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Parts and materials technology development
Origin management 2014-12-29

Overview

The Korean Government has put in place a country of origin system to allow producers and consumers to provide or receive accurate information on goods imported or exported through Korean customs. The related laws and regulations provide basic guidelines on the articles subject to the labeling of country of origin, methods of labelling, determination of country of origin, etc., and define the roles and responsibilities of the competent authorities in running the system.

Policies

History

  • Prohibited import or export of goods with false description of country of origin* (1986)
    * Included in the Foreign Trade Act a provision against import or export of goods with false labeling
  • Introduced the labeling system for imported goods* (1991)
    * Identified goods subject to the labeling requirement (326 articles at HS 4-digit level under the bylaw announced by the Korea Customs Service)
  • Adopted a labeling system for agricultural/fishery products and processed agricultural products for domestic distribution* (1993)
    * Introduced the Act on Fosterage of Agricultural and Fishery Products Processing Industry and Control of their Quality
  • Specified exemptions (indications on a sticker, stamp or tag) from the labeling requirement (1999)
  • Enacted rules of origin for goods produced domestically with imported ingredients or materials* (Jan 2006)
    * A good is considered as domestic 1) when its tariff sub-heading has been altered and the domestically added value is 51% or more; and 2) when the domestically added value is 85% or more.
  • Entrusted the Korea Customs Service with the authority to investigate the labels of goods in market circulation* (2007)
    * Extended authority to supervise goods in circulation, which previously had belonged only to city/provincial governors, to the Customs Service as well (Enforcement Decree of the Foreign Trade Act, 4 Apr 2007)
  • Defined exemptions from the principle of tariff shift in determining the country of origin of imported goods* (Jul 2008)
    * After consulting the relevant organizations and the substantial transformation criterion (Article 85-3), the MOTIE Minister can designate a certain country as the origin of a product even when there has been no change in tariff subheading if that country has imparted an original characteristic to the product.

Related government bodies and laws/regulations

  • Korea does not have a single dedicated law on origin management, and therefore makes partial revisions to relevant laws when necessary.
  • The Foreign Trade Act and its bylaws specify the goods subject to the labeling requirement and stipulate basic principles, while the Customs Service's public announcements based on such laws elaborate on the labeling procedures and methods. The origin management of agricultural and fishery products is separatedly regulated by the Act on Origin Labeling of Agricultural and Fishery Products.
    ※ Roles and responsibilities of relevant organizations
    Foreign Trade Act
    Roles and responsibilities
    : Managing the overall labeling system for imported/exported goods
    • Specifying the imported/exported articles subject to the labeling requirement
    • Providing general principles for the labeling of country of origin on imported/exported goods
    • Establishing rules of origin for imported/exported and domestically produced goods
    • Issuing certificates of origin for exported goods
    Responsible organization
    • MOTIE
    Supervisory organization
    • Local governments
      Korea Customs Service
    Public announcements on the Operation of the Country of Origin System
    Roles and responsibilities
    : Defining methods of labeling for each type of imported/exported goods
    • Specifying methods of labeling based on the principles stipulated in the Foreign Trade Act and its bylaws
    Responsible organization
    • Korea Customs Service
    Supervisory organization
    • Korea Customs Service
    Act on Origin Labeling of Agricultural and Fishery Products
    Roles and responsibilities
    : Managing the labeling system for agricultural and fishery products
    • Domestic agricultural/fishery products and processed food
      -Identifying agricultural/fishery products subject to the labeling requirement
      -Defining the methods of origin determination and labeling
    • Imported agricultural/fishery products are covered by the Foreign Trade Act and its bylaws.
      * Local restaurants must indicate the country of origin of the beef and rice they serve.
    Responsible organization
    • Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries
    Supervisory organization
    • Local governments
      National Agricultural Products Quality Management Service
    ※ Other related laws and regulations
    • Food Sanitation Act: Mandates the indication of origin of rice and beef at restaurants
    • Act on Fair Indication and Advertisement: Prohibits false marking of country of origin in indications or advertisements
    • Act on the Investigation of Unfair International Trade Practices and Remedy Against Injury to Industry : Prohibits false indication of country of origin during trade activities
    • Quality Control and Safety Management of Industrial Products Act : Several public announcements on product safety standards under the Act state that country of origin must be determined in accordance with the provisions of the Foreign Trade Act and its bylaws.

Key roles and responsibilities

  • Determination of country of origin: Establishing rules of origin for imported/exported goods and goods domestically produced with imported ingredients or materials
  • Labeling of country of origin: Fomulating basic principles for accurate labeling of country of origin
  • Punishment against violations: Establishing penalties for the breach of country of origin labeling rules

Publications

  • Study on Improvement of Country of Origin System as Response to Trade Environment Changes (2008)
  • Study on Improvement of Country of Origin System (2012)
  • Study on Revision of Country of Origin System (2014)

Press Release

  • "Chinese steel with false origin labeling encroaching on the Korean market" (Dong-A ilbo, Aug 2014)
  • "104 businesses caught by customs office for violating the origin labeling requirement" (KBS TV, Jun 2014)

Contact

  • Interpretation of related laws and regulations: Export and Import Division, Ministry of Trade, industry & Energy (+82-44-203-4044)
  • Country of origin determination and labeling methods: Passengers and Simplified Clearance Division, Korea Customs Service (+82-42-481-7644)
  • To report a violation: Dial 125 or report through the homepage of the Korea Customs Service