South Korea - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Barriers

Includes the barriers (tariff and non-tariff) that U.S. companies face when exporting to this country.

Last published date: 2020-09-21

The United States and Korea signed an updated KORUS in September of 2018. The update included the following positive outcomes:

Key New KORUS FTA Outcomes

  • U.S. Truck Tariffs: Korea will extend the phase out of the 25 percent U.S. tariff on trucks until 2041, or a total of 30 years following the implementation of the KORUS FTA in 2012. (currently scheduled to phase out by 2021).
  • Growing U.S. Auto Exports: Exports of U.S. motor vehicles to Korea will be improved through the following steps:
    • Greater Access for U.S. Exports: Korea will double the number of U.S. automobile exports, to 50,000 cars per manufacturer per year, that can meet U.S. safety standards (in lieu of Korean standards) and enter the Korean market without further modification.
    • Harmonization of Testing Requirements: U.S. gasoline engine vehicle exports will be able to show compliance with Korea’s emission standards using the same tests they conduct to show compliance with U.S. regulations, without additional or duplicative testing for the Korean market.
    • Recognition of U.S. Standards for Auto Parts: Korea will recognize U.S. standards for auto parts necessary to service U.S. vehicles, and reduce labeling burdens for parts.
    • Improvements to CAFE Standards: Korea will expand the amount of “eco-credits” available to help meet fuel economy and greenhouse gas requirements under the regulations currently in force, while also ensuring that fuel economy targets in future regulations will be set taking U.S. regulations into account and will continue to include more lenient targets for small volume manufacturers.
  • Customs Improvement: Korea will address long-standing concerns with onerous and costly verification procedures through agreement on principles for conducting verification of origin of exports under KORUS and establish a working group to monitor and address future issues that arise.
  • Pharmaceutical Reimbursements: Within 2018, Korea will amend its Premium Pricing Policy for Global Innovative Drugs to make it consistent with Korea’s commitments under KORUS to ensure non-discriminatory and fair treatment for U.S. pharmaceutical exports.

Nonetheless, some trade barriers remain. Information on specific trade barriers in Korea is available in the 2020 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/2020_National_Trade_Estimate_Report.pdf)

Internatinal Trade Administration

Enforcement and Compliance

(202) 482-0063

ECCommunications@trade.gov

http://trade.gov/enforcement/