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EU and Japan: Simplification of certificates of origin

EU and Japan: Simplification of certificates of origin

Representatives of the European Union and Japan in July 2018 signed a new economic partnership agreement that was expected to enter into force in the first half of 2019 after ratification by the European and Japanese parliaments.


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Opportunities for EU traders arising from this trade agreement include:

  • The elimination of customs duties on more than 90% of EU products exported to Japan
  • Simplified access to the highly regulated Japanese market (non-tariff barriers) 

In addition, there would be simplification of the certificates of origin process between the EU and Japan. 

The agreement allows for a request for preferential tariff treatment based on a statement of origin by the exporter or on the importer’s knowledge that the product is an originating product. When the claim for preferential tariff treatment is based on the importer’s knowledge, the exporting party would have to provide the importer with detailed information proving that the product is an originating product. However, any disclosure of such information could harm the commercial interests of the exporter in question. Therefore, in practice, only related parties are expected to use the importer’s knowledge method. 

When a claim is based on a statement of origin and the exporter shares limited information with the importer or with the importing customs authority, any additional information required must be obtained through the exchange of information between the exporting customs authorities (i.e., the EU and Japanese customs authorities). 

The exporter is free to determine which, if any, information pertaining to the originating status of the products is shared with the importer. Whether this information sharing will affect the relationship between exporter and importer is uncertain at present. The information the exporter shares with the importer and/or the EU and Japanese customs authorities determines how the verification process will proceed. 


Read an October 2018 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in the Netherlands.


For more information, contact a KPMG trade professional in the Netherlands:

Leon Kanters | +31 (0)88 90 93167 |

Bart-Jan Kalshoven | +31 (0)88 90 92556 |

Or contact a professional with KPMG’s Trade & Customs practice:

Doug Zuvich
Partner, Global Practice Leader
T: 312-665-1022

Andy Siciliano
Partner, National Practice Leader
T: 631-425-6057

Irina Vaysfeld
T: 212-872-2973

Robert Waldrop
T: 212-954-8117 

Christopher Young
T: 312-665-3229

George Zaharatos
T: 404-222-3292

John L. McLoughlin
Principal, East Coast Leader
T: 267-256-2614

Luis (Lou) Abad
Principal, WNT
T: 212-954-3094

Amie Ahanchian
Managing Director
T: 202-533-3247

Gisele Belotto
Managing Director
T: 305-913-2779

Andy Doornaert
Managing Director
T: 313-230-3080

Jessica Libby
Managing Director
T: 612-305-5533

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