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IP/08/203

Brussels, 11 February 2008

Security, Trade Facilitation and protection of Intellectual Property Rights: Results of the 1st EC-Japan Joint Customs Co-operation Committee

László Kovács, Commissioner responsible for Taxation and Customs Union, welcomed the results of the 1st meeting of the EC-Japan Joint Customs Cooperation Committee. "Cooperation of customs authorities between the EC and Japan is vital, given the importance of our economic and trade relations. Ensuring the security of the supply chain and facilitating trade through the mutual recognition of security measures is of great importance in this context. We are also interested in developing concrete measures to promote the protection of intellectual property rights worldwide."

The European Community and the Government of Japan signed an Agreement on Co-operation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters (CCMAA) on 30th January 2008. It entered into force on 1st February 2008.

Customs authorities are responsible for the expeditious and proper flow of trade between the two large trading partners. The CCMAA provides the legal framework to promote trade facilitation for reliable traders, to improve the fight against fraud and to enhance cooperation on the protection of Intellectual Property Rights.

Based on the agreement, the first EC-Japan Joint Customs Cooperation Committee (JCCC) was held in Brussels on 11th February 2008 to discuss practical ways of working together to implement the CCMAA. Director General Robert Verrue, Taxation and Customs Union, represented the European Community and Director General Yukiyasu Aoyama, Customs and Tariff Bureau, the Ministry of Finance, represented the Customs Administration of Japan.

The discussion focused on 3 main subjects: supply chain security, IPR enforcement through customs and the fight against fraud.

Regarding supply chain security and trade facilitation, the two sides recognized the importance of progressing towards mutual recognition of their Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programmes and security measures for the purpose of facilitating international trade while ensuring effective customs control. They agreed to work closely to achieve such a mutual recognition at an early stage and establish a working group to make recommendations to the JCCC on this matter.

With regard to IPR protection, they underlined that co-operation between the two authorities is indispensable for the fight against infringement of intellectual property rights and committed to enhance their measures through effective information exchange.

The parties also discussed mutual administrative assistance with the aim of pursuing customs frauds and irregularities.
They confirmed that the JCCC will be held in principle once a year. Japan indicated its intention to hold the next JCCC in Tokyo, which was welcomed by EC.

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/customs/policy_issues/international_customs_agreements/japan/index_en.htm


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