The EU has finalised negotiations for a trade agreement with Japan. The remaining formalities are expected to be done in time for the agreement to become effective as soon as 1 February 2019.
The trade agreement with Japan will:
- remove these barriers
- help us shape global trade rules in line with our high standards and shared values
- send a powerful signal that two of the world's biggest economies reject protectionism.
In 2013 EU governments instructed the European Commission to start negotiations with Japan. On 6 July 2017 the European Union and Japan reached an agreement in principle on the main elements of the agreement. On 8 December 2017, the negotiations were finalised. The European Parliament gave its consent in December 2018, clearing the way for the trade agreement's conclusion and entry into force.
The entry into force of the Strategic Partnership Agreement also requires the ratification by EU countries, but a large part of the agreement can be provisionally applied in early 2019.
What is the Economic Partnership Agreement about?
Elimination of customs duties –more than 90% of the EU's exports to Japan will be duty free at entry into force of the agreement. Once the agreement is fully implemented, Japan will have scrapped customs duties on 97% of goods imported from the EU (in tariff lines), with the remaining tariff lines being subject to partial liberalisation through tariff rate quotas or tariff reductions. This, in turn, will save EU exporters around €1 billion in customs duties per year.
Forestry – tariffs on all wood products will be fully eliminated, with seven years staging for the most important priorities. Most tariffs on wood products will be dropped immediately, with some less important tariff lines being scrapped after 10 years.
Illegal logging – The EU and Japan share a common commitment to combat illegal logging and related trade. Trade in illegal timber is not an issue between the EU and Japan. The EU has a very clear legislation on illegal logging, just like Japan, which applies to imports from any country of origin. Both partners have surveillance and certification systems in place to prevent the import of illegal timber. The two partners also work closely with third countries to support them in setting up efficient mechanisms to address the problem. The agreement includes a legal provision committing both partners to the prevention of illegal logging and related trade
Source and copyright: EU Commission – DG Trade