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Key Topic – Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement

In July 2018, Japan and the European Union signed their economic partnership agreement (EPA). The EU is an aggressive pork supplier in Japan, and the EPA will provide tariff advantages for EU pork – especially for ground seasoned pork and processed pork products – similar to those the United States had negotiated in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The EU is not a major player in the Japanese beef market, but could make inroads on tongues and other beef variety meat. As with pork, the tariff relief for EU beef is similar to what was included in TPP – dropping the 38.5% tariff on fresh/frozen beef to 9% over 15 years. USMEF summarized the terms of the Japan-EU EPA in this Exporter Update.

The EPA was approved by the Japanese Parliament Dec. 8, 2018. The European Parliament endorsed the agreement on Dec. 12 and the European Council approved it Dec. 21. The EPA entered into force Feb. 1, 2019, with Japan implementing its first round of tariff reductions on EU products. A second round of reductions will be implemented April 1, 2019, when the new Japanese fiscal year begins.