Customs barriers lifted in France’s 6th largest customer country

Tuesday December 18 2018 by Vitisphere

Japan is the sixth largest customer of French wines with sales worth €482 million.Japan is the sixth largest customer of French wines with sales worth €482 million. - Photo credit : DR

Japan is the second Asian country with which the European Union has signed an Economic Partnership Agreement. On 12 December, MEPs ratified the text after their Japanese counterparts did so last week. The agreement paves the way for the effective implementation of the agreement as of 1 February 2019. It deals not only with the elimination of customs barriers, but also with the removal of technical barriers and the recognition of geographical indications.

Reinforcing the leadership of European wines

The trade agreement will boost our exports to Japan and strengthen our position as export leader”, said Jean-Marie Barillère, chairman of the CCEV, which represents European wine companies, expressing his satisfaction over the ratification. The ratification was also welcomed by Antoine Leccia, chairman of the French wine and spirits exporters’ federation FEVS, who said in a statement: “This is an important agreement, as our companies will now be able to operate in the Japanese market on an equal footing with some of our main competitors, such as Chile, for example”. Chile has indeed made a remarkable breakthrough in the Japanese market in recent years, causing a slowdown of French wine sales, particularly in 2016. 2017 saw the resumption of Franco-Japanese trade with 6.1 million cases sold (stable compared to 2016) generating 482 million euros in turnover, up 8.2%. The increase was driven in particular by Champagne sales.

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