SEOUL, Nov. 18 (Korea Bizwire) – The latest data compiled by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries shows that the quantity of imported marine products has soared following new trade agreements, with the large majority coming from China.
As of October, there were 25 marine product items that Korea was obliged to import with low tariffs, in accordance with the tariff-rate quota. The TRQ is a trade policy that imposes low tariffs only up to a specific amount, but levies general tariffs if a quota is exceeded in order to protect local products or commodities.
Although the policy does prevent excessive imports of foreign goods, it also obligates the country to import a predetermined quota, raising the overall quantity of imported products.
At the moment, Korea has seven FTAs in effect, with the Korea-China deal triggering the highest increase to its TRQ supply. Chinese marine products currently account for 60 percent of all TRQ supply for the country.
The deal between the two countries, which took effect in December 2015, is also expected to increase the value of public auction payments imposed on importers this year to 53.2 billion won ($45 million), which is 3.5 times higher than in 2015.
Importers selected via a public bidding process are currently subject to pay 10 percent of their final bids, and the proceeds are used to boost competition for local marine products and support domestic fisheries businesses.
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)