TIL: Trade agreement between EU and Japan

A delivery from Japan arrived yesterday: Lots of stuff from Hobonichi for paper-based planning in 2023. When I made that order two weeks ago, I paid quite a bit for shipping but I also expected that the import taxes and other fees would be added and handed me alongside the package itself.

Turns out, that was not the case! At first I was thinking that it might have been a mistake by someone at FedEx or the customs office but it turns out that there is a trade agreement between the EU and Japan… which has been active since 2019! The Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA, or sometimes also JEFTA) had been in negotiations since 2013 with the goal of lowering import taxes in Japan on European agricultural goods. On the other hand, taxes for importing goods from Japan into the EU should also be lowered, making them more affordable for European consumers.

I guess I will order more from Japanese companies in the future 🀣