SWA hails FTA between EU and Japan

7th July, 2017 by Annie Hayes

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has welcomed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the European Union and Japan, which will establish legal protection for the category in Japan for the first time.

The SWA has welcomed a Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Japan

The FTA, agreed yesterday, has paved the way for two of the world’s biggest economic areas to trade goods without tariff barriers.

While little information is known about the terms of the deal, which may take some time to determine, the SWA has said the move is “important to the industry.”

“A Free Trade Agreement between two of the world’s largest economies will have wide-reaching benefits across a range of sectors and progress is especially welcome during the Brexit process, at a time when the future direction of trade policy is being considered,” said Karen Betts, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive.

“While Scotch whisky already enjoys a zero tariff in Japan, the FTA is important to the industry and introduces specific legal protection for Scotch whisky in Japan for the first time.

“We support the UK Government’s objective to ensure the benefits of trade deals such as EU-Japan and others already in place, including agreements with Korea, Colombia and Vietnam, are secured after Brexit and effective transitional arrangements are introduced. The UK can then pursue new FTAs with other countries and demonstrate its commitment to open markets.

Scotch Whisky exports to Japan – the category’s 13th largest export market by value – reached £82 million by customs value in 2016, up by 8% on 2015.

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