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Home > Export/Import > Customs Answer(FAQ) > 4049: Outline of the Agreement between Japan and the European Union for an Economic Partnership(FAQ)

4049: Outline of the Agreement between Japan and the European Union for an Economic Partnership(FAQ)

In December 2017, Japan and EU confirmed the substantive agreement on an Economic Partnership Agreement between Japan and EU (Japan-EU EPA), on the basis of a series of negotiations since March 2013. The Japan-EU EPA was signed by both countries in July 2018, and entered into force in February 2019.

The Japan-EU EPA became the 17th economic partnership agreement for Japan, following those concluded with Singapore, Mexico, Malaysia, Chile, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, all of ASEAN, Philippines, Switzerland, Vietnam, India, Peru, Australia, Mongolia and TPP11(CPTPP).


1. Summary of the agreement

The objectives of Japan-EU EPA are to liberalize and facilitate trade and investment, as well as to promote a closer economic relationship between Japan and EU. The EPA will create one of the largest free and advanced economic zones in the world with approximately 30% of the world GDP and 40% of world trade. Also, this EPA is a model of economic order in the 21st century based on free and fair rules.


2. The significance of the agreement

For Japan, EU is one of the largest trade partners, accounting for approximately 12% of Japan’s total export value and 12% of Japan’s total import value (2019 Trade Statistics, Ministry of Finance).
The Japan-EU EPA contributes economic growth of both Japan and EU through facilitating trade and investment, creating employment and enhancing competitiveness of companies.


3. The key elements in the agreement

(1) Trade in goods: Agreement of comprehensive tariff elimination and reduction for mining and industrial products, and for agricultural products in bilateral trade.

(2) Customs procedures and trade facilitation: Provisions for ensuring the transparency of customs procedures, the proper application of customs-related laws, the framework for securing quick clearance of goods, and the promotion of bilateral cooperation and intelligence exchange.

(3) Trade in services, Investment, E-commerce: In principle all trade in services and investments are liberalized. Reserved exceptional measures and areas are enumerated. Rules ensuring security and credibility of e-commerce are provided.

(4) Intellectual property: Higher standard than TRIPS. High level of mutual protection of geographical indications (GI).

(5) Regulatory Cooperation: Regarding regulatory measures on trade and investment, regulatory authorities of both Japan and EU: issue publication in advance, offer reasonable opportunities for any person to provide comments, conduct prior and retrospective evaluation, and exchange information on good regulatory practices.

For consultations on customs procedures, please contact the nearest Customs Counselor.
Please see No. 9301 for inquiries.