Council adopts EU/South Korea free trade agreement

16 September 2010 15:22  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The European Council has adopted a decision giving the go-ahead for an agreement with South Korea on free trade, it said on Thursday.

The Council agreed that the date of provisional application of the deal, which was expected to be signed on 6 October, would be 1 July 2011.

The agreement, which was initialled on 15 October 2009, would provide for the progressive liberalisation by both parties of trade in goods and services, as well as rules on trade-related issues such as competition and state aid, intellectual property and public procurement, said the Council.

Notification would be sent to South Korea before that date, provided that the European Parliament had given its consent to the agreement and that a regulation implementing an EU-South Korea safeguard clause was in force, the Council said.

It added that the agreement would require the two parties to eliminate 98.7% of duties in trade value for both industry and agriculture within five years, and to eliminate remaining tariffs almost fully over longer periods.

“In order to tackle non-tariff obstacles to trade, it includes specific provisions on electronics, motor vehicles and vehicle parts, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and chemicals,” said the Council.

A trade committee would be established to oversee implementation of the agreement, and to consider ways to further enhance trade relations between the parties.

South Korea is the EU's eighth-largest trading partner and the EU is South Korea's second-largest partner for exports.

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By: Hilde Ovrebekk
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