Japan working to eliminate tariffs on wine from European Union

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The Yomiuri Shimbun The government is making arrangements to eliminate import tariffs on wine produced in European Union countries, including France and Italy, in the Japan-EU economic partnership agreement negotiations, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

According to sources, Japan and the EU will enter the final stage of negotiations based on a plan to incrementally lower tariffs on wine from the EU and reduce them to zero about eight years after the effectuation of the EPA.

Japan currently imposes an import tariff of 15 percent on the price of wine from EU member countries or ¥125 per liter, whichever is less. Since the EPA between Japan and Chile came into effect in 2007, Japan’s tariff on Chilean wine has been lowered and now stands at 2.3 percent.

The EPA between Japan and Australia entered into force in 2015 and Japan’s import tariff on Australian wine is currently 7.5 percent.

Inexpensive Chilean wine has become particularly popular in Japan and the volume of its imports ranked No. 1 for the first time in 2015, surpassing French wine, which had long been in first place.

Under the EPAs they concluded with Japan, the tariffs Japan imposes on wine from Chile and Australia will eventually be reduced to zero. The EU therefore feels an increasing sense of urgency.

If Japan’s tariffs on wine from the EU fall to zero, the price of a standard 750-milliliter bottle of wine that costs ¥1,000 or more will fall by nearly ¥100.

In the EPA negotiations, the EU is making arrangements to abolish a 10 percent tariff currently imposed on Japanese automobiles about 10 years after the effectuation of the accord, to wrest a concession from Japan over tariffs on major EU export items such as cheese and wine. However, the timing of Japan scrapping tariffs on EU wine may change, depending on how the EPA negotiations unfold.Speech

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