The 1st of February marks the second anniversary of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The Joint Committee established under the Agreement, co-chaired by Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Toshimitsu Motegi, celebrates this anniversary by agreeing important improvements to the Agreement. Each side will see 28 additional Geographical Indications (GIs) protected and wine and vehicle trade between the two sides will become even easier than before.
The list of protected Geographical Indications (GIs) from EU countries and Japan now includes an additional 28 GIs for each side. This is a major development as it is the quickest expansion of a list of GIs under a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). This list will further expand by 55 GIs for both parties. Some GIs from EU countries include Cassis de Dijon, Kalamata olive oil and Cariñena wine.
Exporting vehicles to the other side will become easier. The two sides agreed to extend the list of safety requirements that will not require double approvals. For example, if the EU issues a certification that an EU-made car exported to Japan complies with certain safety requirements, Japan will no longer check compliance with those requirements, and the other way around. This includes important new and green technologies, such as hybrid and hydrogen-fuelled vehicles.
Japan has recently brought its wine standards closer to the EU ones in line with the Agreement and has authorised in its territory several EU oenological practices. As a result, more EU wine will be able to reach the Japanese market.
The procedures for claiming and obtaining tariff preferences has been greatly simplified. This has made it easier for EU companies to export to Japan. Simplifying procedures is particularly important for small businesses who often do not have resources to explore and make use of complicated rules.
Source: European Commission