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QuestionAre all the domestically purchased raw materials recognized as originating raw materials?
(Raw materials purchased in Korea) Are all the domestically purchased raw materials recognized as originating raw materials?
Answers○ Although raw materials supplied domestically may be misunderstood as “originating”, if you do further processing on materials imported from a foreign country and then supply the further processed goods to the final product manufacturer, a separate judgment is required as to whether the relevant materials satisfy the origin requirements.
○ For example, in the case of apparel products subject to the yarn forward rule agreed on in the Korea-US FTA, if a textile manufacturing company in Korea processes woven fabrics using yarns imported from a foreign country and then supplies them to an apparel manufacturing company in Korea, the woven fabrics don’t fall under the category of “originating” goods because they fail to satisfy the yarn forward rule.
○ Therefore, even if a raw material has been purchased domestically, it is necessary to collect a (blanket) certificate of originating status which the supplier issues after confirming the rules of origin so that the relevant raw material may be recognized as originating.
○ In addition, in case the same company is supplied with the same raw material for a long time, if the company uses a (blanket) certificate of originating status issued for such raw material, such certificate can be used repeatedly for 12 months.
QuestionCan I apply for a refund of the customs duties paid based on an FTA preferential tariff rate without any limitation under the Act on Special Cases Concerning the Refund of Customs, Etc. Levied on Raw Materials for Export?
(Refund of customs duties on goods subject to an FTA) Can I apply for a refund of the customs duties paid based on an FTA preferential tariff rate without any limitation under the Act on Special Cases Concerning the Refund of Customs, Etc. Levied on Raw Materials for Export?
Answers○ Although applying for a refund of customs duties is limited in certain cases if relevant goods are subject to preferential tariff treatment under free trade agreements concluded by other countries, any FTA concluded by Korea does not impose limitations on applying for a refund of customs duties in accordance with the Act on Special Cases Concerning the Refund of Customs, Etc. Levied on Raw Materials for Export.
○ Even with respect to the declared import goods subject to preferential tariff treatment, it is possible to receive a refund of customs duties provided that they satisfy the requirements applicable to exports and raw materials subject to refund.
QuestionIf goods are imported after overseas toll processing in an FTA partner country, are the goods eligible for preferential tariff treatment with respect to the fees paid for the freight out and home and the toll processing fees which are not exempt from customs duties?
(Overseas trusted and processed goods) If goods are imported after overseas toll processing in an FTA partner country, are the goods eligible for preferential tariff treatment with respect to the fees paid for the freight out and home and the toll processing fees which are not exempt from customs duties?
Answers□ When a customs duty is imposed on overseas trusted and processed goods, the value of such goods includes the parts whose added value has increased abroad (toll processing fees, etc.), and the value of the goods imported finally after toll processing is the duty base.
□ Since separating the import declaration section for raw and subsidiary materials, toll processing fees, etc. when filing an import declaration on overseas trusted and processed goods is just a taxation-technical measure for duty exemption on toll processing, the preferential tariff may be applied to the whole relevant import goods even if the section is separated.
□ Therefore, in case the relevant import goods satisfy the requirements for preferential tariff treatment, if they are found to be goods (raw and subsidiary materials) subject to duty abatement or exemption after being granted preferential tariff treatment, then the relevant import goods may be granted an additional duty abatement or exemption. However, the toll processing fees, etc. are not subject to duty abatement or exemption, and thus they are granted only preferential tariff treatment.
□ In this case, you should carefully remember that when sending raw and subsidiary materials from Korea to the FTA partner country, in order to have such materials recognized as originating by such country, you must ensure the issuance of a certificate of origin that complies with the relevant free trade agreement.
QuestionIf goods have arrived at a bonded area in Korea in the name of Korean Company A and Korean Company B acquires the bill of lading (B/L) for such goods and then submits the letter of goods assignment, etc. during an import clearance, are such goods eligible for preferential tariff treatment under the Korea-ASEAN FTA?
(Assignment before importation) If goods have arrived at a bonded area in Korea in the name of Korean Company A and Korean Company B acquires the bill of lading (B/L) for such goods and then submits the letter of goods assignment, etc. during an import clearance, are such goods eligible for preferential tariff treatment under the Korea-ASEAN FTA?
Answers○ It is stipulated in the Korea-ASEAN FTA that “importer” means a natural or juridical person located in the territory of a Party into which a good is imported by such a person.
