(Brussels) The trade partner agreement between the European Union and Japan, coming into force today, 1st February, will repeal most duties, which cost about 1 billion euros a year to the EU companies that export to Japan. “With the full enforcement of the agreement – a notice from the European Commission explains –, Japan will have repealed customs duties on 97% of EU imports”. In addition, the agreement will repeal “a number of non-tariff barriers, for instance by approving the international vehicle regulations”. The barriers “that separate the EU’s main exporters of food and beverages and the 127 million Japanese consumers” will be removed, “and opportunities to export in many other industries will increase”. With the full enforcement of the agreement, trade between the EU and Japan “might increase by nearly 36 billion euros a year”. Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström stated: “The agreement is complete in very respect, as it repeals tariffs and makes a substantial contribution in terms of international rules, while also proving that both parties still believe in the benefits of free trade”.
As from today, “the European companies will benefit from the repeal of tariffs and simpler customs procedures. Any EU manufacturer, technological start-up or farmer has a reason for rejoicing about the agreement. In addition, I am also proud that we have been able to put the obligations undertaken with the Paris Climate agreement into a trade agreement, for the first time, while also laying down high standards in terms of labour rights and consumer protection”.