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Home > Export/Import > Customs Answer(FAQ) > 4022 Outline of the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (FAQ)

4022 Outline of the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (FAQ)

On November 2007, The Heads of State/Governments of Member Countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Japan gathered for the 11th ASEAN-Japan Summit. The Leaders welcomed the successful conclusion of the negotiations for the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (hereinafter referred to as the "AJCEP”) Agreement, on the basis of a series of negotiations since April 2005. The AJCEP entered into force among all countries in July 2010.
The AJCEP became the eighth economic partnership agreement, following those concluded with Singapore, Mexico, Malaysia, Chile, Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei.

1. Summary of the Agreement
The AJCEP liberalizes and facilitates trade in goods between Japan and the ASEAN Member States, promotes cooperation in such fields as intellectual property as well as agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

2. The significance of the Agreement for Japan
The AJCEP will provide a strong impetus for further invigoration of trade and investment and create a larger and more efficient market with greater opportunities in this region.
Furthermore, the AJCEP contributes to the strengthening of Japan's industrial competitiveness in line with the actual situation of Japan-ASEAN-wide economic activities, where not all problems can be solved under bilateral EPAs between Japan and respective ASEAN countries. For example, in the case of assembling high value-added components manufactured in Japan into final products in the ASEAN region and exporting the products within the region, Japan may not enjoy special preference under the existing framework (i.e., the bilateral EPAs or ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA)). The AJCEP, however, provides the possibility to enjoy the special preference because the accumulation provision in rules of origin is applicable to Japan and the ASEAN region in accordance with the AJCEP.

3. The key elements in the Agreement
(1) General rules: The objective of the Agreement, terminology, transparency in administrative procedures, etc.
(2)  Trade in goods: Tariff elimination or reduction (adoption of a common concession system in which tariff elimination and reduction (concessions) between Japan and ASEAN nations are applied equally to each of the signatory nations), safeguards, customs procedures, etc.
(3)  Rule of origin: Certification of origin of products (adopting a common rule of origin to be applied equally among the signatory nations and also regulating the aggregate of rules of origin in Japan and ASEAN region (allowing parts and semi-finished goods, etc., manufacture and other signatory nations to be deemed manufactured internally), issue of certificates of origin, etc.
(4)  Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures: The rights and obligations related to sanitary and phytosanitary measures based on the agreement on application of PSP measures concluded between the signatory countries are reaffirmed, and a subcommittee is to be established for exchanging information, facilitating cooperation, etc.
(5)  Voluntary standards, compulsory standards and conformity assessment procedure: Voluntary standards, compulsory standards and conformity assessment procedures are not to cause unnecessary barriers in trade.
(6)  Trade in services: Future negotiation on liberalization, etc., to be held for development of a foundation toward regional-level liberalization in the future.
(7)  Investment: Future negotiation on liberalization, etc., to be held for development of a foundation toward regional-level liberalization in the future.
(8)  Economic cooperation: Agreement on review and action on cooperation in 13 areas, namely procedures related to trade, business environment, intellectual property, energy, information and communication technology, human resources development, small businesses, tourism and customer service, transport and logistics, agriculture, fisheries and forestry, environment, competition policy and other areas in which mutual agreements are reached among all signatory nations.
(9)  Resolution of disputes: Procedure for resolving disputes emerging from interpretation and application of the EPA, etc.
(10) Final provisions: General review of the provisions, enforcement, amendment procedure, etc.



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