The exports of mangoes, bananas, durians and mangosteen from Thailand to Japan under JTEPA
Under the JTEPA (Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement), import tariffs on
mangoes, durians, and mangosteen have been completely eliminated, while fresh bananas
has been under the duty-free quota. However, the export volume of these fruits reduced at
the early stage and started to increase in 2016. This leads to research questions: what are the
problems and obstacles of exporting these Thai fruits, mangoes, bananas, durians, and
mangosteen, to Japan under JTEPA? This research addresses the research question by using
statistical data and data from in-depth interviews with experts: Thai exporters, Japanese
importers, representatives from the Ministry of Commerce, and a representative from the
Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. The survey area in Japan covers (1) Osaka and
surrounding cities and (2) Tokyo and surrounding cities.
The research finds that Japan has placed great importance on hygiene and
phytosanitary by implementing strict control and inspection of vegetables and fruits that are
imported to Japan. All measures that are applicable to the export of these Thai fruits,
mangoes, bananas, durians, and mangosteen, could be considered Non-tariff Measures (NTMs).
For example, mangoes and mangosteen from Thailand need to go through a Vapor Heat
Treatment (VHT) system before exporting to Japan. Another obstacle is exporting documents
cannot be processed online, which slows down the exporting process. Last but not least, the
Japanese consumer perceptions that Thai fruits, especially fresh bananas, have been imported
and sole in Japan is still limited.
Thai government agencies could implement policies or measures to reduce obstacles
and to support exporting these four fruits as follows. First, Thai authorities could negotiate
with Japanese authorities to adjust NTMs, especially the VHT system, that are applicable to
exporting these Thai fruits. Second, the procedure of submitting exporting documents should
be developed into the on-line system, which also creates the single exporting database for
all related Thai authorities. Finally, Thai authorities could help marketing these Thai fruits in
Japan, especially mangoes (Nam Dok Mai and Mahachaok varieties), and bananas.