Japan - Customs and duties

The Japanese tariff system is administered by the Customs Bureau of the Ministry of Finance. Under pressure from trading partners alarmed over their trade deficits with Japan, the government in 1979 agreed to implement over an eight-year period (subsequently accelerated) a series of tariff cuts and associated market-opening measures known as the Tokyo Round Mutual Tariff Reductions. The Tokyo Round lowered the effective overall tariff rate from 3.7% to 3%, one of the world's lowest, with nearly half of all imports entering without levy. As of 1997, the tariff was 2%. However, import duties remain relatively high for certain agricultural and manufactured goods. In 1987, tariffs were removed from tobacco and liquor (except beer and sake), and the rates on aluminum products were lowered. Quantity quotas and tariff quotas are still applied to some goods. There is a free trade zone at Naha, on Okinawa; no free trade zones function on the main islands.

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