The European Union (EU) and Japan have agreed on progressive rules of origin in the Agreement between the European Union and Japan for an Economic Partnership (‘EU–Japan EPA’1). Rules of origin are one of the most important elements in FTAs, which set out the rules and requirements for application of preferential tariff treatment (reduced or eliminated
customs duties) to originating products by the customs authority of the importing party.
The purpose of this article is not to cover every aspect of the rules of origin of the EU–Japan EPA equally but to analyse and evaluate significant provisions to reveal considerations behind them and organise points of future discussion. In order to achieve this goal, Section II starts with an introduction of two different concepts of originating products. Then, Section III explains the importance of the achievement of full accumulation and analyses the logical relationship between the concepts of originating products and accumulation systems. Thereafter, Section IV describes special rules in relation to certain vehicles and parts of vehicles, especially focused on the cross-accumulation system, which is an ambitious attempt to connect various FTAs. After that, in Section V, an historical analysis of trends regarding origin certification is provided with reference to certification procedures in the EU–Japan EPA, followed by Section IV, which discusses the
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Yusuke Hatakeyama is an attorney at law at Mori Hamada & Matsumoto LLP (http://www.mhmjapan.com/en/people/staff/17513.html). He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Tokyo, School of Law. He is a former governmental official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in charge of FTAs negotiation especially focused on trade in goods and rules of origin including the EU–Japan EPA and the CPTPP (TPP11). His recent relevant works: New Trends in Rules of Origin: The CPTPP and the EU–Japan EPA, Journal of the Japanese Institute of International Business Law Vol.47 No.5 (2019) 597-604, Rules of Origin and Origin Procedures of the EU–Japan EPA, Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting Blog (2018) and Origin certification procedures under the EU–Japan EPA, Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting Blog (2018) (all in Japanese). Recent relevant conference presentation: “Recent Developments of Origin Certification in EU’s FTA and the EU–Japan EPA”, the European Union Studies Association-Japan (2019).
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