Wine and spirits to benefit from EU-Japan trade deal

The EU and Japan have formalised a free trade deal that will reduce red tape and offer preferential access for imports between both countries after more than four years of negotiations.

Japan is currently the 5th biggest export market for EU wines.

The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) was agreed in principal at the EU-Japan Summit on 6 July 2017.

However it was not formalised until last week, when with trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono announced the successful conclusion of the final discussions on the deal.

It has become the biggest bilateral trade agreement ever negotiated by the European Union, opening up the market on both sides for wine, spirits, whisky and other goods.

“This agreement represents the most significant and far reaching deal ever concluded by the EU in agri-food trade,” said EU commissioner for agriculture and rural development Phil Hogan. “It will provide huge growth opportunities for our agri-food exporters in a very large, mature and sophisticated market.”

The agreement will offer preferential access to the Japanese market for EU exports, including wine and spirits, eliminating an import tariff on goods into the country, and will put the EU on a more level playing field with countries such as Chile, which has benefitted from a free trade agreement with Japan for some time.

“Today, Japan is the 5th export market for EU wines. But we can do much better. Once entered into force, the agreement will improve access for our wines and will level the playing field with our main competitors in this key market,” said Jean-Marie Barillère, president of the Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV). “This agreement will boost our exports to Japan and will enhance our position as export leaders.”

Scotch whisky also stands to gain from this agreement, despite it already benefitting from zero import tariffs. The agreement also means that wines and whiskies imported into Japan will be protected under the same EU Geographical indications (GIs) as they are in Europe, affecting around 200 recognised EU-based GIs.

“Trade agreements are critical components of EU wines’ competitiveness in the international marketplace,” added Dr Ignacio Sánchez Recarte, secretary general of CEEV.

“CEEV applauds the EU’s momentum on free trade agreements and hopes to see it continue with an agreement with Mercosur countries at the same level of ambitions in regard to market access, GIs protection and removal of technical barriers to wine trade.”

One Response to “Wine and spirits to benefit from EU-Japan trade deal”

  1. Klark Kent says:

    Japanese alcohol in the primary market prices should drop….yet to be seen, and seeing is believing.
    IG – King Block Dean
    FB – E.A.T.

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