Thursday, July 06, 2017

Trade deal with Japan offers boost to farmers

A trade deal between the EU and Japan, which has required four years of negotiations, will provide duty free access for almost all agri-food exports, although there will be a transitional period. For example, transition periods for phasing out all tariffs on hard cheese will last 15 years. It does cover pasta, confectionery and chocolate.

Current duties on food are high, ranging from 15 per cent on wine to 30 to 40 per cent on cheese.

A major stumbling block in the talks was Japan's reluctance to open up its dairy sector to European imports. There will be full tariff elimination for some cheeses and other dairy products, while in other cases a quota system would apply under which duty free access would be granted up a threshold. Soft cheeses will be covered by a duty free quota larger than the current volume of exports.

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