Today, 1 February 2019, the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union and Japan officially enters into force.
The EU-Japan EPA will be the largest bilateral trade agreement in terms of market size, covering almost 30% of global GDP. The agreement is particularly important given the current context of international trade. On tariff reductions, Japan and the EU are expected to liberalise, respectively, 97% and 99% of their tariff lines.
Cerame-Unie welcomes such an important achievement, with European ceramic products benefitting from zero tariffs on day one. Until now, Japan has applied relatively low tariffs on ceramic products, ranging from 1.5% to 3.3%. Additionally, the EU ceramic industry already enjoys a positive trade balance in volume and in 2017 exported ceramic goods worth up to €170 million. With the entry into force of the Agreement, the European ceramic industry will be able to further boost its exports to Japan which, between 2009 and 2017, increased by 71%.
For more information, consult the European Commission press release.