The leather and related goods sector comprises about 36,000 enterprises and generates a turnover of EUR 48 billion in the EU. These enterprises employ around 435,000 people. Leather is the tanning sector's fundamental output. It is an intermediate industrial product, with applications in downstream sectors of the consumer goods industry. The most important outlets for EU tanners' production are furniture (17%); the automotive industry (13%); leather goods (19%); clothes (8%); and footwear (41%). Concerning this sector, the footwear industry directly employs 280,000 people. Two thirds of total EU footwear production is concentrated in three countries: Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Italy alone is responsible for around 50% of production.
Regarding the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, one can distinguish three different categories of liberalisation: Products which already had duty-free access in Japan before the entering into force of the EPA; Products whose tariffs were eliminated at the entry into force of this Agreement on 1 February 2019; and products whose tariffs were reduced as an EPA concession at the entry into force of this Agreement, and which will be further phased to zero over a period of time.
The complete text of the EPA, and Annexes, incorporating the Articles on footwear and leather, can be found on the following website of the European Commission: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1684
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