Second anniversary of the EU-Japan trade agreement marks further strengthening of ties

The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement celebrates its second anniversary on 1 February.

The Joint Committee set up under the Agreement, co-chaired by the Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrowski and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, approved significant improvements to the agreement on this occasion. Each side will have an additional 28 protected geographical indications, as well as facilitating trade in wine and vehicles.

Executive Vice-President and Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrowski he said: 

"The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement is one of our most important agreements. Together, the EU and Japan account for a quarter of the world's GDP and our bilateral trade amounts to around €170 billion a year. This agreement has made it easier and cheaper for European and Japanese producers to trade with each other and farmers have also benefited. Now, thanks to our intensive cooperation, another 28 quality agri-food products are protected from imitation. We are also facilitating trade in wine and automobiles, products of two key sectors, which is to be welcomed as a contribution to restoring economic growth after the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the relationship between the EU and Japan goes beyond bilateral trade. Both sides are supporters of open, rules-based global trade and a strong World Trade Organisation."

Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski he added: 

"This agreement is an excellent example of win-win trade, thanks to mutual trust and close cooperation, particularly in the agri-food sector. I thank Japan for its consistently constructive and fruitful dialogue. This agreement has been and will continue to be of great benefit to Japanese and European farmers. Just two years after its entry into force, a further 28 GIs are now protected in our markets on both sides. These products have a real added value, reflecting authenticity and quality, which is a further reward for our farmers. In addition, Japan has recently granted authorisation for oenological practices, which will bring more export opportunities for European wine producers. So it remains true that good food means good trade."

The Joint Committee takes into account a number of key achievements

  • List of protected geographical indications from EU countries and Japan now includes an additional 28 designations per side, a significant shift as this is the fastest expansion of the list of GIs in a specific FTA. This list will be further expanded by 55 GIs for both parties. GIs from EU countries include Cassis de Dijon liqueur, Kalamata olive oil and Cariñena wine.
  • Reciprocal car exports will be facilitated. Both sides have agreed to expand the list of safety requirements that will not require double approval. For example, if the EU certifies that a car manufactured in the EU and exported to Japan meets certain safety requirements, Japan will no longer check compliance with these requirements, and vice versa. This also applies to important new and green technologies such as hybrid or hydrogen vehicles.
  • In line with the agreement, Japan has recently brought its wine standards closer to EU standards and has authorised several EU oenological practices on its territory. This will allow more EU wines to reach the Japanese market.
  • The procedures for applying for and obtaining tariff preferences have been significantly simplified, which will make it easier for EU companies to export to Japan. Simplifying procedures is particularly important for small businesses, which often do not have the resources to navigate complex rules.

Source (integral copy): https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/cs/ip_21_313 

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