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The Japan-Europe Free Trade Agreement (JEFTA), signed on 17 July by European Commission and Japanese government representatives, will mean an end to the EU common external customs tariff of 6% on motorcycles imported from Japan — once it is ratified and fully implemented over the next five years, writes BDN financial editor Roger Willis.

And apart from cheaper Japanese bikes for European customers, JEFTA also includes provision for harmonisation of technical safety (lights, brakes, etc) and emissions standards. So European motorcycle manufacturers exporting to Japan will no longer have to tweak their specifications to comply with currently differing regulations, and vice versa.

Unfortunately, JEFTA reciprocity will not apply to the UK, because we will have left the EU long before it comes into effect. Arriving at any separate British free-trade deal with Japan is a distant prospect. JEFTA took more than a decade of hard bargaining.