The entire agreement consists of more than 900 pages. Although everything is equally important, there are some things worth mentioning.
- For most products, the charges are reduced to 0% with immediate effect.
- For some products, the levies are reduced according to a set schedule that may last several years, depending on the category. The full list is part of the Agreement.
- The full agreement can be downloaded from the EU publications site: https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/5805924c-09a3-11e9-81b4-01aa75ed71a1
In which cases do shipments qualify for the reduced rate because of the EPA?
- Goods sold and shipped on or after 1 February 2019.
- Freight shipping (somewhere in transit between Japan and the EU).
- Goods already bonded in the EU (no duties or other charges have been paid). The original invoice or export date is not relevant.
This leaves only goods that have already been cleared by customs before 1 February 2019. For these, no refund of paid duties can be made.
What is required to clear the goods under the EPA rules?
- An invoice or packing list or similar product on which the goods are clearly indicated, together with the original declaration of origin. If the declaration is printed on a document with a date (such as an invoice), it is not necessary to mention the date in the declaration itself.
- For shipments in transit or already in the EU, it is allowed to print the declaration on a copy of the original invoice or other document related to the original shipment. In these cases, the statement must be dated with the date the statement is printed. Please note! The date in the declaration can never be before 1 February!
- If products on the invoice do not comply with the requirements, they must be clearly indicated. For example: origin USA.
What does the exporter have to do to be authorised to post the declaration?
- Japanese exporters must have a "Japan company number". This number must be included in the declaration.
- European exporters must have a REX number. This number must also be mentioned in the declaration.
- You do not need to register for shipments with a value of less than €6,000. However, after registration, the number must also be used for low-value shipments.
What is 'knowledge of importers' with regard to origin?
Importers may issue the declaration of origin if they are 100% sure that the goods are of preferential origin. This can be provided by an agreement / declaration of the exporter confirming the origin. The proof of origin now rests with the importer, so they have to be very sure that if investigated by customs they have ample proof or if the investigation goes back to the origin that the information is also available there. In most cases, it is highly recommended to use the declaration on the exporter's invoice or packing list.
What are the rules of origin in this EPA?
These rules differ somewhat from what we are used to in previous trade agreements entered into by the EU. The EU is considered a single country for origin criteria. The exact criteria may differ for different products and there is an extensive list of requirements. This list is included in the EPA.
The applicable criteria all have a separate designation which must be stated in the Declaration of Origin.
A. Wholly obtained or produced products referred to in Article 3.3 (plants, animals, products thereof, etc. See 3.3 for the complete list)
B. Products made only from materials originating in the exporting country
C. Products made of non-originating materials, provided that they satisfy the applicable requirements.
- For a rule on a change of tariff
- For a rule on maximum value of non-originating materials
- For a rule related to a specific production process
- For specific parts related to the information in Part 3 of Appendix 3-B-1 (for motor vehicles)
D. For uplift as referred to in Article 5
E. For tolerances as referred to in Article 3.6
- for a product falling within Chapters 1 to 49, or Chapters 64 to 97 of the Harmonised System1 , the value of all the non-originating materials does not exceed 10% of the ex-works price of the product or the price paid on board the product;
- for a product falling within Chapters 50 to 63 of the Harmonised System, the tolerances mentioned in Notes 6 to 8 of Annex 3-A shall apply.