Japanese Customs statement on the EU-Japan EPA claim for preferential tariff treatment procedures

The Japanese Customs has published information regarding the application in Japan of Article 3.16(3) of the EPA related to the claim for preferential tariff treatment.

This information aims at addressing questions raised by importers in Japan and exporters in the EU about additional explanations requested by Japan Customs from importers submitting a claim for preferential tariff treatment under the EU-Japan EPA.

Please see the link below:

http://www.customs.go.jp/roo/english/text/eu-3-16e.htm

The same info in Japanese:

http://www.customs.go.jp/roo/text/eu-3-16.htm

And here is the explanation about the statement by the Commission, relevant are the conclusions part (as listed below).

https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/sites/taxation/files/14-03-2019-information-article_3_16_3_jp.pdf

It mainly results from that clarification for importers in Japan that:

- an importer in Japan of products originating in the EU under the EPA is not obliged to provide an explanation which is not available to that importer;

- an importer in Japan of products originating in the EU under the EPA, being requested to provide an explanation, is not obliged to obtain that explanation from the exporter in the EU, who made out the statement on origin;

- the absence of such an explanation at the time of claim cannot lead to a denial of the preferential tariff treatment under the EU-Japan EPA.

It means the following for exporters in the EU:

- the exporter in the EU who made out a statement on origin, when requested by the importer in Japan to provide an explanation, is not obliged to provide such explanation.

Regarding the reference made at the end of the announcement, according to which ‘When necessary, verification may be conducted based on Article 3.21 of the EPA’, it refers to a procedural stage different from the one of the claim. Please see the part concerning that verification in the EU-Japan EPA Guidance on ‘Claim, Verification and Denial of Preference’.

( https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/sites/taxation/files/eu_japan_epa_guidance_claim_verification_denial_en.pdf )

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