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S. Korea calls for non-discriminatory application of EU acts

Yonhap News Agency - 12 June 2023

S. Korea calls for non-discriminatory application of EU acts

South Korea called on the European Union to ensure its new acts on batteries, critical minerals and net-zero goals are not discriminatory against foreign companies, as the two sides seek to enhance trade and industry ties, Seoul’s industry ministry said Monday.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said it made the point during an annual meeting of the Korea-EU goods trade commission in Seoul earlier in the day.

The EU recently proposed the new Battery Regulation, the European Critical Raw Materials Act and the Net-Zero Industry Act as part of efforts to ensure stable supply chains regarding key industries and to advance technologies to achieve zero-emission goals.

The Seoul government stressed that those regulations should not add excessive burdens on corporate activities and should be applied in a fair manner for non-EU business entities.

South Korea also asked the EU to devise details on its Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) at an early date to minimize uncertainties for companies, the ministry said.

The CBAM calls for levying an import charge on steel, cement, electricity, fertilizer, aluminum and other related items equivalent to their carbon emissions from production.

"The two sides agreed to continue consultations on a set of new regulations. They plan to hold a meeting of their free trade agreement commission in the second half of this year to discuss broader trade issues," the ministry said in a release.

South Korea became the first Asian country to implement a free trade deal with the EU, as the bilateral FTA took effect in July 2011.

The two-way trade reached an all-time high last year of US$136.3 billion, up from $129.5 billion a year earlier. The comparable figure for 2010 came to $83.3 billion, according to Seoul government data.

 source: Yonhap News Agency