The 8th EU-Japan Joint Customs Cooperation Committee (JCCC) took place in Tokyo on January 25 of 2017.
The JCCC was co-chaired by Mr. Stephen Quest, Director General of Taxation and Customs Union at the European Commission and Mr. Mikio Kajikawa, the Director General of the Customs and Tariff Bureau from the Ministry of Finance of Japan.
The meeting agenda included discussions on the reliable traders and how to tap the full potential of the existing EU-Japan Mutual Recognition Agreement on the respective 'trusted trader' programmes. Identification of reliable traders allows focusing more on the risky ones thereby upgrading customs efficiency and accelerating trade flows. It has been agreed to raise awareness and visibility among the trade community and continue dialogue on the enhancement of benefits.
In the area of risk management, the EU and Japan explored possible collaboration on several initiatives related to high risks and ‘accelerated trade lanes’.
In addition, the JCCC discussed cooperation in the international arena, policy and legislative developments, mutual administrative assistance and the recent state of play in negotiating the customs provisions for the EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
Given the importance of trade between the EU and Japan, it is vital that their customs authorities work together to facilitate legitimate trade flows and increase the efficiency of controls.
On 30 January 2008, the then EU and Japan signed an Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters (CCMAA) which entered into force on 1 February 2008 and provides a legal framework to promote security of the supply chain and facilitate trade for reliable traders. It also aims to improve the fight against fraud and to enhance cooperation on the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR).
To oversee implementation of the CCMAA, a Joint Customs Cooperation Committee (JCCC) meets once a year. These meetings bring together customs representatives and experts from both the EU and Japan to discuss practical ways of working together to best implement the agreement.
Mutual recognition of Authorised Economic Operators (AEO)
Following the signature of the decision on the mutual recognition of AEOs between the EU and Japan on 24 June 2010, the implementation of the mutual recognition of authorised economic operators (AEOs) started on 24 May 2011.
Since then, both EU and Japanese AEOs have enjoyed trade facilitation benefits in the partner countries (see AEO communiqué).