Measures announced to help keep Korean market open

koreaKorean officials this week announced measures that will allow the continued stream of commerce for U.S. organic processed products for the next six months. While announcing the Korean Environment-Friendly Organic Regulations for processed products were to be implemented as scheduled as of Jan. 1, the Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) also outlined a plan for a six-month Education Period to allow business to adapt and transition to the new regulations. This would mean the regulations, although implemented and in place during the Education Period, would not be fully enforced until July 1. The six-month period will allow U.S. and Korean negotiators to conduct rigorous peer review audits and begin equivalency negotiations while facilitating trade through June 30. OTA hosted a fly-in of its members to Washington, D.C., December 16-17 to advocate for continued access to the Korean organic market. Participants met with numerous officials, including Ambassador Isi Siddiqui in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Office of USDA’s Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Darci Vetter. In a press release today, OTA applauded the concerted effort by U.S. agency officials and Senators as well as industry members to advocate for keeping the Korean market open to U.S. organic exports.

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