EU-Japanese deal to ‘open up new opportunities for agri exports’

The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) comes into force today (Friday, February 1) and will remove the vast majority of the €1 billion of duties paid annually by EU companies exporting to Japan – with particular advantages for agri-food exports.

More than 90% of the EU’s exports to Japan will be duty-free at entry into force of the agreement, with additional reductions on a phased basis over 15 years.

The EPA also removes non-tariff barriers to trade by simplifying procedures for EU exports to Japan, according to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

It is expected that the agreement will open up new opportunities for Irish exporters across a wide range of sectors, including the agri-food sector, which will see particular benefits with new access for dairy products, beef and pork.

Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Pat Breen welcomed the agreement by noting:

“The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement provides a significantly improved framework for Irish exporters seeking to do business in Japan.

Irish agri-food produce, in particular, will benefit from the phased reduction of what has traditionally been very high tariffs for certain agricultural products including beef and cheese.

“The reduction of these tariffs creates real opportunities for Irish producers to expand in the growing asian market.”

EU-Japan EPA

The Economic Partnership Agreement was signed at the EU-Japan Summit in Tokyo in July 2018 and is the biggest and most advanced bilateral trade deal ever negotiated by the European Union.

The agreement creates the largest free-trade zone in history, covering 600 million people and a third of global GDP.