JAEPA Brings Changes to Japan’s Beef Import Safeguards


Following implementation of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA), which entered into force Jan. 15, 2015, changes were made in the way Japan’s imported beef safeguards are administered. For the purpose of calculating the safeguard trigger for countries, such as the United States, that do not have an economic partnership agreement (EPA) with Japan, two separate sets of import data are now used:

The worldwide total is the sum of Japan’s beef imports from all suppliers exporting to Japan, including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile, etc. A separate “non-EPA” total is calculated for beef imports from suppliers that do not have an EPA with Japan – including the U.S., Canada and New Zealand.

Only when both of the following conditions are met will a safeguard duty be applied to beef imports from non-EPA countries:

  1. “Worldwide” imports exceed the trigger, as calculated on a quarterly basis, AND
  2. Imports from non-EPA countries also exceed the quarterly trigger

As agreed to in the JAEPA, there is now a separate safeguard trigger for imports from Australia, which is calculated on a yearly – rather than quarterly – basis. If imports from Australia exceed this trigger, a safeguard duty is applied to imports from Australia, independent of what takes place with other suppliers.

It is important to note that the safeguard duty is not the same for all suppliers. If the safeguard is triggered for countries that have signed an EPA with Japan (Australia, Mexico and Chile) the duty snaps back to 38.5 percent. But if the safeguard is triggered for non-EPA countries, the duty snaps back to 50 percent. For example, if chilled imports from Australia exceed the trigger of 131,700 metric tons (mt) during the current Japanese fiscal year (JFY), the duty will increase from 31.5 percent to 38.5 percent, effective until the end of the current JFY. If frozen beef imports from Australia exceed the 196,700 mt annual trigger, the duty will increase from 28.5 percent to 38.5 percent for the remainder of the JFY.

If you have questions regarding Japan’s import safeguards, please email Thad Lively or call 303-623-6328.