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EPA - Entry into force on 1 February 2019

©European Commission
© European Commission

The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and Japan enters into force on 1 February 2019. Businesses and consumers across Europe and in Japan can now take advantage of the largest open trade zone in the world.

The key parts of the Economic Partnership Agreement

With regards to agricultural exports from the EU, the agreement will, in particular:

  • scrap Japanese duties on many cheeses such as Gouda and Cheddar (which currently are at 29.8%) as well as on wine exports (currently at 15% on average);
  • allow the EU to increase its beef exports to Japan substantially, while on pork there will be duty-free trade in processed meat and almost duty-free trade for fresh meat;
  • ensure the protection in Japan of more than 200 high-quality European agricultural products, so called Geographical Indications (GIs), and the protection of a selection of Japanese GIs in the EU.

The agreement also secures the opening of services markets, in particular financial services, e-commerce, telecommunications and transport. It furthermore:

  • facilitates to EU companies access to the procurement markets of 54 large Japanese cities, and removes obstacles to procurement in the economically important railway sector at national level;
  • addresses specific sensitivities in the EU, for instance in the automotive sector, with transition periods of up to 7 years before customs duties are eliminated.

For more information:

European Commission:


EBC press release (February 1, 2019):
The European Business Council in Japan (EBC) welcomes the entry into force of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) on 1 February 2019. Today is a proud moment for the EBC. As the voice of the European business and industry in Japan, we are on the eve of a new relationship between our two respective markets. Trade relations between the two economies will forever be changed. This will create one of the world´s largest trade zone covering over 600 million people and nearly a third of global GDP.
Press Release for download (PDF)

Czech Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan, CCCIJ