Trade relations between the UK and Japan are currently governed by the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (JEEPA). The UK will no longer be subject to the agreement when the transitional period for Brexit ends at the end of 2020. In the absence of a new agreement with Japan, trade between the United Kingdom and Japan would again be in line with World Trade Organization (WTO) conditions. Businesses must be aware of the substantial changes in the EPA between Japan and the UNITED Kingdom in relation to the EU-Japan EPA if they are to continue to apply the preferential conditions granted under the new agreement. Companies should also know where the EPA has granted additional market access to the EU-Japan EPO in order to maximize their use of the EPA in the future. Before leaving the EU internal market and customs union, the UK benefited from the extensive network of trade agreements with third countries. In many cases, the United Kingdom has simply tried to “shake up” transactions with third countries. Although the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is one of the most recent (and comprehensive) agreements signed to date by the EU, both the UK and Japan agreed that there were areas where they could go further to reflect bilateral trade relations between the two countries. On 23 October 2020, following the negotiations, Japan and the United Kingdom (UK) signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) on 11 September 2020. In her comments following the signing of the EPA, UK International Trade Minister Liz Truss MP spoke explicitly about the historic nature of the EPA, one of the first free trade agreements signed by the United Kingdom, which goes beyond the European Union (EU) agreement it replaces. Under product-specific rules, it will also be easier for British bread and biscuits (as well as some textiles) to qualify for duty-free trade, as Japan-UK provisions involve fewer restrictions on where they can buy biscuit ingredients than the EU-Japan agreement.

The agreement “provides more flexibility for Japanese and British companies” to transfer talent to each country, covering a number of British professionals for entry to Japan, from IT services to construction. This includes a commitment that visa requirements will be “clear, transparent and with the aim of being dealt with in 90 days.” Japan has expanded the scope of the ICT category and investor definitions have been modified to focus on investment as an activity and not on the amount of capital invested. Transfers from Japan to the UK are already subject to internal transfer rules, which will be improved in January as part of the delivery of the UK immigration system in 2021. The UK Youth Mobility Programme already covers Japan. The report provides comments and analysis on the potential effects of the EPA on the Welsh economy in the short and long term. I hope that the analysis and information of Wales in the report will support the revision of the agreement by Senedd members, businesses and citizens. The EPA between Japan and the UK goes well beyond the EU-Japan digital trade agreement. Many of the provisions of the EPA are linked to those of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), of which Japan is a signatory and which the United Kingdom aspires to join.

Among the additional commitments, the Uk signed a free trade agreement with Japan on 23 October 2020. This Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) preserves the benefits of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which makes improvements in areas of common interest. The EU-Japan EPA will remain in force in the UK until 31 December 2020 at 11pm. Under the new agreement, both Japan and the United Kingdom have committed to strengthening the implementation of sustainable development impact assessments. However, civil society organizations have not welcomed some changes, including the

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