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1508 Expanded Duty-Free, Quota-Free Market Access to from LDCs (Summary)

In December 2005, Japan announced its Development Initiative in advance of the WTO Hong Kong Ministerial Conference and pledged to grant duty-free, quota-free (DFQF) market access to products from the least developed countries (LDCs).  In the Ministerial Declaration of the WTO Ministerial Conference issued on December 18, the ministers agreed to grant DFQF market access to more than 97% of products originating from all LDCs, defined at the tariff line level.

Based on the commitment, Japan has expanded the special of preferential treatment for LDCs in the 2007 tariff revision. As a general rule, all import items from LDCs are added to the DFQF preferential treatment from April 1, 2007. Under this treatment, the items covered by the preferential treatment have been increased from approximately 86% to 98%, exceeding the level agreed to in the Ministerial Declaration of the WTO conference in Hong Kong.

Changes in Numbers of Items by Expansion of DFQF Market Access to LDCs
  Major items Covered items Percentage of total
Items before expansion; (1) Crude oil, octopus, leather shoes, coffee, shrimp & prawn, men’s suits, and sesame seeds 7,758 85.9%
Items added under the expanded scope (2) Bigeye tuna, heating oil, beans, yellowfin tuna, bonito, and common cuttlefish 1,101 12.2%
Items after expansion; (1)+(2) 8,859 98.1%
Exemption items; (3) Rice & processed rice products, certain marine products (mackerel, etc.), starch & processed starch products, corn for cornstarch, sugar, and certain leather products 176 1.9%
Total; (1)+(2)+(3) 9,035 100.0%

(as of April 1, 2007)

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