Japanese and European representatives have reached a bilateral agreement on civil aviation safety, through which each side will recognise and accept the other’s regulatory approvals.

The agreement will enable reciprocal acceptance of certificates and findings of compliance by either side’s approval organisations and competent authorities.

Its primary objective is to ease the trade in aircraft and aviation products, but the pact will also serve to promote co-operation towards maintaining high levels of aviation safety and environmental consideration.

The agreement will “remove unnecessary duplications” of evaluation and testing activity for aeronautical products, says the European Commission, reducing administrative burdens.

This will help to reduce costs, it adds, and “significantly” cut the time needed for manufacturers to acquire the approvals and certifications necessary for export to Japan.

“At the same time it will provide a stronger level of legal certainty, including on intellectual property rights,” says the Commission.

The European Union entered a broad economic partnership in February 2019, intended to ease trade between the two sides by scrapping tariffs on almost all the goods exported from the EU to Japan, as well as removing certain non-tariff barriers through endorsement of standards.

EU exports to Japan increased by 6.6% in the first 10 months following implementation of the agreement, while Japanese exports to Europe rose by 6.3%.

The Commission says the new aviation safety agreement illustrates “mutual trust” and a “commitment to deepen” the partnership.

“This agreement will facilitate our aviation industry’s access to the Japanese aeronautical products market, helping this hard-hit sector recover from the [coronavirus] crisis,” says European transport commissioner Adina Valean.

Following the signature the two sides are set to work to conclude the pact formally, says the Commission, but the agreement will be “provisionally applied” pending its entry into force.