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Full liberalisation on textiles, increased market access for footwear in EU-Japan FTA

Negotiators agreed to fully liberalise tariffs on textiles and will apply at the entry into force of the agreement. Footwear, on the other hand, was a highly political area but the EU secured increased market access. Originally, tariffs on footwear were up to 29% but will fall to 21% at the entry into force of the agreement. Tariffs will then decrease by a rate of 2.1% over a 10-year phase out period. For rules of origin on footwear, a calculation on non-originated material will be required in addition to a calculation to determine value added. The EU was not initially satisfied with the outcome as this rule requires slightly more particular criteria than the EU’s 50% value added/change of heading proposal. Overall, EU negotiators are pleased with the result for textiles as EU companies have gained significant market access.

The Commission now needs to begin the legal scrubbing process of the agreement, to ensure coherence of language and legal meaning. Once this is completed, the Commission will transfer the agreement to the European Parliament and Council who will then need to consent and adopt it, respectively. Each of the 28 member states will then need to ratify the agreement in order to reach full entry into force which is expected as early as 2019.

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