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 European Community and the Government of Japan signed an Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters (CCMAA) See on pages 23-24. The CCMAA, which entered into force on 1 February 2008, 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.
5th EC-Japan Joint Customs Cooperation Committee (JCCC)
Brussels, 27 June 2012 (press release)
The 5th JCCC was co-chaired by Director-General Heinz Zourek, head of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union, and Director-General Atsuo Shibota, head of the Customs and Tariff Bureau at Japan's Ministry of Finance.
Discussions were wide-ranging and constructive, reflecting the close cooperation between the EU and Japan on customs matters.
Delegations appraised the implementation of mutual recognition of Advanced Economic Operators, first implemented in May 2011, which helps to enhance supply chain security and facilitate trade.
The good EU-Japan cooperation in the field of border enforcement of intellectual property rights, to enhance the protection of EU and Japanese citizens from counterfeit goods, was among the other issues discussed, as was the continuing work on risk management.
Implementation of the mutual recognition of authorised economic operators
Following the adoption of the 'specific adequacy decision' by the European Commission on Japanese data protection on 29 March 2011 (Link to Decision), the implementation of mutual recognition of authorised economic operators (AEOs) started on 24 May 2011. From this date, both EU and Japanese AEOs enjoy trade facilitation benefits in the partner countries. (Link to AEO communiqué) .
Signature of the mutual recognition of AEOs, 2010
4th EC-Japan Joint Customs Cooperation Committee (JCCC), 2011
3rd EC-Japan Joint Customs Cooperation Committee (JCCC), 2010
2nd EC-Japan Joint Customs Cooperation Committee (JCCC), 2009
1st EC-Japan Joint Customs Cooperation Committee (JCCC), 2008