Mercedes-Benz Urges Canada To Adopt EU Regulations As Part Of Free Trade Agreement

mercedes benz urges canada to adopt eu regulations as part of free trade agreement

Canada and the European Union’s newly inked free trade agreement will eliminate the 6.1 percent tariff on imported vehicles, but one big obstacle remains: the lack of harmonization between Canadian and European vehicle standards. According to a report by The Globe and Mail, Mercedes-Benz Canada’s President is calling for an end to the differing standards, which feature unique requirements and add costs to Canadian vehicles.

Speaking to a group of reporters, M-B Canada’s Tim Reuss said

“Are you really going to say that a car that has been deemed safe enough and environmentally okay for Europe is not environmentally okay and safe to be driven in Canada or vice versa?”

Reuss said that harmonized standards would allow for the sale of the A-Class and an AWD variant of the Sprinter, as well as new safety technologies like flashing brake lights that warn of a sudden stop. Canada’s own regulations are slightly different from the American FMVSS regulations, but are more similar to the United States than the UNECE standards.

Other auto makers would no doubt be glad to have a single set of regulations for Canada. A TTAC source claims that VW would be able to sell the Polo in Canada, which is sized and packaged right for Canadian market tastes, but the cost of homologating the car make it economically unviable for sale in Canada, given the volumes it would do.

By contrast, Australia, which has a similar sized market, accepts UNECE regulations, and has a notoriously crowded market full of brands and nameplates, while Mexico, another NAFTA country, accepts both sets of regulations, and has many European brands and nameplates that would be more suited for the Canadian market, but are currently not sold here.

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  • MoDo MoDo on Dec 27, 2013

    Never happen, and the MB Canada "CEO" (lol) is an idiot. Mercedes Benz Canada sells roughly 3000 cars per month in Canada. The big 3 sell around 18,000 EACH - some of which are built here. MB build NOTHING here, neither does VAG or BMW. As IF we're going to change the whole system so they can sell 50 more overpriced and de-contented shit boxes here per month.

  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Dec 27, 2013

    @MoDo - and you would rather continue paying 5-10k more for the exact same Big 3 shit-box sold in the USA? Opening up trade with the EU means that the USA based car companies would have to be more competitive in Canada. Once the AutoPact was replaced by NAFTA, old tariffs were reinstituted.(IIRC) an 8% duty was levied on any import not under NAFTA. It was ruled illegal by the WTO but politicians in Ontario with the help of USA auto companies pressured Ottawa to fight the ruling. We have allowed our industry to be puppets of the USA industry. Opening up trade to other countries will help cut those strings. Our rules are not copy and paste versions of the USA rules. Examples: We have mandatory daytime running lights. We do not have mandatory TPMS (tire pressure monitoring systems). If a car company can prove the EU standards they use are just as safe but maybe slightly different than what we use, why not accept those standards? I've seen plenty of examples where Canada has moved away from trade reliance on the USA, and it has been a major benefit. If you happen to be an Ontarian then you tend to be reliant on the big 3. That is a mistake since they dictate your ability to generate an income and indirectly your standard of living. BC sells more wood to Asia than the USA. We were not hit hard by the USA housing industry collapse. Ontario was hit hard by the auto industry collapse. Diversity is good.

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