○ However, the Agreement does not mention whether the importer must be the importer stated on the certificate of origin when filing an import declaration with a customs office, and it is judged that who must be stated as the importer on the import declaration form after transportation of the relevant goods into Korea is a matter relating to the customs clearance procedures in Korea.
○ Even if the consignee stated on the certificate of origin is not the importer stated on the import declaration form, just as in the case of goods transported or to be transported into Korea being assigned and acquired before an import declaration is filed, preferential tariff treatment cannot be denied to the relevant goods confirmed to be originating in the FTA partner country even in relation to the person who has been assigned the right to such goods.
○ As a certificate of origin is a confirmation of the country of origin subject to preferential tariff treatment, it does not become different according to who the actual importer is in the FTA partner country. Thus, it is judged that such goods are eligible for preferential tariff treatment under a free trade agreement.
QuestionIf the actual quantity and weight of imported goods are different from their quantity and weight stated on the certificate of origin, how much preferential tariff treatment can such goods be granted?
(Difference in quantity, etc.) If the actual quantity and weight of imported goods are different from their quantity and weight stated on the certificate of origin, how much preferential tariff treatment can such goods be granted?
Answers□ As the certificate of origin guarantees preferential tariff treatment for the relevant goods as much as their quantity and weight stated on the certificate, the quantity and weight of the relevant goods subject to preferential tariff treatment are determined based on the certificate of origin.
○ If the actual quantity, etc. of imported goods exceed their quantity, etc. stated on the certificate of origin, the excess quantity is subject to the applied duty rate. If you submit a separate certificate of origin for the excess quantity, or if you submit a certificate of origin stating the same quantity of goods as the quantity of goods declared when filing an import declaration, preferential tariff treatment may be granted to such goods*.
* The same applies also in the case of claims for preferential tariff treatment after the acceptance of an import declaration.
○ As a certificate of origin is filled out for one single consignment, you cannot use it further for the quantity of any shortage.
QuestionWhere can I check to confirm the tariff rate when importing goods under an FTA?
(Preferential tariff rate) Where can I check to confirm the tariff rate when importing goods under an FTA?
AnswersWhen importing goods from a country which has concluded a free trade agreement (FTA) with Korea, you must first check to ascertain whether such goods are subject to preferential tariff treatment before filing an import declaration.
In general, a free trade agreement is aimed at eliminating customs duties for the goods being traded between the FTA contracting countries, the application of the tariff reduction plans may differ depending on the goods item just as in the cases of the elimination of customs duties upon the entering force of the FTA, the gradual elimination of customs duties (five years, 10 years, etc.), and exclusion from the elimination of customs duties.
As for the FTA tariff rates by goods item, you can refer to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s Website section, FTA Power Country, KOREA (www.fta.go.kr), or you can check to confirm them through FTA Portal of the KCS (http://fta.customs.go.kr) >> Import Tariffs >> Select FTA contracting countries >> Search after entering a HS code.
QuestionBy what agency of the exporting country must a certificate of origin be issued in order for goods to be granted preferential tariff treatment under an FTA?
(CO issuing authority) By what agency of the exporting country must a certificate of origin be issued in order for goods to be granted preferential tariff treatment under an FTA?
AnswersSelf-certification system
Korea-Chile FTASelf-issuance by exporters
Korea-EFTA FTASelf-issuance by exportersSwiss cheese (issuing authority under the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture)
Korea-EU FTASelf-issuance by exporters (limited to approved exporters if the export value exceeds 6,000 euros)
Korea-US FTASelf-issuance by exporters, producers, and importers
Korea-Peru FTASelf-issuance by approved exporters (authority-issuance for non-approved exporters)
Korea-Turkey FTASelf-issuance by exporters
Korea-Australia FTA(Korea) Self-issuance by exporters and producers (Australia) Self-issuance by and authority-issuance for exporters and producers
Korea-Canada FTASelf-issuance by exporters and producers
Korea-New Zealand FTASelf-issuance by exporters and producers

In the respective cases of Korea-Singapore FTA and Korea-ASEAN FTA
Korea-Singapore FTA As this Agreement adopts the method of authority-issuance, certificates of origin are issued by Singapore Customs in the case of Singapore whereas certificates of origin are issued by any customs office, the Administration Agency of the Free Trade Zone (only if applied for by a company located in a free trade zone), or the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the case of Korea.
Korea-ASEAN FTA As this Agreement adopts the method of authority-issuance, certificates of origin are issued by the customs authority or each of the organizations authorized by the government of each country.
