After a long period of negotiations, EU-Japan trade agreement will finally enter into force from 1 February 2019. The agreement is a clear signal against rising protectionism and shows that the EU and Japan are committed partners in defending a free and fair trade regime based on high standards and shared values. To this end, the agreement will also support the promotion of sustainability, and reinforce the ongoing EU-Japan CSR dialogue that was set up in 2016.
“The deal’s ambitious Trade and Sustainable Development chapter is a powerful promotor of responsible business patterns and confirms the commitment of both sides to respect ILO conventions and the Paris climate agreement,” said Yukako Kinoshita, Senior Manager, Corporate Responsibility and EU Policy Research at Hitachi and Japan Business Council in Europe CSR Committee Chair.
The entry into force of the agreement is good news for amfori members who trade between the EU and Japan, since it will reduce many trade barriers. The agreement will fully abolish tariffs on most industrial goods, and especially on textiles and clothing. For leather and shoes, the Japanese quota system that has been significantly hampering EU exports, will be abolished. Tariffs on shoes will also go down from 30% to 21%, with the rest of the duties being eliminated over a 10-year period. Tariffs on EU exports of leather products, such as handbags, will go down to zero over this period, as will be those on products that are traditionally highly protected by Japan, such as sports shoes and ski boots.
amfori will monitor the implementation of the agreement to support both sides in delivering on the ambitious commitments on both trade and sustainability.