.

“We work as best as possible to achieve global price parity, and this agreement helps us better achieve that,” says Dani Reiss, CEO of Canada Goose. Read the full success story.

For more information about new business opportunities or how the free trade agreement can help your company in the EFTA countries, check out market facts and reports for Iceland, Norway or Switzerland on the Trade Commissioner Service website or contact a trade commissioner.

Additional Information

Canada’s Relations with Individual EFTA States

Contact Us

If you have questions or comments about this free trade agreement, please contact Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada at:

Trade Policy and Negotiations Division I (TPE)
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
Lester B. Pearson Building
125 Sussex Drive, Ottawa ON  K1A 0G2
Fax: 613-944-0757
Email: consultations@international.gc.ca