Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

May 31, 2005 17:59 ET

AAFC: Implementation of Canada-EU Agreement on Wines and Spirits

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 31, 2005) - Legislation has been introduced in the Senate of Canada to formally implement parts of the agreement with the European Union (EU) on wines and spirit drinks. The Spirit Drinks Trade Act will provide the legal basis to implement the spirit drinks section of the agreement which was originally signed in September 2003.

"The Government of Canada has worked collaboratively with provincial authorities, liquor boards and the wine and spirit industries in negotiating this important agreement with the EU," said Andy Mitchell, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. "This proposed legislation affirms Canada's commitment to the agreement which secures market advantages that benefit Canadian producers and consumers while providing necessary benefits to our European trading partners."

The agreement between Canada and the European Community on trade in wines and spirit drinks covers a broad range of issues and affords significant benefits to both Canada and the EU. The proposed Act implements Canada's commitment to recognize that certain spirit drink names are exclusive to their country of origin, for example, Ouzo from Greece and Pacharan from Spain. In addition, the proposed legislation includes measures relating to Canada's existing commitments under NAFTA to protect such products as Tequila from Mexico and Bourbon from the U.S. Measures also include protection for Caribbean rum under Canada's agreement with the CARIBCAN signatory nations.

With 170 wineries generating more than $400 million in sales annually and 21 distilleries producing over $1 billion of spirit drink products, wine and spirits sectors are important to Canada's economy.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Minister's Office, Ottawa
    Elizabeth Whiting
    (613) 759-1059
    or
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    (613) 759-7972
    1 866 345- 7972