In February we will see the introduction of the EU and Japan trade agreement. For that reason we want to take a quick look at what the agreement sets out and what it could mean for European ecommerce in particular.
Firstly, the EU/Japan trade agreement was unique for a number of reasons:
1. It was the first to include explicit reference to the Paris climate agreement.
2. It creates an open trading zone covering 635 million people.
3. It includes almost 1/3 world’s total GDP.
4.The aims are for open, win-win and rules-based trade.
President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said:
"The entry into force of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement will bring our trade, political and strategic relationship to a whole new level."
The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement will remove the 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, for example on car exports.
It will also open up the Japanese market of 127 million consumers to key EU agricultural products and increase EU export opportunities in many other sectors.
Image Credit: European Commission
There are some aspects of the agreement which may seem a little bizarre. For example:
- Eliminate duties on many cheeses such as Gouda and Cheddar (which currently are taxed at nearly 30%) as well as on wine exports (currently at 15% on average)
Some of them relate to the importing and exporting of meat products and car imports:
- Allow the EU to substantially increase its beef exports, and open additional opportunities for export of pork products.
- Commit Japan to international car standards, with the result that EU exports of cars to Japan is made significantly easier;
How is it relevant to e-commerce?
There are three ways in which the agreement will positively impact EU e-commerce merchants:
- Open services markets, in particular for financial services, e-commerce, telecommunications and transport.
- Remove tariffs on industrial products in sectors where the EU is very competitive, such as cosmetics, chemicals, textiles and clothing.
- Guarantee EU companies access to the large procurement markets of 54 large Japanese cities; remove obstacles to procurement in the economically important railway sector.
We'll wait and see what the agreement brings to European e-commerce, but this is certainly an exciting development and we will keep our eyes on the progress.
If you have any questions or want to talk to one of our team about the changes - talk to our
Data feed management experts.
For more information
MEMO on the Economic Partnership Agreement