Japan – EU Trade Deal, a new market for Irish food exporters

15 December 2017

BDO Customs and International Trade Services is delighted to offer its Customs Newsletter – a quarterly email providing timely and practical information on the evolving complexities of international trade. Sign up here to receive our newsletters going forward.

On 8 December 2017, the EU finalised negotiations for a trade agreement with Japan. After the legal verification and translation processes which will take place in early 2018, the European Commission can then submit the agreement for the approval of the European Parliament and EU Member States.

The trade agreement with Japan will:

  • remove these barriers
  • reduce or eliminate tariffs
  • help shape global trade rules in line with high standards and shared values

The Japanese market has a population of 127m people and currently EU agri-food exports to Japan amount to around €5.7bn despite the challenges and tariffs faced.

What will it mean for Irish food exporters looking to expand to the Japanese market?

Last month the Irish Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed led a trade mission to Japan and South Korea. At the moment, Irish beef tongue is the main beef product being exported to Japan, but according to the Minister the 30t of beef tongue being exported to Japan could increase under the EU-Japan trade deal. Note that the EU have also a free trade agreement in place with South Korea which has been applied since 2011 and was formally ratified in 2015.

Some examples of the potential benefits to Irish agri-food exporters which would make their products more competitive on the Japanese market:

If you are looking to expand into new markets and wish to discuss further, please contact us.