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The EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement enters into force, Brussel

Berlaymontgebouw in Brussel
© Kevin Bergenhenegouwen
datum 1 juli 2013
plaats Brussel, Korea, België, Verenigde Staten
locatie Berlaymont (BERL) Toon locatie
organisatie Europese Commissie (EC)

1 July 2011 marks a significant milestone in EU-South Korea trade relations with the entry into force of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two parties. This is the most ambitious trade deal ever negotiated by the EU and its first with an Asian country. The FTA is expected to create new trade in goods and services for the EU worth €19.1 billion, and to more than double EU-South Korea bilateral trade in the next 20 years compared to a scenario without the agreement.

This has been the first time that the European Parliament has endorsed a trade agreement and adopted accompanying trade legislation under the Lisbon Treaty procedures.


South Korea is the EU's fourth most important trading partner outside Europe (after the US, Japan and China). EU-South Korea trade in goods was worth €66.6 billion in 2010. The negotiations for an EU-South Korea FTA were launched in May 2007 in Seoul. After eight rounds of talks, the FTA was initialled by both sides on 15 October 2009. The Agreement was officially signed on 6 October 2010 in the margins of the EU-South Korea Summit in Brussels.

The FTA will eliminate the majority of customs duties on goods as of 1 July, allowing EU exporters to already save €850 million in duties on day one. During the following 5 years, 98.7% of duties in trade value of industrial and agricultural goods will be eliminated, creating significant new opportunities for EU exporters who will save €1.6 billion annually from not paying import duties once the agreement is up and running. The FTA will also improve Korean market access for EU service suppliers, notably in the telecommunications, environmental, shipping, financial and legal sectors. Electronics, pharmaceutical and medical device sectors will benefit from the removal of non-tariff barriers. European car producers will benefit both from tariff elimination and from the removal of non-tariff barriers and will be protected by a safeguard clause should they be threatened by an injurious surge of imports from South Korea.

The event

The EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement enters into force


Ten key benefits of the EU-South Korea FTA:


Key elements of the agreement: "EU-South Korea FTA quick reading guide":


EU Trade relations with Korea:



John Clancy +32 (0)2 295 37 73 john.clancy@ec.europa.eu

Helene Banner +32 (0)2 295 24 07 helene.banner@ext.ec.europa.eu



Europese Commissie (EC)

Deze instelling van de Europese Unie kan worden beschouwd als het 'dagelijks bestuur' van de EU. De leden van de Europese Commissie worden 'Eurocommissarissen' genoemd. Elke Eurocommissaris is verantwoordelijk voor één of meerdere beleidsgebieden. Momenteel zijn er 27 Eurocommissarissen, voor elke lidstaat één. Samen vormen zij het college van Eurocommissarissen. De Eurocommissarissen moeten het belang van de Europese Unie als geheel behartigen, niet dat van hun eigen land.

De Europese Commissie mag als enige EU-instelling wetsvoorstellen indienen; zij heeft het zogenaamde recht van initatief. Daarnaast controleert de Commissie of de Europese wetgeving juist wordt toegepast in de lidstaten, onderhandelt zij in internationale organisaties als de Wereldhandelsorganisatie (WTO) over de handel van de Unie met het 'buitenland' en is zij verantwoordelijk voor het beheer van de Europese begroting van ongeveer 140 miljard euro per jaar.


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