EU have been imposed high duty to foreign IT products which is considered to be zero duty based on WTO・ITA (Information Technology Agreement). This is significantly unfavorable issue for Japanese companies who do business in EU. These high duty by EU is against WTO agreement, and US Government have also same view as Japan's.
EU have zero duty to IT products such as computer, its peripherals, semiconductor, etc. These IT products should be zero duty based on WTO･ITA.
On the other hand, EU have imposed high duty to electrical appliances such as TV and Video, which are out of scope of WTO・ITA.
In recent years, EU have imposed duty to multifunction IT products, which they consider out of focus of ITA.
EU have imposed below duty rate as below, but Japan insist they are IT products and should be zero duty:
- Multifunction printer: 6% (same as copy machine)
Japan's view: Multifunction printer is essentially printer/fax. Copy function is just supplemental, therefore it should be classified as IT products and zero duty.
- Computer Monitor with DVI terminal: 14% (same as TV)
Japan's view: Even with DVI terminal and possible to be used as TV, the original main function is for computer monitor, therefore it should be classified as computer monitor.
- Set Top Box: 13.9% (same as video machine)
Japan's view: Set Top Box with HDD satisfy the product characteristic of Set Top Box, therefore it should not be classified as Video machine.
Japan and US regard these products should be zero duty based on ITA, and EU's classification as arbitrary interpretation. With such unfair treatment by EU, Japanese IT industries have been damaged with duty payment which is normally NOT necessary.
Japan requested with US Government to WTO to treat this case with dispute settlement procedure.
(Source: METI web site http://www.meti.go.jp/press/20080529001/20080529001.html)