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European Commission facilitates access for EU beef and other agricultural exports to Japan

Japan |

Following the entry into force this year of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the EU has stepped up efforts to address agricultural market access interests with Japan, building on political contacts at the highest level, including a meeting between President Juncker and Japan Prime Minister Abe in Osaka last month.

These efforts are now paying off. In particular, Japan has confirmed that the authorisation procedure for several EU Member States’ pending applications to export beef (notably from Croatia, Spain) or beef products (notably from Denmark, France, Poland) will be finalised more quickly in accordance with its risk assessment procedures.

This will come in addition to previous authorisations provided by Japan to the Member States for imports of either beef meat and/or beef products since 2013 (these include France, Ireland, Italy, Poland, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands).

Given the Japanese market for beef and beef products is highly protected both due to high custom duties and due to very strict sanitary and phytosanitary rules, the openings now offered by Japan are a great achievement which complements well the major outcome of the EPA for the beef sector.

As a reminder, EU beef meat exported to Japan will benefit over years of a tariff reduction from 38.5% to 9%, a safeguard volume reaching 50.500 tonnes in 10 years, but followed then by a yearly indefinite increase. EU beef exporters now have better access to this very lucrative market.

Furthermore, aiming at further transparency and predictability for operators, EU and Japan have exchanged indicative and reasonable timeframes for handling pending requests for exports of other food products such as fruits (for example pears from Belgium, kiwis from Italy and Greece, or cherries from Hungary and Portugal), as well as “regionalisation” applications related to African Swine Fever for exports of meat of porcine animals from Hungary Belgium, and Poland. These indicative timeframes will contribute notably to reduce undue delays on EU operator’s applications wishing to export into the Japanese market.

More information:

EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)



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