NMMA asks Japan to drop trade barrier

CHICAGO, Ill. – The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has presented Japan with a proposal to exempt U.S. made recreational craft having the CE Mark from Japan’s mandatory craft inspection system, it reported in a statement Tuesday.

NMMA President Thom Dammrich wrote a letter to the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, asking for the elimination of the country’s inspection requirement for foreign-made craft having CE certification.

“For well over a decade, we have been very concerned that Japan’s requirement to inspect each and every boat imported into Japan acts as a barrier to the export of U.S. recreational marine products to Japan,” said Dammrich. “While Japan has made some improvements since talks began, the fundamental problem still exists and Japan has resisted reforms that would align its practices with those followed by other major trading partners such as the European Community.”

In numerous meetings of the U.S.-Japan Working Group, created in 2002 under the auspices of the U.S.-Japan Trade Forum, and in other meetings before 2000, the United States has repeatedly pointed out the trade-limiting nature of Japan’s inspection system and has requested that Japan adopt a system more in line with the rest of the world, NMMA reported.

Should Japanese regulators refuse to accept CE Certification, U.S. trade officials and NMMA feel Japan will be obligated to defend the refusal of a widely recognized and successful inspection standard as anything other than an exclusionary trade barrier, according to the association.

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