Text of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement – Chapter twenty-five: Bilateral dialogues and cooperation

Article 25.1 – Objectives and principles

1. Building upon their well-established partnership and shared values, the Parties agree to facilitate cooperation on issues of common interest, including through:

  1. strengthening bilateral cooperation on biotechnology through the Dialogue on Biotech Market Access Issues;
  2. fostering and facilitating bilateral dialogue and exchange of information on issues related to trade in forest products through the Bilateral Dialogue on Forest Products;
  3. endeavour to establish and maintain effective cooperation on raw materials issues through the Bilateral Dialogue on Raw Materials; and
  4. encouraging enhanced cooperation on science, technology, research and innovation issues.

2. Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, bilateral dialogues shall take place without undue delay at the request of either Party or of the CETA Joint Committee. The dialogues shall be co-chaired by representatives of Canada and the European Union. The meeting schedules and agendas shall be determined by agreement between the co-chairs.

3. The co-chairs of a bilateral dialogue shall inform the CETA Joint Committee of the schedules and agendas of any bilateral dialogue sufficiently in advance of meetings. The co-chairs of a bilateral dialogue shall report to the CETA Joint Committee on the results and conclusions of a dialogue as appropriate or on request by the CETA Joint Committee. The creation or existence of a dialogue shall not prevent either Party from bringing any matter directly to the CETA Joint Committee.

4. The CETA Joint Committee may decide to change or undertake the task assigned to a dialogue or dissolve a dialogue.

5. The Parties may engage in bilateral cooperation in other areas under this Agreement on consent of the CETA Joint Committee.

Article 25.2 – Dialogue on Biotech Market Access Issues

1. The Parties agree that cooperation and information exchange on issues in connection with biotechnology products are of mutual interest. Such cooperation and exchange of information shall take place in the bilateral dialogue on agricultural biotech market access issues of mutual interest which was established by the Mutually Agreed Solution reached on 15 July 2009 between Canada and the European Union following the WTO dispute European Communities – Measures Affecting the Approval and Marketing of Biotech Products WT/DS292. The bilateral dialogue covers any relevant issue of mutual interest to the Parties, including:

  1. biotechnology product approvals in the territory of the Parties as well as, where appropriate, forthcoming applications for product approvals of commercial interest to either side;
  2. the commercial and economic outlook for future approvals of biotechnology products;
  3. any trade impact related to asynchronous approvals of biotechnology products or the accidental release of unauthorised products, and any appropriate measures in this respect;
  4. any biotech-related measures that may affect trade between the Parties, including measures of Member States of the European Union;
  5. any new legislation in the field of biotechnology; and
  6. best practices in the implementation of legislation on biotechnology.

2. The Parties also note the importance of the following shared objectives with respect to cooperation in the field of biotechnology:

  1. to exchange information on policy, regulatory and technical issues of common interest related to biotechnology products, and, in particular, information on their respective systems and processes for risk assessments for decision-making on the use of genetically modified organisms;
  2. to promote efficient science-based approval processes for biotechnology products;
  3. to cooperate internationally on issues related to biotechnology, such as low level presence of genetically modified organisms; and
  4. to engage in regulatory cooperation to minimise adverse trade impacts of regulatory practices related to biotechnology products.

Article 25.3 – Bilateral Dialogue on Forest Products

1. The Parties agree that bilateral dialogue, cooperation and exchange of information and views on relevant laws, regulations, policies and issues of importance to the production, trade, and consumption of forest products are of mutual interest. The Parties agree to carry out this dialogue, cooperation and exchange in the Bilateral Dialogue on Forest Products, including:

  1. the development, adoption and implementation of relevant laws, regulations, policies and standards, and testing, certification and accreditation requirements and their potential impact on trade in forest products between the Parties;
  2. initiatives of the Parties related to the sustainable management of forests and forest governance;
  3. mechanisms to assure the legal or sustainable origin of forest products;
  4. access for forest products to the Parties or other markets;
  5. perspectives on multilateral and plurilateral organisations and processes in which they participate, which seek to promote sustainable forest management or combat illegal logging;
  6. issues referred to in Article 24.10 (Trade in forest products); and
  7. any other issue related to forest products as agreed upon by the Parties.

2. The Bilateral Dialogue on Forest Products shall meet within the first year of the entry into force of this Agreement, and thereafter in accordance with Article 25.1.2.

3. The Parties agree that discussions taking place in the Bilateral Dialogue on Forest Products can inform discussions in the Committee on Trade and Sustainable Development.

Article 25.4 – Bilateral Dialogue on Raw Materials

1. Recognising the importance of an open, non-discriminatory and transparent trading environment based on rules and science, the Parties endeavour to establish and maintain effective cooperation on raw materials. For the purposes of this cooperation, raw materials include minerals, metals and agricultural products with an industrial use.

2. The Bilateral Dialogue on Raw Materials covers any relevant issue of mutual interest, including:

  1. to provide a forum of discussion on cooperation in the field of raw materials between the Parties, to contribute to market access for raw material goods and related services and investments and to avoid non-tariff barriers to trade for raw materials;
  2. to enhance mutual understanding in the field of raw materials with a view to exchange information on best-practices and on the Parties' regulatory policies vis-à-vis raw materials;
  3. to encourage activities that support corporate social responsibility in accordance with internationally-recognised standards such as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas; and
  4. to facilitate, as appropriate, consultation on the Parties' positions in multilateral or plurilateral fora where issues related to raw materials may be raised and discussed.

Article 25.5 – Enhanced cooperation on science, technology, research and innovation

1. The Parties acknowledge the interdependence of science, technology, research and innovation, and international trade and investment in increasing industrial competitiveness and social and economic prosperity.

2. Building upon this shared understanding, the Parties agree to strengthen their cooperation in the areas of science, technology, research and innovation.

3. The Parties shall endeavour to encourage, develop and facilitate cooperative activities on a reciprocal basis in support of, or supplementary to the Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the European Community and Canada, done at Halifax on 17 June 1995. The Parties agree to conduct these activities on the basis of the following principles:

  1. the activities are of mutual benefit to the Parties;
  2. the Parties agree on the scope and parameters of the activities; and
  3. the activities should take into account the important role of the private sector and research institutions in the development of science, technology, research and innovation, and the commercialisation of goods and services thereof.

4. The Parties also recognise the importance of enhanced cooperation in science, technology, research and innovation, such as activities initiated, developed or undertaken by a variety of stakeholders, including the Canadian federal government, the Canadian Provinces and Territories, the European Union and its Member States.

5. Each Party shall encourage, in accordance with its law, the participation of the private sector, research institutions and civil society within its territory in activities to enhance cooperation.

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