On Jan 24, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan ("MOFA") announced EPA between Peru and Japan will enter into force on March 1, 2012.
The EPA was signed on May 31, 2011 after seven negotiating sessions since 2009. For Japan, the EPA with Peru is the 13th EPA that Japan has concluded, and the third with the Latin American economies, following Mexico and Chile. In fiscal year 2010, Japan exported US$ 1.1 billion worth of goods to Peru, while importing US$ 2.5 billion worth of goods from Peru. Tariffs on about 99 percent of total trade will be abolished between the two countries within 10 years after implementation of the EPA.
Peru’s import duty on certain industrial items, currently at nine percent for most of items, such as cars, automotive parts, steel products, machinery, and electrical items, will be reduced either progressively or immediately to zero percent in the 10th year.
Japan’s import duties on almost all industrial items will immediately be duty free upon implementation of the EPA. Import duties on some agricultural products will be reduced through a tariff quota system or progressively reduced within 10 years, such as pork, chicken, asparagus, and corn. However, some of Japan’s sensitive agricultural products are excluded from the tariff reduction, such as rice, wheat, and beef.
The noteworthy point of the EPA with Peru is the origin of goods certification system. A self-declared Certificate of Origin (“CO”) method is adopted in Japan-Peru EPA and can be issued by approved exporter, while an ordinary preferential CO issued by designated government authority (in Japan, issued by Japan Chamber of Commerce & Industry) is also available which is the common method in other EPAs Japan have concluded. An exporter who make use of Japan-Peru EPA can choose either method. The self-declaration CO system is expected to help exporters to minimize administrative costs and lead-time in export transactions.
So far, self-declaration CO systems is available only for Japan-Swiss EPA, and will be available in Japan-Mexico EPA shortly by amending existing agreement.