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The revised North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been ratified by Canada, the United States of America and the United Mexican States on December 10, 2019.  Canada finalized our agreement documentation on March 13, 2020, naming it as the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).  This agreement comes into force on July 1, 2020.  

Although there have been many changes to the terms within the complete agreement, as seen when comparing NAFTA to CUSMA, changes relating to Canadian Aviation Regulations have been quite minimal; the only change of note is that the name and acronym for this new agreement to be updated.  Essentially, NAFTA needs to be changed to CUSMA.

“NAFTA” (and its associated wording) appears in a number of documents authored by Commercial Flight Standards.  It also appears on numerous webpages hosted by Transport Canada Civil Aviation.  Lastly, it appears on air operator certificates as a Specific Authority.  We are in the process of identifying and updating these documents and webpages.  We will also be changing the Specific Approval options within our NACIS database to reflect the renaming of this authority.  Until such time as we have completed these changes, we will issue this communique to inform all stakeholders that any authority an air operator currently holds that is identified as a NAFTA authority can be interpreted as being a CUSMA authority.  As this represents merely a name change, we have determined that there is no safety related risk to allowing operators to continue to utilize authorities labelled as NAFTA in the interim until an opportunity comes about for Transport Canada to re-issue that authority as CUSMA.

Please note that the enactment of the changes to NAFTA have led to each signing authority labelling their internal agreement documents differently; Canada is using “CUSMA”, the United States of America is using “United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)”, and the United Mexican States is using “Treaty between Mexico, United States and Canada (T-MEC)”.  Air operators should be aware of this difference when conducting business within the related countries.

Should you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact the TP 4711 team, at TC.TP4711.TC@tc.gc.ca.