Australia - Japan

Cross-Border Trade, Market Entry and Investments



With a GDP of $5.5 trillion, Japan is the third largest economy in the world representing 7.9% of the global economy. Driven by a highly industrialized market economy it is also the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer with aggregate exports and imports totalling $700 billion and $810 billion respectively.

The Japanese economy consists of a large private sector and a small public sector. The economy benefits from a very dedicated and disciplined workforce whose members are known for their strong work ethic and loyalty to their corporations. It also enjoys advanced technology, which makes it capable of producing state-of the-art products. Traditionally, however, the economy lacks adequate domestic production of raw materials, fuel, and agricultural products; consequently, it is extremely sensitive to fluctuations in world prices for these items.

Today, despite an overall stagnation on the economy for nearly two decades, Japan’s industries are still among the most highly advanced and innovative in the world. Japanese manufacturing products, particularly in electronics and automobiles, are the world leaders in both production and technological advancements in their respective fields.

JAEPA is by far the most liberalising trade agreement Japan has ever concluded that will deliver significant benefits to Australian farmers, manufacturers, exporters, service providers and consumers.

Following the agreement going into effect, Australian companies will have unprecedented opportunity to take advantage of a level of access that Japan has not yet offered to any other trading partner.

Major outcomes of the agreement


- Beef: tariff on frozen beef will decrease from 38.5% to 30.5% and then gradually to 19.5 per cent over 18 years. The tariff for fresh beef will fall from 38.5% to 32.5% immediately and then to 23.5% over 15 years. 2013 export value: $1.4 billion.

- Wine: elimination of current 15% tariff on bottled and sparkling wine over 7 years. Tariff on bulk containers (>150L) eliminated immediately and over 7 years for containers between 2L and 150L. 2013 export value: $42 million.

- Fruits, Nuts, Vegetables: Fast tariff elimination on the vast majority of fruits, vegetables, nuts and juice. Tariff elimination over 5 year for grapefruit, pears, apricots, peaches and plums; over 10 years for apples. 2013 export value: $111 million

- Seafood: Tariffs on lobsters, crustaceans and shellfish will be immediately eliminated and the tariff on Australias largest seafood export, tuna, and Atlantic salmon, will be phased out over 10 years. 2013 export value: $200 million

- Milk protein: Immediate and preferential duty-free access for the growing trade in milk protein concentrates, lactose and casein as well as new opportunities for ice-cream and frozen yoghurt exports.

- Cheese: Duty-free quotas for Australian cheese. 2013 export value: $372 million

- Wheat, Barley: Immediate duty-free and quota free access for wheat for feed and barley for feed as well as streamlined export arrangements for some Australian wheat varieties. 2013 export value: $770 million

- Sugar: Immediate tariff elimination and reduced levies for high polarity (international standard) raw sugar. 2013 export value: $200 million


Resource and Manufacturing

- Coking Coal, Chemicals, Plastics: Elimination of tariffs on entry into force for coke and semi coke of coal, non-crude petroleum oils, aluminium hydroxide and titanium dioxide, unwrought nickel and ferro-manganese, paints, key plastic products and pearl jewellery on entry into force.



- Financial Services: Providers to be able to supply specific financial services on a cross-border basis, without needing to open a full commercial presence. This includes trade in wholesale securities and advice and portfolio management services for investment funds.

- Education Providers: Guaranteed market access for Australian education providers to Japans higher education services market, including vocational and technical education.

- Telecommunications: Commitments for Australian telecommunications providers on non-discriminatory treatment, regulatory transparency, competitive safeguards and fair and reasonable access to telecommunications networks and services.

- Professionals: Australian professionals (including architects, engineers and accountants) to benefit from guaranteed existing market access and visa access arrangements, including for their spouse and dependants to enter and stay in Japan.

- IP Protections: Australian innovators and creative industries to enjoy high levels of intellectual property protection in Japan broadly equivalent to protections provided in Australia.