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SPS: Sanitary and Phytosanitary Issues

Title South Korea - Slow procedures on applications to allow import of animal and plant products
Creation Date 04 Apr 2012
Last update/check 11 Mar 2014
Barrier id 125426
Sector Agriculture and Fisheries
SPS measure Long approval procedures
Country South Korea
Description of the measure

The EU exporters face difficulties entering the Korean market due to long approval procedures. Korea has import procedures in place for both animal products and plant products. These are the so-called 8- step procedures. The procedure as such is transparent, but excessively long for getting access to the Korean market.

More specifically concerning fruit and vegetables: new types/origins of fruits and vegetables are not allowed for import before the phytosanitary requirements have been set by the national authorities. The import requirements, based on a pest risk analysis PRA,  which may take several years.Furthermore, the capacity to handle applications are limited, meaning that only a limited number of applications can be handled at the same time.


South Korea follow a positive list approach in this area, i.e. any product not covered by legislation, is prohibited to import (untilanimal and plant health requirements are set and new legislation introduced). The EU import legislation follows a completely different scheme, as requirements have been published for those products for which they apply, while any other plant product can be freely imported.
According to international standards, where countries consider it necessary to study and possibly set the import requirements for new kinds of products, the pest risk analysis (PRA) should be done without undue delay for plant products.

Barrier Status Ongoing
Actions Taken

The barrier is discussed with the Koreanauthorities on a regular basis and efforts are made to facilitate the handling of applications from EU Member States.

Hs codes
  • 08 - Edible fruit and nuts; peel of citrus fruit or melons
  • 07 - Edible vegetables and certain roots and tubers