Back to overview

EU-Japan economic partnership agreement: The EU and Japan have finalised the negotiations on a new trade agreement.

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 by Customs 4 Trade

On 8 December 2017, the EU and Japan announced the finalisation of the negotiations concerning a bilateral trade agreement. The agreement with Japan will remove the vast majority of the €1 billion of duties paid annually by EU companies exporting to Japan, as well as a number of long-standing regulatory barriers.

EU firms already export over €58 billion in goods and €28 billion in services to Japan every year. The trade barriers between both parties make it really difficult to compete, hence the interest for an economic partnership. The trade agreement will not only set strong, legal standards and global trade rules as well as create opportunities for investments, it will also eliminate more than 90% of the customs duties of the EU’s exports to Japan. In terms of imports the EU liberalises 75% at entry into force, but rising over 15 years to close to 100%. Tariff lines on automobiles will be fully liberalised in 7 years, car parts varying from entry into force to 7 years.

To claim the preferential treatment, economic operators will need to take into consideration the requirements for originating products.

The bilateral trade agreement will be of interest for many different sectors. For example, it will eliminate or sharply reduce duties on agricultural products in which the EU has a major export interest. Also tariffs on industrial products will be fully abolished, for instance in sectors where the EU is very competitive, such as chemicals, plastics, cosmetics as well as textiles and clothing. In addition, the EU-Japan negotiations addressed many non-tariff measures that had constituted a concern for EU companies such as motor vehicles, medical devices, textile devices and beer.

Following this agreement, EU and Japan will now start the legal verification and translation process of the text. The Commission will then submit the agreement for the approval of the European Parliament and EU Member States, aiming for its entry into force before the end of the current mandate of the European Commission in 2019.

How can my company prepare for the EU-Japan trade agreement?

Customs4trade experts can help you evaluate the impact of the EU-Japan economic parternship agreement in your business. We can provide you with an impact assessment showing the potential impact in terms of finances, customs formalities and processes, supply chain risks and other regulatory measures.

Want to know more? Call us at +32(0) 15 46 08 46 or email us at and we’ll be happy to discuss it.

Interested in our services? Check what we can do for you here.

Share this article on
Mon, 23 Apr 2018
On Wednesday, the 18th of April the European Commission presented the…
read more
Fri, 29 Sep 2017
Yesterday, the 4th round of Brexit negotiations was concluded without…
read more
Mon, 19 Mar 2018
On 19 March 2018, the EU and the UK published a joint, color-coded…
read more
Fri, 18 May 2018
On 16th of May, the Commission published the regulation (EU) 2018/724…
read more