EU spirits to receive greater legal protection in Japan

12th December, 2017 by Amy Hopkins

Outstanding details of a new trade agreement between the EU and Japan have now been ironed out, paving the way for the greater legal protection of spirits.

Details of the EU-Japan economic partnership have been finalised

The agreement was announced in July this year, but both sides have now finalised a number of outstanding factors, including the final provisions for protection of EU and Japanese geographical indications.

In July, the Scotch Whisky Association praised the agreement for providing “wide-reaching benefits across a range of sectors”.

“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,” said Karen Betts, chief executive of the SWA.

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.

Under the FTA, duties on EU wine exports, which currently sit at 15% on average, will be scrapped.

“The EU and Japan share a common vision for an open and rules-based world economy that guarantees the highest standards,” said the EU’s commissioner for trade, Cecilia Malmström.

“Today, we are sending a message to other countries about the importance of free and fair trade, and of shaping globalisation.

“The potential of this deal is enormous and I’m glad that the EU and Japan remain fully on course to sign it next year. That way, EU firms, workers and consumers will be able to enjoy the benefits as soon as possible.”

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