EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)

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.

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.


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, organises webinars and publishes information packs each of them composed of a factsheet and/or practical guide covering a specific topic or sector.


Should you be interested in being kept informed, receiving related documents or have a question, feel free to fill in this webform.

Below listed are the services provided by the helpdesk:


The EU-Japan Centre 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 Q&As available here

You have a question? Feel free to contact the helpdesk.


The EU-Japan Centre releases on a regular basis sectoral information packs composed of a factsheet presenting factual information about the changes brought by the EPA and a practical guide helping SMEs to take advantage of this agreement. The packs are prepared under the supervision of the European Commission and will match the sectors mentioned in below list.

For already available publications click here.

You would like to be kept informed about the release of the documents covering your sector? Please fill in this webform.


The EU-Japan Centre organises webinars covering specific EU-Japan EPA-related topics. Each standalone webinar will last an hour. Participants will learn about the changes brought by the EPA the and new opportunities that are being created. After a 45-minute presentation, participants will be able to put their questions to the expert during a Q&A session.

The webinars are recorded and past one can be viewed at any time. Just click on the related links and check the "after event information" subchapter.

You would like to be kept informed about the forthcoming webinars? Please fill in this webform.


Rules of Origin Past / click here to get access to the related information
Public Procurement Past / click here to get access to the related information
Wine, Spirits and Beers Past / click here to get access to the related information
Geographical Indications (GIs) Past / click here to get access to the related information
Dairy Products Past / click here to get access to the related information
Meat Products Past / click here to get access to the related information
Processed agricultural products (PAPs) Registrations closed
Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs) Date to be announced
Sanitary and phytosanitary measures Date to be announced
SME chapter, technical barriers to trade & trade facilitation aspects Date to be announced
Services & Investments Date to be announced
Medical devices and pharmaceuticals Date to be announced
Textiles and clothing Date to be announced
Footwear and leather products Date to be announced
Fisheries Date to be announced
Telecoms Date to be announced
Forestry products Date to be announced
Motor Vehicles Date to be announced
IPR Date to be announced



About the agreement:

Market access database:

Taxation and customs:

EU-Japan Trade:

EU-Japan Cooperation:

Delegation of the European Union to Japan:

Agri-Food trade statistics:

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