In the respective cases of Korea-China FTA and Korea-Vietnam FTA Korea-China FTA As this Agreement adopts the method of authority-issuance, certificates of origin are issued by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine or the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade in the case of China whereas certificates of origin are issued by any customs office, each chamber of commerce or the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the case of Korea.
Korea-Vietnam FTA As this Agreement adopts the method of authority-issuance, certificates of origin are issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade whereas certificates of origin are issued by any customs office, each chamber of commerce or the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the case of Korea, but only any customs office issues certificates of origin for goods produced in the Kaesong Industrial Region.
Korea-India FTA As this Agreement adopts the method of authority-issuance, certificates of origin are issued by the Export Inspection Council in the case of India.
Korea-Peru FTA This Agreement adopts both the method of authority-issuance and the method of self-issuance. As for the method of authority-issuance, certificates of origin are issued by the Vice Ministry of Foreign Trade in the case of Peru.
QuestionWhat requirements must be met in order to be eligible for FTA preferential tariff treatment?
(Requirements for FTA application) What requirements must be met in order to be eligible for FTA preferential tariff treatment?
AnswersRequirements for preferential tariff treatment In general, a free trade agreement (FTA) is intended to eliminate customs duties for or apply lower tariff rates to goods produced in the territory of each FTA contracting country to it. Therefore, preferential tariff treatment cannot be granted to goods simply because the exporting country or the country of transit of such goods is an FTA partner. Preferential tariff treatment is granted to only goods whose country of origin is an FTA partner in accordance with the rules of origin set out in the Agreement.
Besides, as the “principle of direct transportation (direct consignment)” applies to the Agreement, preferential tariff treatment is, in principle, granted to only goods which are directly transported from the country of origin. In other words, even after the country of origin of a good has been determined, if such good is transported through or shipped in a country which is not its country of origin after being produced, processed or manufactured in the country determined to be its country of origin, the country is not recognized as its country of origin.
However, if provided otherwise in a free trade agreement or if the relevant good is recognized to have been transshipped or stored temporarily in a bonded area in a country which is not its country of origin for the purpose of transportation, the country determined to be its country of origin is recognized as its country of origin.
Requirements for a certificate of origin The country of origin must be confirmed through the documentary evidence of origin issued by an authority of the exporting country or by the exporter in the manner set out in the free trade agreement. Unless otherwise expressly provided for in the relevant FTA, the valid requirements for a certificate of origin are as follows:
- Matters prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, including the exporter, description, quantity, origin, etc. of the relevant good shall be stated in a certificate of origin.
- A certificate of origin shall be written in the English language.
- A ledger of certificates of origin shall be kept to manage details regarding the issuance of each certificate of origin, a person responsible for signing certificates of origin shall be designated, and such person shall sign and issue the certificates.
- A certificate of origin issued under respective free trade agreements shall be valid for one year from the date of issuance, except in any of the following circumstances:
○ Korea-ASEAN FTA: one year from the date of issuance (provided that if a certificate of origin is reissued, such certificate of origin shall be valid for 12 months from the date the initial certificate of origin is issued);
○ Korea-Chile FTA: two years from the date of signature;
○ Korea-Peru FTA: one year from the date of issuance (provided that it means two years if a good stated in the certificate of origin is temporarily stored under the jurisdiction of the customs authority of any non-party country);
○ Korea-US FTA: four years from the date of issuance;
○ Korea-Columbia FTA: one year from the date of signature;
○ Korea-Australia FTA: two years from the day which falls under any of the following items: A. In the case of subparagraph 1 of paragraph (1) of Article 9-2 of the Act: date of issuance B. In the case of subparagraph 2 of paragraph (1) of Article 9-2 of the Act: date of signature
○ Korea-Canada FTA: two years from the date of signature;
○ Korea-New Zealand FTA: two years from the date of signature; and
○ Korea-Vietnam FTA: one year from the day following the date of issuance.
QuestionI want to know about the procedures for applying for authority-issuance of an FTA certificate of origin and about the issuing authority.
(Application of the issuance of a certificate of origin) I want to know about the procedures for applying for authority-issuance of an FTA certificate of origin and about the issuing authority.
AnswersConfirmation of the origin criteria The exporter must surely confirm that the export goods he or she has produced satisfy origin criteria before filing an application for a certification of origin. The certifying authority does not perform an actual examination but only examines the formal requirements in principle. In case a company imports a third country’s product and re-exports it or produces an export good through simple processing of such product so that such re-exported product or such export good fails to satisfy the rules of origin, the company cannot file an application for a certification of origin with the certifying authority of the country of origin.
