Following the entry into force this year of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the EU has stepped up efforts to address agricultural market access interests with Japan, building on political contacts at the highest level, including a meeting between President Juncker and Japan Prime Minister Abe in Osaka last month.
These efforts are now paying off. In particular, Japan has confirmed that the authorisation procedure for several EU Member States’ pending applications to export beef (notably from Croatia, Spain) or beef products (notably from Denmark, France, Poland) will be finalised more quickly in accordance with its risk assessment procedures.
Aiming at further transparency and predictability for operators, EU and Japan have exchanged indicative and reasonable timeframes for handling pending requests for exports of other food products such as fruit (for example pears from Belgium, kiwis from Italy and Greece or cherries from Hungary and Portugal), as well as “regionalization” applications related to African Swine Fever for exports of meat of porcine animals from Hungary, Belgium and Poland. These indicative time-frames will contribute notably to reduce undue delays on EU operators’ applications wishing to export into the Japanese market.