The native Wagyu breed is dominant on Japanese farms. The so-called “hybrids” occupy the second, and the Holstein-Friesian breed the third position.
Japan is not a country that is self-sufficient when it comes to beef and beef products. Domestic production is approx. 470,000 tons per year, while the demand is at the level of approx. 1,320,000 tons. This means that Japan imports about 850,000 tons of beef and its products.
Japan allows most EU countries to export beef and beef offal derived from cattle less than 30 months old. Despite the agreement and entry into force of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Japan in February 2019, the export of this type of product takes place on the terms and in accordance with the documentation agreed bilaterally between the European and Japanese veterinary authorities.
Each plant shipping beef to the Japanese market must meet the requirements specified in the Export Verification Programme (EVP).
Due to the conclusion of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Japan, the duties are as follows:
Table 1 – customs duties for EU countries
*Within 15 years from its entry into force, i.e. in 2034
|General customs duty||38,5%|
|Present customs duty||25,8%|
|Target customs duty*||9%|
Due to the distance between the European Union and Japan, EU countries do not specialize in the export of fresh beef (CN 0201) to Japan, focusing on frozen meat and offal.
Mainly frozen beef (CN 0202) is exported to Japan from EU countries. The data below shows the scale of exports from EU countries in 2020-2022 in tons.
Table 2 – Exports from EU countries (CN 0202)1
Poland is by far the largest exporter of frozen beef among the EU countries, accounting for over 70% of the export volume to the Japanese market.