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The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) entered into force on the 1 February.

EU firms already export over €58bn in goods and €28bn in services to Japan every year. The value of Belgian export to Japan is €3,3bn. Japan is Belgium’s 5th biggest trade partner outside the EU. There are nearly 2000 Belgian companies exporting to Japan, mainly SMEs (90%).

Key elements of the #EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement:

The #EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement will boost trade in goods and services as well as create opportunities for investment. It will further improve the position of EU exporters and investors on Japan’s large market, while including strong guarantees for the protection of EU standards and values.

Elimination of customs duties:  more than 90% of the EU’s exports to Japan will be duty free at entry into force of the agreement. Once the agreement is fully implemented, Japan will have scrapped customs duties on 97% of goods imported from the EU (in tariff lines), with the remaining tariff lines being subject to partial liberalisation through tariff rate quotas or tariff reductions. This, in turn, will save EU exporters around €1 billion in customs duties per year.

Non-tariff barriers – The EU-Japan negotiations addressed many non-tariff measures that had constituted a concern for EU companies, as some Japanese technical requirements and certification procedures often make it difficult to export safe European products to Japan. The agreement will make it easier for EU companies to access the highly regulated Japanese market. Such barriers addressed include: Medical devices, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, motor vehicles, beer, textile labelling.

Information about the agreement is available on the website of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade.

Enterprise Europe Network provides support to identify potential benefits for your company.

The EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation, being part of the Network, has set up a helpdesk to provide up-to-date information and answer EPA-related queries.

It will organise webinars and publish information packs including a factsheet and practical guide covering specific topics or sectors of the EPA.

More information on the EPA Helpdesk pages of the EU-Japan Centre website.

Brussels companies can contact Enterprise Europe Network Brussels for dedicated support toi benefit fully from the trade agreement in their business relations with Japan.

Contact: Jean-Philippe Mergen, tel : 02 210 01 77 – e-mail:

Sources: European Commission


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