Call for expert proposals: EPA helpdesk

Helpdesk for EU SMEs seeking to benefit from the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

The EU-Japan Centre is currently calling for expert proposals for its new EPA Helpdesk and Webinar series, as part of its "About Japan" information services and platform (

The deadline for submitting proposals is 15 October 2018, at 12 PM Brussels time. 

In December 2017, the European Union and Japan reached an agreement that finalised the negotiations of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between both regions. This finalisation should soon lead to the signature the EU-Japan EPA.

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 the EU's exports to Japan 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 (textile, clothing...), as well as forestry and fisheries. In addition, non-tariff barriers are expected to be substantially reduced for motor vehicles, medical devices, and "quasi drugs" sectors. Finally the agreement will facilitate the export of services on the Japanese market and will affect a significant number of sectors from telecommunications to postal services and financial sector.

In order to provide reliable and up-to-date and practical information and recommendations on potential benefits this EU-Japan EPA will offer to EU SMEs, the EU-Japan Centre is currently looking for experts wishing to get involved in this new project.

The project should last +/- 2 years and will be composed of at least 20 webinars and 20 factsheets/practical guides.

The project should start in October 2018.


  • the expert will write short fact sheets (max. 2-3 pages) for different sectors and/or for legal/technical topics (see list in appendix) summarising the changes brought by the EPA, including legal aspects and practical guidelines towards a successful market entry.
  • the expert will, by way of a 45’ webinar for each topic/sector listed in the appendix, present the contents of his/her survey (powerpoint presentation) and the subsequent opportunities offered to SMEs by the entering into force of the EU-Japan EPA. A Q&A session will follow.


Experts submit proposals for the whole series of deliverables.

Proposals should be written in English and include the following elements:

  • The expert:
    • Full contact details of each expert involved in the proposal
    • CV(s)
    • Proof of expertise
    • Proof of experience
    • List of publications by the Author(s)
  • The work / deliverables:
    • Details of deliverables
      • Table of content for the fact sheets/guides
      • Methodology to be used for the webinars
  • The Fee
    • The amount of nominal payment expected to be paid at the final delivery of each deliverable (factsheet + guide+ webinar).
  • The Delivery
    • Planned agenda of delivery (on a regular tempo between October 2018 and March 2020) before and after EU-Japan EPA entering into force.

ATTENTION: These webinars and information sheets are intended for open access online publication, and they will be made public.


Your proposal should be sent by email to Jessica Michelson: at the latest on Monday, 15 October 2018.


Selection criteria will include the background of the Author(s), including its “on the ground” experience, the quality of the contents and fees for service provisions. In addition, proposals which could contain interactive elements (i.e. embedded videos, etc.) may be favourably considered by the selection committee.

The results of the selection process will be announced early July. More technical specifications will be sent to successful candidate author(s).

Additional comments:

  • Experts are encouraged to consult the following website in order to check what was done for the CETA: However, the expected deliverables should be more practical and tailored for EU SMEs.
  • Due to the wide range of topics to be covered, consortium of experts can apply.


Jessica Michelson: – Tel: +32 2 282 0043

Deliverables (Fact sheets/guides/webinars) BEFORE and/or AFTER the EU-Japan EPA enters into force.

All following topics should at least be covered by the proposal:

  • Rules of Origin
  • Sanitary and phytosanitary measures
  • Geographical Indications (GI)
  • Services & Investments (e.g. how to read the services commitments of the parties, how to use a negative list, movement of natural persons for business purposes etc.) (Services such as maritme, architecture, financial, insurance etc.)
  • Agri-food products (for all subsectors impacted by the EPA such as cheese, dairy products, meat, wine, beer etc.)
  • TQRs
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Medical devices
  • Motor vehicles
  • Transport equipment
  • Textiles and clothing
  • Footwear and leather products
  • Forestry products
  • Telecoms
  • Fact sheet specific to SMEs covering the SME chapter, technical barriers to trade and trade facilitation aspects
  • Fact sheet specific to SMEs covering medical devices and pharma
  • Sector-specific guidance for professional services (e.g. you are an architect and you want to do business in Japan)

More information on the project on:

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