Let the sales begin!  On September 21, 2017, the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (“Canada-EU CETA”) will come into provisional effect.  The tariff elimination and tariff reductions commitments will come into effect, including the duty-free treatment for medical devices.  Canada has advanced medical device technology, as does the EU.

This means that, starting on September 21, 2017, Canadian businesses may sell Canadian-origin medical devices on a duty-free basis to the EU countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) and additional territories (Andorra, the Åland Island, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, Réunion, Saint Bartélemy and Saint Martin, the island of Heligoland and the territory of Büsingen, Mount Athos, the Azores and Madeira, Ceuta and Melilia and the Canary Islands, the Channel Islands, Gibralter, Isle of Man and the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia).  Canadian importers can also import EU-origin medical devices (not transshipped via a third country) on a duty-free basis on and after September 21, 2017.

The Government of Canada has posted examples of the tariff eliminations on medical devices:

  • x-ray generators = 0% (was 2.1%)
  • x-ray tubes = 0% (was 2.1%)
  • thermometers and pyrometers =0% (was 3.2%)
  • spectacles (eye glasses) = 0% (was 2.9% or 3%)
  • surgical and medical gloves = 0% (was 2.0%)

Some of the more significant Canadian-origin medical devices that will be duty-free include glucometers, insulin pumps, ventilators, imaging technology, catheters, stimulators, electrodes, surgical adhesions, etc.

The duty elimination will also assist Canadian medical service providers who will be on an equal footing as their EU counterparts.  The Canadian-origin medical devices used by the Canadian health care service providers will be duty free (just as there is no duties within the EU on EU-origin medical devices.

In addition, Canadian medical device design and development service providers will have improved opportunities to work with EU-based companies that can benefit from Canadian know-how and development expertise. EU-based companies and health care providers can work side-by-side with Canadian companies.  Researchers can collaborate.  Medical schools and hospitals can form partnerships to develop life-saving medical devices.

Furthermore, the labour mobility provisions in Chapter 10 “Temporary entry and stay of natural persons for business purposes” of the Canada-EU CETA will benefit health care service providers and business persons travelling to the EU to demonstrate and sell Canadian made medical devices.

We have written another article about the questions you should be asking if you would like to take advantage of CETA benefits.

For more information about the Canada-EU CETA, please contact Cyndee Todgham Cherniak at 416-307-4168 or at  There are other articles on the LexSage website about the Canada-EU CETA.