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Canada-EU Trade Deal: Little Effect on BC Wine

The full text of the Canada-EU Trade Deal (usually known as CETA) has now been released. As reported earlier (CETA Not Likely to Affect BC Wine Industry), it appears that the deal will have little consequence for the BC wine industry. Generally, existing distribution and pricing practices for BC wine are continued under the deal. Earlier leaked text indicated that BC would be allowed to operate up to 60 private retail wine stores that provided preferential treatment for BC wine (these are the current VQA stores and tourist wine stores). The leaked text was accurate and the final text provides the same thing. The limit does not apply to the vast majority of BC\’s private liquor stores which sell a range of products from various countries. The limit of 60 is, in fact, greater than the number of such stores that are currently operating (which is about 20). As such, CETA preserves the existing exclusive distribution channels for domestic wine in these private retail stores and it also preserves the ability of wineries to sell from their own tasting rooms (direct delivery). The agreement does contain an agreed objective of eliminating the \”differentiation of provincial mark-ups applied on domestic wines and wines bottled in Canada in private wine outlets\” … however, this objective was contained in earlier agreements with the EU and contains no concrete implementation targets other than a review in 5 years time.

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