With the entry into force of the EU-Japan EPA, tariffs have removed on metals with EU origin. This is something that benefit not only European suppliers but also the Japan industry that is depended on these products and being under pressure from low cost countries. However, due to the global nature of the material sector some metals will not be able to benefit from the EU-Japan EPA. For this to be achieved Japan will have to remove tariffs on a worldwide basis. Moreover, industrial materials imported into Japan are occasionally subjected to arbitrary tariff classifications and revisions. Regional Customs offices do not apply classification rules on a consistent basis and the appeal mechanism is both time-consuming and costly, without any guarantee that the outcome will be in line with international practice.
- Japan should remove import tariffs from all industrial raw materials, irrespective of the site of production.
- Japan should rationalise its tariff classification regime and develop a strategy to improve consistency between Customs offices in classification rulings and simplify dispute resolution mechanisms.