Ref. Ares(2018)948379 - 19/02/2018
[Outside the scope of the request]
4. Japan – chemicals-related NTBs in ongoing FTA negotiations
COM provided an update on the ongoing EU-Japan FTA negotiations. The 8th
negotiating round took place on 8-12 December 2014 in Tokyo. The 8th round took place
just ahead of the snap elections to the Japanese Parliament scheduled for 14 December
2014. Due to the looming elections, progress during the 8th round was relatively limited
on major issues, but still allowed for further consolidation of the negotiating text.
One of the important elements discussed at the 8th round was the presentation by the EU
of the second list of non-tariff measures (NTMs). The presentation was followed by
Q&A sessions to clarify the factual points. Japan was non-committal in terms of any
possible solutions of items included in the second list of NTMs, but engaged into
clarifications concerning each and every item included in the list.
With regard to the chemical sector, there are two items included in the NTM lists (i.e.
one of the first list, one on the second list). On the first list, the EU raised the issue of
"testing requirements for registration purposes of new chemical substances, notably tests
on bio-degradability of organic chemicals". This issue was not discussed during the 8th
round but will be taken up during the 9th round. The chemical issue on the second list of
NTMs is linked to Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for chemicals, notably insufficient
harmonisation with international standards and a slow approval process especially for
new active ingredients in crop protection products. On this issue, Japan requested more
examples of problems; COM would welcome further industry input.
FR noted that some important issues were missing on the second NTM list. Industry
added that there was some progress on bovine gelatine (which is part of the second list),
but the work to resolve this case is still ongoing. Industry also pointed to a recent