Application for authority-issuance of a certificate of origin.
1. Persons eligible to apply for a certificate of origin
- Korea-Singapore FTA: An exporter (including a person authorized in writing by the exporter)
- Korea-ASEAN FTA: A producer or exporter (including a person authorized in writing by the producer or exporter)
- Korea-India FTA: A producer or exporter (including a person authorized in writing by the producer or exporter)
- Korea-Peru FTA: A producer or exporter (including a person authorized in writing by the producer or exporter)
- Korea-China FTA: An exporter, producer, or under the exporter’s responsibility, by his authorized representative
- Korea-Vietnam FTA: A producer or exporter, or under its responsibility, by his authorized representative
2. Issuing authorities: Customs offices, Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry
3. Required documents when applying for a certificate of origin
- An application for the issuance of a certificate of origin (Attached Form No. 2 of the Public Notification on Special Cases for the Implementation of Free Trade Agreements)
- A copy of the export declaration acceptance certificate or other documents substituting such certificate
- The invoice or transaction contract
- A certificate of originating status (document which the producer completed and submitted to the exporter after confirming the origin of the relevant good; however this requirement applies only in case the producer and the exporter are different from each other)
- An origin verification questionnaire (Attached Form No. 1 of the Enforcement Rule of the Act on Special Cases of the Customs Act for the Implementation of Free Trade Agreements)
- Documents proving the originating status of the relevant goods which can demonstrate the contents stated on the origin verification questionnaire (only in case the issuing authority requires submission of the documents)
• Goods subject to the applicable change in tariff classification: Documents proving the change in tariff classification (examples: a raw material purchase statement, a bill of materials (BOM), a production process statement, a user manual, a publicity pamphlet, etc.)
• Goods subject to the applicable value contents criterion: Price-related documents evidencing the non-originating materials, the originating materials, and the export good (examples: a bill of materials, a raw material purchase statement, a record of raw material receipts and payments, a cost calculation statement, etc.)
• A (blanket) certificate of originating status in accordance with Article 6-3 of the Rule.
• Other documents stating the producer of the relevant good, the place of production, the production process, etc. through which the origin of the relevant good can be objectively confirmed
4. How to apply for a certificate of origin To file an application with a customs office for the issuance of a certificate of origin, you need to purchase an electronic authentication certificate and then join the KCS e-Clearance Portal System (Uni-Pass). After joining the Uni-Pass system, you must obtain approval to use electronic civil services from the head of the competent customs office by filling out an application for such approval. Afterwards, it is necessary to get connected to the Uni-Pass system, enter the FTA-based certificate of origin application details and then file an application together with the attached documents in the form of a PDF file for the issuance of a certificate of origin.
For the method of entering the certificate of origin application details and the specific issuance procedures, please refer to the FTA Portal of the KCS (http://fta.customs.go.kr) > the “FTA-based Certificate of Origin” menu > Guide to the Internet-based Issuance Procedures.
5. Issuance period and re-issuance A certificate of origin is issued within 10 days (exclusive of any public holiday, Saturday and Labor Day) after an application is filed for it if the issuing authority finds it necessary to make an on-site confirmation of the origin of the relevant good. However, a certificate of origin is issued within 3 days (exclusive of any public holiday, Saturday and Labor Day) after an application is filed for it if the issuing authority finds it unnecessary to make an on-site confirmation of the origin of the relevant good. When you intend to get a certificate of origin re-issued, if you submit an application for the re-issuance of a certificate of origin together with a statement of reasons for the re-issuance of a certificate of origin, materials evidencing the reasons for such application (only if required by the issuing authority) and the previously issued certificate of origin (only if recoverable because it has been damaged, etc.), a certificate of origin may be re-issued provided that the reasons for the application are recognized as reasonable.
QuestionWhere can I find certificate of origin forms for FTA preferential tariff treatment?
(CO forms) Where can I find certificate of origin forms for FTA preferential tariff treatment?
AnswersHow to confirm certificate of origin (CO) forms by FTA
You can confirm the certificate of origin forms through Legal Information System of the KCS (http://law.customs.go.kr) >> Search Words >> Typing in “Enforcement Rule of the Act on Special Cases of the Customs Act for the Implementation of Free Trade Agreements” >> Accompanying Sheets.
How to fill out a certificate of origin
You can also confirm the certificate of origin forms by FTA through Getting Connected to FTA Portal of the KCS (http://fta.customs.go.kr) >> FTA Data Room >> Collection of Forms by FTA >> Issuance of Certificates of Origin.
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