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EU to share data with Japan in anti-piracy deal

'Cooperation is indispensable'

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Japan and the European Union have agreed to create an information exchange scheme to beat intellectual property crime. The countries made the agreement as part of a new trade co-operation deal.

The protection of intellectual property was one of the three main aims of a recently-agreed deal to pool efforts in customs matters. At the end of January the commission and Japan signed the Agreement on Co-operation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters (CCMAA).

The first meeting under the agreement produced a commitment to further cross border information sharing to try to beat piracy.

The European Commission was represented in negotiations by Robert Verrue, director general of the Taxation and Customs Union. Yukiyasu Aoyama, director general of Japan's Customs and Tariff Bureau, represented Japan.

"They underlined that co-operation between the two authorities is indispensable for the fight against infringement of intellectual property rights and committed to enhance their measures through effective information exchange," said a commission statement.

The agreement is the result of a process which began in 1993 by which the commission began negotiating with all its main trading partners. Japan is the last of those countries to negotiate this customs agreement with the commission.

According to the commission, the agreement provides "a legal basis for the exchange of information and administrative assistance between the contracting parties for the proper application of Customs law and presents some benefits and modern co-operation methods that involve a variety of enforcement techniques".

"Co-operation of customs authorities between the [Commission] and Japan is vital, given the importance of our economic and trade relations," said László Kovács, commissioner responsible for Taxation and Customs Union.

"Ensuring the security of the supply chain and facilitating trade through the mutual recognition of security measures is of great importance in this context. We are also interested in developing concrete measures to promote the protection of intellectual property rights worldwide," said Kovács.

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