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Evolution of RCEP rules of origin (comparison with ASEAN plus FTAs and recent mega-FTAs/EPAs)

Jitsuya Hasegawa (Japan Tariff Association, Tokyo, Japan)

Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences

ISSN: 1026-4116

Article publication date: 20 December 2022

Issue publication date: 29 February 2024




The purpose of this paper is to analyze the evolution of the rules of origin (RoO) of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).


This analysis is done by comparing them with those of existing FTAs/EPAs of ASEAN with other RCEP member countries, and also examining the impact of recent mega-FTAs/EPAs, such as TPP11 and Japan-EU EPA, in which some of the member countries participated.


RCEP holds great significance in that it connects Japan and China and Japan and South Korea, which previously have not had any EPAs/FTAs, transforms this massive economic sphere from one with minutely divided and differing RoO under ASEAN plus FTAs to one that is seamlessly connected with those of having evolved into the unified RoO under RCEP, and realizes ideal production networks in Asia.


This paper makes it clear that RCEP, while based on ASEAN plus FTAs, reflects progressive provisions of recent mega-FTAs/EPAs, and adopts simpler and more systematic rules. These provisions limit the distortive effect on trade, realize ideal production networks in Asia, and are appropriate as uniform RoO connecting networks across this massive economic sphere. It also points out that there are provisions that have not been introduced and those that are considered to have been incomplete as a result of negotiations, and the possibility of evolving into more ideal RoO by utilizing the system for revisions established under the agreement.



Hasegawa, J. (2024), "Evolution of RCEP rules of origin (comparison with ASEAN plus FTAs and recent mega-FTAs/EPAs)", Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Vol. 40 No. 1, pp. 111-129.



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