EU-Japan trade agreement on track

The European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade voted on 5 November 2018 in favour of a trade agreement that will govern economic relations between Japan and the European Union.

On that day, the European Parliament’s “Inta” International Trade Committee approved the Economic Partnership Agreement, signed in July 2018 between Japan and the European Union.

A final vote will take place in December.

Once this agreement has been approved, the Japanese parliament will also have to ratify it. It can then enter into force definitively.

“The end of high customs duties”

The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement will eventually eliminate almost all customs duties on goods. It will open up services, including e-commerce, maritime transport, postal services, energy and telecommunications. It will also create common rules for bilateral trade and common standards for both trading areas.

Agriculture and the food industry are among the sectors that MEPs believe will benefit most from the agreement, “particularly wine, pork and cheese producers,” the parliament said in its press release. Customs duties are particularly high on these products, at around 15% for wine and 30% for cheese.

According to the Fédération des exportateurs de vins et spiritueux (Fevs), the agreement will also protect a list of geographical areas. In the case of French wines and spirits, 33 names are included in this list and will be protected under the agreement.