Economic Partnership Agreement

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

Below is the list of topics and sectors impacted by the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.

In each chapter, you will find among others:

  • Factsheets and guides available
  • Forthcoming webinar announcements
  • Past webinar recordings
  • Experts' Power-point presentations
About the EU-Japan 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.

EPA & Cheese and Dairy Products

About Cheese and Dairy Products:

The EU dairy sector is the second biggest agricultural sector in the EU, representing more than 12 % of total agricultural output.

EPA & Fisheries

About Fisheries:

The EU is the fourth largest producer worldwide, accounting for about 3.1% of global fisheries and aquaculture production. 80% of production comes from fisheries and 20% from aquaculture.

EPA & Footwear and Leather Products
Info about how the footwear sector can benefit from the EPA preferential tariffs.
EPA & Forestry Products

About Forestry Products:

The EU has some 177 MHa of forest and other wooded land.

EPA & Fruit and Vegetables

About Fruit and Vegetables:

The total value of the EU’s output of fruit and fresh vegetables at basic prices was EUR 57.5 billion in 2017. This represented 13.9 % of the value of all the agricultural goods and services produced in the EU.

EPA & Geographical Indications

About Geographical Indications:

A geographical indication is a name used to identify a product as originating in the territory of a particular country, region or locality where its quality, reputation or other characteristic is linked to its geographical origin.

EPA & Human Resources Mobility

About Human Resources Mobility:

Mode Four of GATS* may cover a wide range of persons, from high-level engineers to unskilled workers. In the FTA, Japan mainly commits with respect to highly qualified professionals.


About IPR:

Owning an invention, patents or a trade mark leads to protect intellectual property. Once protected, the owner becomes the only person with the right to use or to produce the protected good.

EPA & Malt, Starches, Wheat Gluten and Albuminoidal Substances

About Malt, Starches, Wheat Gluten and Albuminoidal Substances:

The production capacity of Malt in the EU represented 9,683,650 tonnes in 2017 while the exports of malt production produced in the EU reached 2,438,644 tonnes this very year.

EPA & Maritime Transport

About Maritime Transport:

For Europe, maritime transport has been a catalyst for economic development and prosperity throughout its history.

EPA & Meats

About Meats:

The meat sector is one of the most important in European Union agriculture. The European livestock sector is expected to benefit from world population and income growth, contributing to higher EU exports.

EPA & Processed Agricultural Products (PAPs)

About Processed Agricultural Products (PAPs)

Of the 20 most exported EU PAPs to Japan, important products such as cigarettes, mineral waters, cocoa powder, pectic substances, spirits, yeast and caseinates were liberalised at the entry into force of the Agreement.

EPA & Public procurement

About Public Procurement:

The EU-Japan EPA offers opportunities to EU businesses in the Japanese Government procurement market on top of those already available for foreign companies under the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA).

EPA & Rules of Origin

About the Rules of Origin

Origin is the ‘economic’ nationality of goods traded in commerce. It is the origin that determines the duties and taxes apply to a product when exported abroad. The EU-Japan EPA has established new provisions regarding the Rules of Origins.

EPA & Services

About Services

The EU-Japan EPA is binding the current regulatory practices and increasing legal certainty from WTO GATS level.

EPA & SME chapter, technical barriers to trade & trade facilitation aspects

About SME Chapter:

SMEs in both Japan and the EU represent more than 50 % of economic output. Since 1 February 2019, the Agreement allows a strengthening of the bilateral economic relations in a market of more than 573 million inhabitants.

EPA & Spirits and Beers

About Spirits and Beers:

Beer is a drink that has been enjoyed in communities across Europe for several thousand years.

EPA & Tariff Rate Quotas

About TRQs:

According to the WTO, Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) is an import regime in which quantities inside a quota are charged lower import duty rates, than those outside.

EPA & Telecommunications

About Telecom:

Since 2013, Japan’s telecom market size has remained roughly stable (in JPY terms) with revenues hovering between ¥ 13.5n and ¥14.5tn, while 2012 saw total industry revenues fall below ¥13t.

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our newsletters

The EU-Japan Centre currently produces 5 newsletters :

  • EU-Japan NEWS - our flagship newsletter covering the Centre's support services, information about EU (or Member States) - Japan cooperation
  • Japanese Industry and Policy News
  • “About Japan” e-News (Only available for EU companies / EU organisations)
  • Japan Tax and Public Procurement Weekly Tender Digest (Only available for EU companies / EU organisations)
  • Tech Transfer Helpdesk Newsletter
1 EUR = 149,659 JPY