Second anniversary of EU-Japan trade agreement - further strengthening ties

"February 1 marks the second anniversary of the signing of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement."

On that occasion, the Joint Committee established by the Agreement and co-chaired by Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, decided to introduce substantial changes to the agreement that will further enhance cooperation between the EU and Japan. Each party added 28 geographical indications. In addition, trading wine and cars between the two sides will be even easier than before.

Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis said: 

The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement is one of our most important agreements. Together, the EU and Japan account for a quarter of world GDP and our bilateral trade is worth around EUR 170 billion a year. The signing of the agreement has made trade easier and cheaper for both EU and Japanese producers, benefiting farmers and manufacturers alike. Our close cooperation will now bring even more benefits, as we have agreed to protect 28 quality traditional agri-food products from imitation. We are also facilitating trade in two key sectors - wine and car manufacturing. These developments are very welcome, as we are now doing our utmost to bring about economic recovery from the downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, EU-Japan relations go beyond bilateral trade. Both sides are committed to rules-based, open global trade and a strong World Trade Organisation.

Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski he commented: 

The agreement with Japan is an excellent example of how trade can benefit both parties thanks to mutual trust and close cooperation, particularly in the agri-food sector. I thank Japan for its continued commitment to constructive and fruitful discussions with the EU. The Agreement has already brought and will continue to bring many benefits to Japanese and EU farmers. Just two years after its entry into force, we have agreed to protect 28 additional GIs on both our markets. These are products with real added value in terms of their authenticity and quality. Their protection will bring additional benefits to our farmers. Japan has also recently authorised certain oenological practices, which will allow our European wine producers to benefit from increased export opportunities. Remember - good food is good business!

The Joint Committee takes note of a number of key achievements

  • To list of protected geographical indications from EU countries and Japan 28 additional geographical indications have now been added for each party. It should be noted that this is the fastest update of the list of GIs under the FTA. It is planned to add another 55 GIs for both parties. Geographical indications from EU countries include products such as Cassis de Dijon, Kalamata olive oil and Cariñena wine.
  • It will become easier for both sides to export cars. Both parties agreed to expand the list of safety requirements that will not require double approval. For example, if the EU issues a certificate stating that an EU-manufactured car exported to Japan meets certain safety requirements, Japan will no longer verify compliance with those requirements, and vice versa. This applies to important new and green technologies such as hybrid and hydrogen-powered vehicles.
  • Japan has recently aligned its wine standards with those of the EU in accordance with with the agreement and allowed several EU oenological practices to be used on its territory. This will allow more EU wines to reach the Japanese market.
  • The procedures for applying for and obtaining tariff preferences have also been simplifiedThis will make it easier for EU companies to export to Japan. The simplification of procedures is particularly important for small companies, which often do not have the resources to analyse and take advantage of complex rules.

This text is taken in its entirety from the website 

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