Text of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement – Chapter twenty-six: Administrative and institutional provisions

Article 26.1 – CETA Joint Committee

1. The Parties hereby establish the CETA Joint Committee comprising representatives of the European Union and representatives of Canada. The CETA Joint Committee shall be co-chaired by the Minister for International Trade of Canada and the Member of the European Commission responsible for Trade, or their respective designees.

2. The CETA Joint Committee shall meet once a year or at the request of a Party. The CETA Joint Committee shall agree on its meeting schedule and its agenda.

3. The CETA Joint Committee is responsible for all questions concerning trade and investment between the Parties and the implementation and application of this Agreement. A Party may refer to the CETA Joint Committee any issue relating to the implementation and interpretation of this Agreement, or any other issue concerning trade and investment between the Parties.

4. The CETA Joint Committee shall:

  1. supervise and facilitate the implementation and application of this Agreement and further its general aims;
  2. supervise the work of all specialised committees and other bodies established under this Agreement;
  3. without prejudice to Chapters Eight (Investment), Twenty-Two (Trade and Sustainable Development), Twenty-Three (Trade and Labour), Twenty-Four (Trade and Environment), and Twenty-Nine (Dispute Settlement), seek appropriate ways and methods of preventing problems that might arise in areas covered by this Agreement, or of resolving disputes that may arise regarding the interpretation or application of this Agreement;
  4. adopt its own rules of procedure;
  5. make decisions as set out in Article 26.3; and
  6. consider any matter of interest relating to an area covered by this Agreement.

5. The CETA Joint Committee may:

  1. delegate responsibilities to the specialised committees established pursuant to Article 26.2;
  2. communicate with all interested parties including private sector and civil society organisations;
  3. consider or agree on amendments as provided in this Agreement;
  4. study the development of trade between the Parties and consider ways to further enhance trade relations between the Parties;
  5. adopt interpretations of the provisions of this Agreement, which shall be binding on tribunals established under Section F of Chapter Eight (Resolution of investment disputes between investors and states) and Chapter Twenty-Nine (Dispute Settlement);
  6. make recommendations suitable for promoting the expansion of trade and investment as envisaged in this Agreement;
  7. change or undertake the tasks assigned to specialised committees established pursuant to Article 26.2 or dissolve any of these specialised committees;
  8. establish specialised committees and bilateral dialogues in order to assist it in the performance of its tasks; and
  9. take such other action in the exercise of its functions as decided by the Parties.

Article 26.2 – Specialised committees

1. The following specialised committees are hereby established, or in the case of the Joint Customs Cooperation Committee referred to in subparagraph (c), is granted authority to act under the auspices of the CETA Joint Committee:

  1. the Committee on Trade in Goods, which addresses matters concerning trade in goods, tariffs, technical barriers to trade, the Protocol on the mutual acceptance of the results of conformity assessment and intellectual property rights related to goods. At the request of a Party, or upon a reference from the relevant specialised committee, or when preparing a discussion in the CETA Joint Committee, the Committee on Trade in Goods may also address matters arising in the area of rules of origin, origin procedures, customs and trade facilitation and border measures, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, government procurement, or regulatory cooperation, if this facilitates the resolution of a matter that cannot otherwise be resolved by the relevant specialised committee. The Committee on Agriculture, the Committee on Wines and Spirits, and the Joint Sectoral Group on Pharmaceuticals shall also be established under and report to the Committee on Trade in Goods;
  2. the Committee on Services and Investment, which addresses matters concerning cross-border trade in services, investment, temporary entry, electronic commerce, and intellectual property rights related to services. At the request of a Party, or upon a reference from the relevant specialised committee, or when preparing a discussion in the CETA Joint Committee, the Committee on Services and Investment may also address matters arising in the area of financial services or government procurement if this facilitates the resolution of a matter that cannot otherwise be resolved by the relevant specialised committee. A Joint Committee on Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications shall be established under and report to the Committee on Services and Investment;
  3. the Joint Customs Cooperation Committee (JCCC), established under the 1998 Agreement between the European Community and Canada on Customs Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters, done at Ottawa on 4 December 1997, which addresses matters under this Agreement concerning rules of origin, origin procedures, customs and trade facilitation, border measures and temporary suspension of preferential tariff treatment;
  4. the Joint Management Committee for Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, which addresses matters concerning sanitary and phytosanitary measures;
  5. the Committee on Government Procurement, which addresses matters concerning government procurement;
  6. the Financial Services Committee, which addresses matters concerning financial services;
  7. the Committee on Trade and Sustainable Development, which addresses matters concerning sustainable development;
  8. the Regulatory Cooperation Forum, which addresses matters concerning regulatory cooperation; and
  9. the CETA Committee on Geographical Indications, which addresses matters concerning geographical indications.

2. The specialised committees established pursuant to paragraph 1 shall operate according to the provisions of paragraphs 3 through 5.

3. The remit and tasks of the specialised committees established pursuant to paragraph 1 are further defined in the relevant Chapters and Protocols of this Agreement.

4. Unless otherwise provided under this Agreement, or if the co-chairs decide otherwise, the specialised committees shall meet once a year. Additional meetings may be held at the request of a Party or of the CETA Joint Committee. They shall be co-chaired by representatives of Canada and the European Union. The specialised committees shall set their meeting schedule and agenda by mutual consent. They shall set and modify their own rules of procedures, if they deem it appropriate. The specialised committees may propose draft decisions for adoption by the CETA Joint Committee, or take decisions when this Agreement so provides.

5. Each Party shall ensure that when a specialised committee meets, all the competent authorities for each issue on the agenda are represented, as each Party deems appropriate, and that each issue can be discussed at the adequate level of expertise.

6. The specialised committees shall inform the CETA Joint Committee of their schedules and agenda sufficiently in advance of their meetings and shall report to the CETA Joint Committee on results and conclusions from each of their meetings. The creation or existence of a specialised committee does not prevent a Party from bringing any matter directly to the CETA Joint Committee.

Article 26.3 – Decision making

1. The CETA Joint Committee shall, for the purpose of attaining the objectives of this Agreement, have the power to make decisions in respect of all matters when this Agreement so provides.

2. The decisions made by the CETA Joint Committee shall be binding on the Parties, subject to the completion of any necessary internal requirements and procedures, and the Parties shall implement them. The CETA Joint Committee may also make appropriate recommendations.

3. The CETA Joint Committee shall make its decisions and recommendations by mutual consent.

Article 26.4 – Information sharing

When a Party submits to the CETA Joint Committee or any specialised committee established under this Agreement information considered as confidential or protected from disclosure under its laws, the other Party shall treat that information as confidential.

Article 26.5 – CETA contact points

1. Each Party shall promptly appoint a CETA contact point and notify the other Party within 60 days following the entry into force of this Agreement.

2. The CETA contact points shall:

  1. monitor the work of all institutional bodies established under this Agreement, including communications relating to successors to those bodies;
  2. coordinate preparations for committee meetings;
  3. follow up on any decisions made by the CETA Joint Committee, as appropriate;
  4. except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, receive all notifications and information provided pursuant to this Agreement and, as necessary, facilitate communications between the Parties on any matter covered by this Agreement;
  5. respond to any information requests pursuant to Article 27.2 (Provision of information); and
  6. consider any other matter that may affect the operation of this Agreement as mandated by the CETA Joint Committee.

3. The CETA contact points shall communicate as required.

Article 26.6 – Meetings

1. Meetings referred to in this Chapter should be in person. Parties may also agree to meet by videoconference or teleconference.

2. The Parties shall endeavour to meet within 30 days after a Party receives a request to meet by the other Party.

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