New EPA Handbook – a guide to help EU SMEs import Japanese products

In February 2019, the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (or “EPA”) transformed the EU-Japan trade and economic relationship and has created real opportunities for EU and Japanese SMEs – the backbone of their respective economies. However, it’s not always easy for would-be first-time EU importers to find information, navigate the process and seize the opportunities on offer.
For this reason, the EU-Japan Centre has produced a handbook offering comprehensive and practical information that is easy to understand and follow, thereby demystifying the process for would-be EU importers and encouraging them to import from Japan.
The Handbook explains how the EPA has introduced ‘preferential tariff treatment’ for Japan-EU trade (i.e., the elimination or reduction of tariffs either immediately or over a specific time period) and will then guide importers through the process of working out the tariff code that will apply to the product they wish to import. It also explains ‘rules of origin’ and provides a step-by-step guide to check whether a product can be considered as ‘originating in Japan’ and therefore eligible to benefit from preferential tariffs. Importantly, it also explains how to claim preferential tariff treatment.
The Handbook includes 3 case studies: automotive parts to show how the EPA has eliminated tariffs and also brought about other non-tariff benefits; apple juice containing sugar not originating in Japan to show how the rules of origin work; vacuum cleaners to outline technical requirements that can be needed.
The Handbook also includes more than 25 sources of information covering general information and support for EU-Japan trade; EU-Japan EPA information and support; the EU Access2Markets portal; importing into the EU; EU-Japan customs relations; and other sources of information or support.