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The signing of the Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters with the European Union has focused attention on mutual recognition of the two parties' authorized economic operator programmes and on the need to strike a balance in security measures.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry intends to submit a bill to revise the Law on the Certification of Origin to the Diet in 2008. The revision would introduce simplified procedures for exports to countries with which Japan has a free trade agreement or economic partnership agreement, giving such exports a greater chance of obtaining preferential tariff treatment.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has recently presented Japan's global economic strategy, which outlines the vision for the Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia and proposes the establishment of an international organization to serve as a policy forum in East Asia. The global economic strategy aims to abolish tariffs on about 90% of imported items.
Because of loopholes in the law, many import traders evade regulations by posing as individuals importing goods for personal use. Large amounts of illegal imitations have thus been flowing into the Japanese market. Among other things, the government has started to strengthen shoreline controls and is currently drafting an amendment to the IP laws.