EPA HELPDESK TO SUPPORT EU SMEs
On 17 July 2018, the European Union and Japan signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the biggest trade agreement ever negotiated by the EU that will create an open trade zone covering over 600 million people.
The agreement entered into force on Friday, 1 February 2019.
To raise awareness of the opportunities this agreement offers and to help EU SMEs take advantage of them, the EU-Japan Centre has launched an EPA Helpdesk to support and guide EU SMEs in their search for relevant information.
The EPA Helpdesk answers EPA-related queries. When the answer will not be available in-house, the EU-Japan Centre will signpost to relevant existing online information.
EPA-related most common Q&As are available here
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PUBLICATIONS & WEBINARS
The EPA Helpdesk publishes factsheets covering factual information about the changes brought by the EPA and organises related webinars.
During the webinar, participants are able to ask their questions to the experts.
WEBINARS CALENDAR (2019 - 2020)
ABOUT THE EPA
The EPA contains "a number of provisions that will simplify trade and investment procedures, reduce export and investment related costs and will therefore enable more small firms to do business in both markets. Among the expected benefits are increased transparency, less burdensome technical rules, compliance requirements, customs procedures and rules of origin, enhanced protection of intellectual property rights and geographical indications, better access to procurement tender procedures, as well as a special chapter to enable SMEs to maximise the benefits from the EPA". (Source: Proposal for a COUNCIL DECISION on the conclusion of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Japan - COM(2018) 192 final)
The EU-Japan EPA is expected to boost trade in goods and services and will create many opportunities for EU SMEs: tariffs on more than 90% of Japan's imports from the EU will be eliminated at entry into force of the EPA. This will affect a wide range of sectors covering agriculture and food products, industrial products (including textiles, clothing...), as well as forestry and fisheries. In addition, non-tariff barriers are expected to be substantially reduced for motor vehicles, medical devices, and the "quasi drugs" sectors. Finally the agreement will facilitate the export of services to the Japanese market and will affect a significant number of sectors from telecommunications to postal services and the financial sector.
Delegation of the European Union to Japan:
Agri-Food trade statistics: