Exporter Guide - 2011

An Expert's View about Agriculture and Animal Husbandry in South Korea

Posted on: 30 Nov 2011

South Korea is the fifth largest export market for American agriculture. Korea‟s total imports of agricultural and food products from the world for 2011 are on track to hit a record high $31 billion (KOTIS).

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Required Report - public distribution Date: 11/2/2011 GAIN Report Number: KS1145 Korea - Republic of Exporter Guide Annual Approved By: Michael Fay, Director Prepared By: Sangyong Oh, Marketing Specialist Report Highlights: South Korea is the fifth largest export market for American agriculture. Korea?s total imports of agricultural and food products from the world for 2011 are on track to hit a record high $31 billion (KOTIS). The United States is expected to remain the leading supplier and will maintain a 26 percent market share in 2011. Anticipated implementation of the Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement in the near future should generate even greater export opportunities for American suppliers. Post: Seoul ATO Author Defined: TABLE of CONTENTS SECTION I MARKET OVERVIEW SECTION II EXPORTER BUSINESS TIPS A. Where to Start Market Research Establishing Korean Partners Meeting Local Tastes B. Local Business Customs & Practices Initial Communication Relationship Building & Social Networking Language Name Cards Meetings Evening Gatherings Dress Code Resolving Conflicts C. General Consumer Tastes and Trends SECTION III IMPORT FOOD STANDARDS & REGULATIONS SECTION IV IMPORT PROCEDURES A. Customs Clearance B. Documents Generally Required by the Korean Authority when Food is Imported C. Import Inspections D. Tariffs and KORUS FTA E. Sample Shipments F. Trademarks and Patents SECTION V MARKET SECTOR STRUCTURE AND TRENDS A. Supply Chain and Product Flow B. Retail Food Sector C. Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional (HRI) Food Service Sector D. Food Processing Sector SECTION VI KOREA?S AGRICULTURAL & FOOD IMPORTS A. Agricultural & Food Import Statistics B. Best High-value, Consumer-oriented Product Prospects SECTION VII KEY CONTACTS AND FURTHER INFORMATION A. USDA/FAS Offices in Korea B. USDA/FAS? On-line Supplier List C. Strategic Trade Regional Groups (STRG) D. Additional Sources of Information & Support APPENDIX KEY SOCIO-ECONOMIC INFORMATION OF KOREA Disclaimer This report was prepared by the Agricultural Trade Office of the U.S. Embassy Seoul, Korea. Korean government policy and regulation are subject to change and revision. Please check for updated reports and verify Korean import requirements with your Korean business partners to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information prior to shipping. FINAL IMPORT APPROVAL OF ANY PRODUCT IS SUBJECT TO THE IMPORTING COUNTRY?S RULES AND REGULATIONS AS INTERPRETED BY BORDER OFFICIALS AT THE TIME OF PRODUCT ENTRY. SECTION I MARKET OVERVIEW South Korea (herein after referred to as Korea) was the world?s 13th largest economy in 2010 with a GDP of $1.46 trillion and per capita GDP of $30,000 on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis (CIA World Factbook). Despite the impact of the global economic crisis since 2009, the Korean economy has maintained a relatively stable growth partly due to the strong performance of its export industry. The International Monetary Fund has recently forecast that the Korean economy would grow 4.0 percent in 2011 and 4.4 percent in 2012. Korea is the fifth largest export market for American agriculture. Korea by nature relies heavily on imports to fulfill its food and agricultural needs. Korea is about the size of the state of Indiana, and over 70 percent of its land is not suitable for commercial farming. Much of the limited farm land is dedicated to rice production. Its 50 million population makes Korea the world?s third most densely populated country, and almost 50 percent of the population resides in the Seoul metropolitan area. Increased consumer wealth coupled with diversified taste has expanded the market for imported products in Korea over the years. Korea?s total imports of agricultural and food products from the world for 2011 are forecast to hit a record high $31 billion, up 34 percent from the previous year. The United States should remain the leading supplier of agricultural and food products to Korea by taking an estimate of 25 percent of the total imports (or $8 billion in value) in 2011. In particular, consumer-oriented products are likely to lead the expansion of the imports from the United States in the coming years. Current consumption trends in Korea reflect important on-going socio-economic changes, which includes retirement of baby boomers, more women in the workforce, downsizing of the family, well- traveled younger generation, urbanization, information technology, and inflation pressure. As a result, products and businesses that offer good value, high quality, health or nutritional benefits, new taste, and convenience are showing a strong growth in the market. The Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA), which is currently pending in the National Assembly of Korea for ratification (the United States Congress ratified the bill on October 13, 2011), should generate new opportunities for American suppliers upon implementation as it will reduce Korean import tariffs on many American products. Table 1: South Korea?s Agricultural Imports by Category ($Million, CIF Value) C From World From the U.S. ategory 2010 2011(F) /1 Growth 2010 2011(F) Growth Mkt Share BASIC COMMODITY 5,087 7,156 40.7% 2,693 3,553 31.9% 49.6% INTERMEDIATE 6,781 8,796 29.7% 1,267 1,289 1.8% 14.7% CONSUMER-ORIENTED 6,647 9,732 46.4% 1,837 2,976 62.0% 30.6% FOREST PRODUCTS 2,170 2,273 4.8% 203 200 -1.6% 8.8% SEAFOOD PRODUCTS 3,091 3,981 28.8% 113 153 35.7% 3.9% GRAND TOTAL 23,777 31,907 34.2% 6,113 8,129 33.0% 25.5% Source: Korea Trade Information Service (KOTIS), compiled by the U.S. Agricultural Trade Office Seoul (ATO) /1 2011 (F) is based on January-August KOTIS import data trend analysis. Table 2: Advantages and Challenges for U.S. Suppliers in the Korean Market Advantages Challenges Korea is an emerging market where new ideas and Consumers are generally biased toward trends are eagerly tried and accepted, leading to locally produced agricultural greater opportunities for new-to-market products. products. Many consumers still maintain an idea that local products are superior in quality and safety to imported products. Korea, by nature, depends heavily on imports for its Imports of many American products are food and agricultural needs. In addition, consumers currently subject to restrictive trade barriers, are looking for new and international tastes as the including high import tariffs, tariff rate income level continues to rise. quota, and complicated food safety/labeling regulation. Partly due to the long tie between Korea and the High cost of shipping, documentation, United States, the United States is likely to remain inspection, and labeling, coupled with high the leading exporter of agricultural products to distributor mark-ups deteriorate price Korea. The United States remains a preferred and competitiveness of many imported products. trusted origin of agricultural products to many Koreans. Implementation of KORUS FTA will generate new Limited knowledge and experience of opportunities for American suppliers by significantly business between traders in Korea and the reducing the tariff barrier on most products. United States restrict them from fulfilling new business ideas and opportunities. SECTION II EXPORTER BUSINESS TIPS A. Where to Start Market Research: The first step recommended for new-to-market American suppliers is preliminary research to determine if there is a potential market for its product in Korea. The research should cover key issues including consumption trends, size of the market (imports), major distribution channels, current import tariffs and local taxes, and Korean government regulations and standards. The research, together with consultations with partner Korean importers down the road, should help the supplier to tell if any modifications to the existing product would be needed to meet the demand and regulations in Korea. The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is a useful source of information and resources available to the supplier. In particular, the Attach? reports for Korea that cover various products and industries are available on the FAS website (www.fas.usda.gov). Offices in Korea under USDA/FAS can also provide the supplier with catered assistance for both market intelligence as well as links to other relevant sources of support (please see Section VII of this report for contact information). Additionally, the United States Department of Commerce is another important source of information for non-agricultural products. In particular, the ?Country Commercial Guide? published by the department includes a wide range of useful information (the supplier should register for access to the guide at: www.buyusa.gov/korea/en/). Establishing Korean Partners: While executing the preliminary market research, the supplier is recommended to develop dialogues with potential business partners (importers) in Korea. Lists of Korean importers by product or by industry are available from the USDA/FAS offices in Korea. The lists are based on the offices? own contact database as well as the Korea Trade Information Service (KOTIS) database updated by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA). Korean importers in general are seeking new business opportunities with foreign suppliers and would be willing to provide in-depth market intelligence if they are interested in the supplier?s product or business offers. An effective tool for developing contacts with Korean importers is exhibiting in established food trade shows. Korean business people place high value on personal interaction when developing business with new foreign suppliers. In particular, the Seoul Food & Hotel, the only show officially endorsed by USDA/FAS in Korea, has been an outstanding venue for new-to-market American suppliers to meet with a large number of key importers and distributors in Korea. Registration information to join the U.S. Pavilion of the show is available from the organizer (www.seoulfoodnhotel.co.kr, E-mail: rhood@oakoverseas.com). Other international food trade shows that attract a sizable number of Korean food importers include FoodEx Japan (www3.jma.or.jp/foodex/en/), FMI Show (www.fmi.org), National Restaurant Show (http://show.restaurant.org), SIAL Show France (www.sialparis.com), and ANUGA Show Germany (www.anuga.com). Another tool recommended is joining official trade delegations to Korea organized by various American agricultural export promotion organizations, such as Strategic Trade Regional Groups (STRG, e.g., Food Export Association of the Midwest USA), State Departments of Agriculture, and USDA Cooperators (e.g. U.S. Dairy Export Council). Some of the states and USDA cooperators maintain representative offices or contractors in Korea. Contact information of these organizations is available from USDA/FAS Korean offices. Korea has well established regulations and procedures on food imports, as well as complex tariff and tax codes, which often make the entry of a new-to-market product time and resource consuming process. Working with reputable importers is the approach that has been proven most efficient to overcome these barriers. Established importers are well aware of market demand/supply intelligence, local business laws and practices, distribution channels, and most of all are the best source for up-to- date government regulations on imported foods. As the dialogue develops further and the potential business partner is narrowed down, the supplier would be asked to submit product sample and preliminary price offer. Sample products shipped to Korea are subject to the same local regulations and import inspections, and therefore should allow the supplier and the importer to check if the product meets local standards. It also helps verify the Harmonized Tariff (HS) Code (and subject import duties) that the product is classified by the Korean authority. Once the test sample shipment finds no issue against local regulations, and an agreement on price and transaction terms is reached, both parties would move forward to sign a contract for actual business. Letter of credit (L/C) is the most common and recommended payment terms used between new business partners. The type of business relationship agreed between the U.S. exporter and the Korean importer may vary from a market exclusive, long-term business agreement to a non-binding, one-time purchase order mainly depending on how the exporter sees the role of the import partner in market development. The most common practice is maintaining a non-binding seller-buyer relationship during the test-market period and then upgrading to a more binding option if the partner shows bigger potential. It is also recommended that the contract include an agreement on the method of resolution for any trade dispute that may arise from the transaction. Meeting Local Tastes: One of the common mistakes that new-to-market American suppliers often make is viewing Koreans as the same category of consumers in the neighboring countries, Japan and China. Although it is true that people in these three far eastern Asian countries share some parts of their histories and cultures, Koreans? tastes for foods are different in many ways from the neighbors. Consequently, products that are catered to the taste of Korean consumers will have higher chance of making a successful entry into Korea. Personal visits to Korea should be the best way to develop understanding about the local taste. Information gathering through Internet or associating with Korean American communities in the states could also be an efficient tool. Meeting local tastes could mean anything from modifying package design to reformulating the recipe. Package design, in particular, is a very important factor in Korea, and exporters should consider developing a new design that can better attract Korean consumers. Although many Koreans can read English, adding Korean language on the label can significantly improve the level of exposure on the shelf. Another noteworthy issue in packaging is the separate Korean language label required on imported products. This added stick-on label can detract from the appearance of the product. Exporters should discuss the design of the Korean language label with the importer for a better look. Korean language label is in general designed and printed by the importer and hand-attached to the product in the duty free warehouse at the port of entry before the customs inspection. B. Local Business Customs & Practices Korea is a country of tradition. While Korean importers understand international business customs and practices, paying attention to cultural differences and localities in the way of thinking will facilitate building a trusted business relationship. The following are some business tips that American suppliers should keep in mind when dealing with Korean businessmen. Initial Communication: Partly because of the strong influence of Confucianism philosophy running through the society, Koreans try to be formal when they develop a contact with new people. As such, cold calling (or cold e-mailing) could be problematic in Korea. Koreans would take extra steps or efforts to make the initial communication as formal as possible. For example, e-mails or letters would include unnecessary ?protocol? information, such as lengthy greetings or elaborated introduction about the person in charge, less critical to the business subject. Initial communication may not be considered official or meaningful unless done in a formal way (e.g., use of official letterheads or seals) or by a proper person in charge. Communication exchanged between the working level staffs may not take effect until the senior level staff are introduced to the discussion later and give reconfirmation on the preliminary agreement already made. Therefore, the American supplier should try to match the formality of the Korean counterpart particularly during the initial stage of contact. As a result, progress of the initial communication could be slow. Relationship Building & Social Networking: Koreans put high value on personal interactions when developing new relationship, so they prefer to deal face-to-face. The American supplier may see little progress in negotiation until there is a face-to- face encounter made with the Korean counterpart. As a tool to supplement the personal interaction, Koreans seek introductions or comments by mutually connected third parties. Koreans love socializing and participate actively in various bodies of social media such as religious organizations, school alumni groups, political parties, and birth place associations. Any of these bodies of social network can help the American supplier develop and expand relationships in Korea. It is notable that many Koreans are also actively engaging in on-line social network media such as Blogs, Internet Cafes and Communities, Facebook, and Twitter. Language: Although English is the most common foreign language used in Korea and is officially taught in public schools, many Koreans find it difficult to communicate in English. Therefore, the American supplier should be very careful when writing or talking to the Korean counterpart in English. For every communication, try to use plain words, make the sentences as simple and clear as possible, avoid using slangs or trendy expressions, and ask for confirmation that the Korean counterpart has fully understood the idea. When corresponding through written communication, start with words of appreciation, clearly mark the recipient?s name, title, and division (as many Koreans have the same last name), indicate a reasonable time frame for a response, and close with additional words of appreciation. By cultural nature, Koreans rarely say, "no" directly. Instead they often say the issue is "difficult." If there is anything unclear or confusing, it is best to ask directly and clearly what additional information or explanation is needed. When there is no satisfying reply, there is nothing wrong with politely asking again. Name Cards: Exchange of name cards is usually the first item of business expected at the very beginning of a face-to- face encounter. In Korea, people seldom call others by their first names. Instead, they use surnames (such as Mr. Lee) or title and surname together (such as President Lee). Never use a first name unless the person specifically asks to be called by his/her first name. Having the back side of a business card translated and printed in Korean should help the Korean recipient better understand and remember you. One thing to note is that Koreans put their surnames ahead of first names when they write their names in Korean. For example, in a Korean name ?Hong Gil-Dong?, the surname is ?Hong?. Korean names are difficult for Westerners to tell if the contact is a male or a female. Title of job is much diversified in a Korean organization, so the title of job on a Korean business card could be misleading as there could be limited matching titles in an American organization (for example, ?Manager of Sales Department? title on a Korean business card could mean ?Sales Executive? up to ?Vice President of Sales? in an American company). Meetings: Clearly defined and listed agenda provided in advance helps the meeting stay focused and generate successful outcomes. It is likely that the meeting will include a senior staff member who speaks little English, so usually a designated junior staff member of the Korean company translates on behalf of the Korean party. However, regardless of the fluency of the translator from the Korean side, the American supplier should be prepared to provide all materials in writing. For important meetings, the American supplier should also consider hiring a professional interpreter to avoid confusion or misunderstanding. Take time before the meeting to ensure that your interpreter is familiar with the terms that you will use. Small talk is a good way to break the ice at the beginning of a meeting. Pay attention to the seating arrangement - usually the most senior staff member will sit at the head of the table. Allow the Korean party to talk enough before giving your reply, but it should not be seen impolite to stop the talk and ask for clarification or further information. Evening Gatherings: Korean businessmen often gather after work over dinner and drinks not only for socialization but also for business. As an old Korean saying goes, ?real businesses develop in (unofficial) evening gatherings after work?, Korean businessmen tend to extend the official talk started during the work hour into the dinner or even to a late evening ?drinking gathering? following the dinner particularly when they want to make significant progress in the negotiation. Therefore, American suppliers are encouraged to actively participate in evening gatherings especially when dealing with the older generation Korean businessmen. Although Koreans are wary of people who refuse to drink or who drink moderately, foreigners are given some flexibility especially if you explain that you have health or religious reasons for abstaining. A useful, cultural point to note in this situation is that it is impolite to pour one's own drink. As such, participants should not be bashful about pouring for others in the table. Dress Code: Koreans take first impression from the look of a person very importantly. It is recommended to wear a business suit and tie when meeting or visiting Korean importers for the first time regardless of the weather (in the heat of summer most Koreans do not wear a tie) unless you intend to deliver a specific idea by wearing special attire. Resolving Conflicts: Koreans do not like to appear "lost face" when dealing with conflicts. Therefore, even a small concession offered by the American supplier will help resolve the conflict more quickly. Visible anger is not useful in a confrontation. Instead, silence is a more effective method of conveying displeasure. Apologizing can also be useful and does not always mean that you feel you were wrong. Lastly, never point your criticism directly at one specific person, but try to share the issue with the entire group of staffs involved in the Korean company. Law suits are very expensive and time consuming way to resolve conflicts. Therefore, it is always recommended to include an alternative measure in the contract how potential business disputes would be resolved. The following is a clause often used by the Korean traders - ?All disputes related to this contract shall be finally settled by arbitration in the country of the respondent. In case the respondent is a Korean importer, the arbitration shall be held at the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board. In case the respondent is an American supplier, the arbitration shall be held at an American commercial arbitration association.? The internet home-page of the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board contains some useful information: http://www.kcab.or.kr/servlet/kcab_adm/memberauth/5000 C. General Consumer Tastes and Trends Represented by steamed rice, Kimchi (fermented cabbage), and Bulgogi (marinated beef), traditional Korean cuisine is still the mainstream of the Korean diet. However, globalization of the market and change of consumer lifestyle have made today?s Korean diet quite different from what it was 5 years ago. Like consumers in developed countries everywhere, Koreans are looking for new taste, better value, convenience, high quality, and most of all, safe and healthy products in their daily diet. Due in part to the aging population, there is a heavy emphasis among the general public on healthy eating, which is interpreted into a strong demand for organic and functional foods. In particular, 'Well- being', a theme that has evoked new consumer movement of seeking both physical and psychological health by adopting more wholesome way of life, remains one of the most influential ideas in the market. As an old Korean proverb "food and medicine are from the same source" says, Korean's long- held belief in health-improving efficacy of foods still prevails and contributes to the on-going popularity of functional foods as well as regular foods that target specific health concerns. It is important to note that Korean consumers are extremely sensitive to food safety issues as they have been exposed to many big and small food safety scandals over the years, including BSE, Avian Influenza, GMO, and Melamine risk from Chinese processed foods. Internet has become a handy source of food safety information for many Koreans in spite of the fact that it is often misleading. Food safety issues of any magnitude can potentially develop into a ?food scare? rumor on the Internet and have a detrimental impact on the reputation and sales of the associated products over night. Korean consumers? general preference for national brand products is partly rooted in concerns for food safety. Table 3: Aging Korean Population (unit: 1,000 people) mate) Age G 1995 2010 (Estiroup Numbe Growth r Share Number Share 0-14 10,236 23.0 % 7,907 16.2% -22.7 % 15-64 31,678 71.1 % 35,611 72.9% 12.4 % 65 + 2,640 5.9 % 5,357 11.0% 102.9 % Source: Korea Statistics Office Improved economic conditions allow Korean consumers to pay more attention to quality and diversity in diet. In particular, better-traveled young consumers, many of whom are educated in foreign countries, are ushering more international products and food culture into the market. While Japan served for many years as a reference market for Koreans to monitor and adopt new foreign food culture, today?s Korean consumers are tracking more diverse international markets, including California, New York, and Paris, for new foreign food ideas and trends. However, at the same time, the call for better value is also emphasized in the market mainly due to the on-going retirement of the Korean baby boomer generation as well as the slow-down of the local economy under recent global financial crisis. Convenience is a strong driving force behind many consumer trends as everyday life of Koreans gets busier. For example, rapid increase of dual-income families and single parent households has led to a growing demand for Home Meal Replacement (HMR) products in retail stores as well as for quick service restaurants. Delivery service is extremely well developed in Korea as people do not want to waste time in traffic. Rapid growth of on-line shopping is also rooted partly in the demand for convenience (of course, high real estate cost is another factor that drives stores to go into ?cyber space?). SECTION III IMPORT FOOD STANDARDS & REGULATIONS For detailed information regarding standards and regulations that imported food and agricultural products are subject to in Korea, including Labeling, Packaging, Export Sanitary Certificates, MRL (Maximum Residue Level) Code, and Food Additive Code, please refer to the following annual reports produced by the Agricultural Affairs Office, FAS Seoul. (1) ?FAIRS (Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards) Country Report Annual 2011?, KS1102 dated January 11, 2011 (or visit www.fas.usda.gov for more recent update). (2) ?FAIRS Export Certificate Report Annual 2011?, KS1101 dated January 5, 2011 SECTION IV IMPORT PROCEDURES A. Customs Clearance The Korea Customs Service (KCS), the Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA), and the Animal Plant & Fisheries Quarantine Inspection Agency (QIA, this is a new agency launched on June 15, 2011 by merging of the National Veterinary Research & Quarantine Service, the National Plant Quarantine Service, and the National Seafood Quality Inspection Agency) are the agencies involved in the import clearance process. Imports of agricultural products may require clearance from several of these agencies and are, thus, more likely to encounter port delays than other imported products. Delays can be costly due to the perishable nature of many agricultural products. In addition, other entities may be involved in regulating imports through the administration of licenses or, in some cases, quotas for agricultural products. KCS is responsible for ensuring that all necessary documentation, including inspection results, is in place before the product is released from the bonded area. KCS operates the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system for efficient flow of documents, which is connected to electronic data management systems of KFDA and QIA. Inspection results of KFDA and QIA are transmitted to KCS via the EDI system, thus shortening the clearance time. For details about KCS customs clearance procedures, please visit the agency?s Internet home-page (http//english.customs.go.kr/). Chart 1: KCS Import Clearance Procedures Source: Korea Customs Service (KCS) B. Documents Generally Required by the Korean Authority When Food is Imported (1) Commercial Invoice (2) Bill of Lading (or Airway Bill) (3) Packing List (4) Certificate of Origin (not required if there is "Made in USA" on the label.) (5) Names of all ingredients with composition percentage of major ingredients (6) Processing Flow Chart (7) Certificate of Production Date (8) Packing Material (not required for bottles, cans, and paper packages) (9) Export sanitary certificate (for meat, fruit, nuts, vegetables, plants, grains, etc.) (10) Other relevant certificates, such as non-biotech certificate for corn, soybeans, and potatoes or USDA organic certificates for organic products C. Import Inspections All new-to-market products are subject to mandatory laboratory testing conducted by the relevant inspection agency. Subsequent shipments of the product that passed the first laboratory testing may be exempt from mandatory laboratory testing. The respective quarantine inspection authorities must clear products subject to plant or animal quarantine inspection before KCS will clear them. The import inspection application must be written in Korean and submitted to the relevant agency. Below charts summarize the inspection procedures taken by agencies involved. Chart 2: KFDA Import Inspection Procedures Source: Korea Food & Drug Administration (KFDA) 1. The importer or the importer?s representative submits the ?Import Declaration for Food, etc.? 2. The type of inspection to be conducted is determined in accordance with the guidelines for inspection of imported food products. The types of inspection that a given food product may be subject to include: document inspection, organoleptic inspection, laboratory inspection, and random sampling examination. 3. If a product is subject to organoleptic inspection, laboratory inspection, or random sampling examination, the KFDA inspector will conduct a field examination and take samples for laboratory testing. 4. KFDA conducts the conformity assessment from the information collected, using such items as test results, document inspection results, etc. 5. If a product complies with the Korean standards, KFDA issues a certificate for import. An importer can clear products with a KFDA import certificate. 6. If a product does not comply with the Korean standards, KFDA will notify the applicant and the regional customs office about the nature of the violation. The importer decides whether to destroy the product, return the shipment to the exporting country, or use it for non-edible purposes. If a minor violation can be corrected, as with labels, the importer can reapply for inspection after making the corrections. For perishable agricultural products, such as fresh vegetables, fruits, etc., an importer can clear the products prior to completion of the laboratory test with a pre-certification authorization from KFDA. In this case, however, the importer must be able to track distribution of the given product so the products can be recalled should the laboratory test indicate a violation. For more information about KFDA?s inspection process, please visit the agency?s Internet home-page (http://eng.kfda.go.kr/index.php). Table 4: KFDA Inspection Duration Document Inspection 2 days Visual Inspection 3 days Laboratory Inspection 10 days Random Sampling Test 5 days Incubation Test 14 days Chart 3: QIA Inspection Procedures on Animal and Animal Products Source: Animal Plant & Fisheries Quarantine Inspection Agency (QIA) Table 5: QIA Inspection Duration for Animal and Animal Products Document Inspection 3 days Visual Inspection 5 days Laboratory Inspection 18 days Incubation Test 14 days For details about quarantine and inspection of animal and animal products, please refer to the English website provided by QIA (http://www.nvrqs.go.kr/eng/index.asp) Chart 4: QIA Inspection Procedures on Plant Products Source: Animal Plant & Fisheries Quarantine Inspection Agency (QIA) For details about plant quarantine inspection, please refer to the English website provided by QIA (http://www.npqs.go.kr/homepage/english/) D. Tariffs and KORUS FTA Korea utilizes a 10 digit Harmonized Tariff Code (HSK), and the local authority maintains an exclusive right to classify an imported product to a specific tariff code. Tariffs charged on imported agricultural and food products vary considerably from product to product. In general, tariff rates are higher for products that are produced domestically (for such products, there might be additional safe guard measures such as Tariff Rate Quotas). Ingredient products and bulk commodity products needed for local industries generally have lower tariffs. Identifying a HSK code particularly for processed products could be a challenge. The Korean Customs Service offers a service through which traders can submit a sample and receive a preliminary ruling on the HSK code classification. Suppliers may contact the USDA/FAS offices in Korea for help in identifying HSK codes and additional measures related to import. The Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA), which is currently pending in the National Assembly of Korea for ratification (the United States Congress ratified the bill on October 13, 2011), will significant reduce tariffs on many American products imported into Korea. The KORUS FTA tariff table (links attached blow) available from USTR web site is a good source to identify current tariff rate as well as the effect of the FTA on tariff reduction. (1) The USTR web site contains details of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement information: http://www.ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/korus-fta/final-text (2) ?Korea Tariff Schedule? Table in the USTR web site: http://www.ustr.gov/sites/default/files/uploads/agreements/fta/korus/asset_upload_file786_12756.pdf You will find the base tariff rate and the phase out category for all agricultural and food products, organized by HSK code. Phase-out categories include: A Immediate tariff elimination E 6 year B 2 year phase-out F 7 year C 3 year G 10 year D 5 year H 15 year (3) Please note that some of the agricultural products are subject to safe guard tariffs and tariff rate quota restrictions under the KORUS FTA. The above USTR web site also details these measures by subject product. (4) The USDA/FAS website also offers detailed information and links to other resources about KORUS FTA: http://www.fas.usda.gov/itp/us-koreata.asp E. Sample Shipments Shipping small amount of sample product is highly recommended before starting a regular export to Korea as it allows the supplier/importer to test if the product meets the Korean standards. Importers can verify the conformity by having the sample inspected by Korean government accredited test labs. Please note that if the volume or the market value is deemed above sample purpose, the shipment will be subject to regular import requirements. In addition, export sanitary certificates are required for products subject to quarantine inspections (e.g., meat, cheeses) even they are shipped as samples. F. Trademarks and Patents New-to-market U.S. exporters should pay attention to protecting the company/product trademarks and patents, which can be easily handled by working with the Korean partner or through local attorneys. The Korea Industrial Property Office is responsible for registration of trademarks and for review of petitions related to trademark registration. In accordance with the Trademark Law, trademarks are registered in Korea on a ?first file, first registered? principle. A person who registers a trademark first has a preferential right to that trademark, and Korean law protects the person who has the right over the trademark. To prevent trademark disputes, U.S. companies considering conducting business in Korea are encouraged to register their trademarks as early as possible. For more information, see the Korea Industrial Property Rights Information Service website (http://eng.kipris.or.kr). SECTION V. MARKET SECTOR STRUCTURE AND TRENDS A. Supply Chain and Product Flow The supply chain for imported agricultural and food products involves multiple layers of middlemen and distributors, which is part reason for high consumer price of many imported products in Korea. It takes at least two weeks for a container ship from a western American port, and four weeks from an eastern port, to arrive in a port in Korea. In general, most imported consumer ready products enter the country through the port of Busan, the second largest city in Korea at the southeastern tip of the peninsula. Port of Inchon, which is much closer to the Seoul metropolitan market, is another important entry point. In rare occasions, small-volume-high-value products, such as premium wine and live lobsters, are brought via air cargos through Inchon International Airport (ICN). The amount of time that the product sits in the port of entry for food safety inspection and customs clearance process varies from one day to a few weeks largely depending on the kind of inspection the product is subject to. The detailed laboratory inspection that all new-to-market products and randomly selected returning products are subject to may take as long as ten working days. In case of live animals, the quarantine sanitary inspection can take more than a couple of months. The documentary inspection, which is allowed on products with previous import records, may be completed within a day or two. Chart 5: Flow of Imported Food and Agricultural Products Once the products are cleared from the customs, they are transported to the importer?s warehouse for temporary storage. Importers may have warehouses in more than one location. The importer usually supplies directly to the large-scale customer?s warehouse but may use wholesalers or independent sales brokers when supplying to small customers or to distant regional markets. Large-scale retailers and franchise food service (restaurant) companies in general operate a network of "distribution-hubs" across the country, each of which services all the branch stores and end-user restaurants in the given regional market. Many importers use third party logistics service providers for warehousing and trucking because of the high overhead cost. The city of Seoul (capital city of Korea) and its surrounding area within 60 miles radius account for over 50 percent of the total Korean population and 70 percent of total retail sales in Korea. Although the government maintains a strong policy initiative to develop other regions of the country for balanced growth, Seoul metropolitan area is expected to take even bigger share of the food market sales in Korea in the coming years because it should continue to draw people with jobs and education opportunities. Other markets that are likely to see strong growth include Busan, Inchon, and Daejun (this city, located in the middle section of the peninsula, has been designated as the new home of the Korean government offices). B. Retail Food Sector The retail sector in Korea has evolved dramatically ever since opening of the first hypermarket store in 1993 (E-Mart by Shinsegae Co.) and the liberalization of large-scale retail business to foreign ownership in 1996 (Macro, a Dutch retailer, was the first one to enter the market). Modern format, large-scale retail businesses such as hypermarket chains, grocery supermarket chains, convenience store chains, and on-line retailers have grown rapidly at the expense of traditional retail outlets of street markets and family-operated small retailers over the years. Expansion of these new retail channels, coupled with introduction of new information technologies, has significantly changed the way Korean consumers purchase daily necessities, including food. Total retail market sales in Korea amounted to W252 trillion Korean won (approximately $216 billion) in 2009, up 3.9 percent from the previous year. Overall, the Korean economy experienced a slow-down under the global financial crisis from mid 2008 through 2009, and resulted in the lowest growth of the retail sector sales since 1999. However, the economic slow-down took a bigger toll on traditional retailers, while providing an opportunity for modern format, large-scale players to further expand their market shares. Figure 1: Total Retail Sector Sales in Korea Source: Retail Industry Sales Statistics, Korea National Statistics Information Service Hypermarkets, armed with aggressive pricing, one-stop shopping convenience, and efficient product assortment, have stepped up to the largest retail force in Korea since 2002, replacing the former leader, department stores. Hypermarkets accounted for 12.4 percent of overall retail sector sales, or W31.3 trillion in 2009. The sales of hypermarkets is likely to increase further in the coming years as on-going renovation projects of old metropolitan areas as well as development of new residential areas across the country will provide space for a significant number of new stores. On-line retailers, including internet shopping, TV home-shopping, and catalog shopping businesses, have stepped up to the second largest retail channel in Korea since 2007. Sales of on-line retailers grew 29.2 percent between 2007 and 2009 to take 10.8 percent, or W27.1 trillion of total retail sector sales in 2009. On-line retailers, internet shopping malls in particular, are expected to remain the fastest growing retail channel in Korea for years to come as more and more consumers are attracted to this innovative shopping tool for convenience and price. Korea has the right mix of socio-economic conditions, in particular high population density and high affinity toward new information technology that favor strong growth of on-line retail business. Department stores and grocery supermarkets maintained a solid growth between 2007 and 2009. In particular, department stores were one of the most successful retail channels under the recent economic slow-down. Leading players in the segment have successfully realigned their market positions with up- scaled store layouts and more luxury product offerings, accurately reflecting the evolving tastes of their target consumers. Grocery supermarkets have found a new growth momentum in recent years with ?Super Supermarket(SSM)? business. SSM is a larger-scale grocery supermarket store that targets neighborhood markets in congested residential areas where larger hypermarket stores cannot infiltrate. Despite the protests by independent small grocers and NGO voices, grocery supermarket chains are likely to open more SSM stores in the coming years. Convenience stores also showed an outstanding growth between 2007 and 2009, reflecting busier lifestyle of Korean consumers. Although convenience stores offer very limited product assortment by nature, it is the most wide spread retail channel in Korea today (the number of outlets under the top seven franchises were over 14,000 at the end of 2009). Although on a decline, traditional retailers such as street markets and family-operated small grocers still account for a significant retail force particularly in areas where modern format, large- scale retailers have yet to penetrate. Table 6: Breakdown of Retail Market Sales in Korea Segment 2007 2009 Sales Growth Sales M/S Sales M/S Hypermarkets W28.4 trillion 12.5% W31.3 trillion 12.4% 10.2% On-line Retailers /1 W21.3 trillion 9.4% W27.1 trillion 10.8% 27.2% Grocery Supermarkets W19.6 trillion 8.6% W22.4 trillion 8.9% 14.3% Department Stores W19.0 trillion 8.4% W21.6 trillion 8.6% 13.7% Convenience Stores W4.8 trillion 2.1% W6.2 trillion 2.5% 29.2% Others /2 W134.4 trillion 58.9% W146.2 trillion 56.8% 7.1% Total W226.6 trillion 100% W251.6 trillion 100% 11.0% Source: Retail Industry Sales Statistics, Korea National Statistics Information Service /1 On-line shopping in this report refers to Internet shopping, TV home-shopping, catalog shopping, and other types of retailing over communication tools that replace physical stores. /2 ?Others? includes specialty retailers such as automobiles and furniture as well as traditional retailers such as family- operated small grocers and paddlers in the street markets. Total sales of food products in the retail sector amounted to W56.9 trillion in 2009, up 8 percent from the previous year. In other words, food products accounted for about 23 percent of overall retail sector sales in Korea. It is notable that the share of food products in the overall retail sector sales continued an increase in recent years. Figure 2: Sales of Food Products in Retail Sector Source: Retail Sales Statistics by Category, Korea National Statistics Information Service Table 7: Breakdown of Monthly Household Expenditure on Grocery Foods Year 2007 2009 Number of Household Members 3.27 3.34 Item Amount Share Amount Share Grains W23,434 8.2% W21,971 7.2% Processed Grains W11,875 4.2% W14,774 4.8% Bakery & Rice Cakes W14,361 5.0% W18,019 5.9% Meat W37,859 13.3% W43,938 14.3% Processed Meat W7,250 2.5% W7,922 2.6% Fresh Seafood W21,905 7.7% W21,542 7.0% Salted Seafood W6,371 2.2% W6,432 2.1% Other Processed Seafood W5,433 1.9% W6,104 2.0% Dairy & Eggs W23,267 8.2% W28,651 9.3% Oils & Fats W2,277 0.8% W2,810 0.9% Fresh & Processed Fruits W33,378 11.7% W35,377 11.5% Fresh & Processed Vegetables W33,387 11.7% W31,310 10.2% Fresh & Processed Seaweeds W6,441 2.3% W3,885 1.3% Confectioneries & Snacks W16,496 5.8% W19,891 6.5% Spices & Seasonings W10,300 3.6% W11,024 3.6% Other Processed Foods W8,584 3.0% W8,676 2.8% Coffee & Tea W5,174 1.8% W6,109 2.0% Juice & Beverages W9,776 3.4% W9,828 3.2% Alcohol Beverages W7,342 2.6% W8,347 2.7% Total W284,910 100% W306,610 100% Source: Monthly Household Spending, Korea Statistics Information Service Grocery supermarkets were the leading retail channel for food products with an estimated W19.2 trillion of food sales in 2009, followed by hypermarkets. Despite the rapid growth, on-line retailers still offer a very limited assortment of food products. However, sales of food products through on-line retailers are likely to increase rapidly in the coming years because most of the leading off-line retail companies, in particular grocery supermarkets and hypermarket chains, are currently making heavy investment into on-line stores. Table 8: Estimated Sales of Food & Agricultural Products by Retail Channel Year 2009 Estimated Share of Food Products in Store Sales Total Food Sales Grocery Supermarkets 85.6 % W19.2 trillion Hypermarkets 51.5 % W16.1 trillion Convenience Stores 50.0 % W3.1 trillion Department Stores 11.7% W2.5 trillion On-line Retailers 9.0% W2.4 trillion Others N/A W13.6 trillion Total W56.9 trillion Source: Monthly Household Spending, Korea Statistics Information Service Rapid expansion of modern format, large-scale retailers has heightened the competition in the sector, resulting in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) not only of small, regional retailers by larger national retailers but also consolidations among large retailers. For example, Lotte Shopping Co. acquired 14 hypermarkets and 3 department stores from GS Mart in 2009. Lotte Shopping Co. also acquired Buy The Way in 2009, a national convenience store chain that operated 1,231 outlets. Industry analysts forecast that consolidation trend will continue in the industry as leading players strive to achieve dominant control of the market. Part of the force behind consolidation trend is leading players? strategy to achieve a 'horizontally integrated' retail force that encompasses the whole spectrum of retail business. For example, both Shinsegae Co. and Lotte Shopping Co., the top two retail conglomerates in Korea, now operate almost all available formats of retail business from convenience stores to grocery supermarkets, department stores, outlet malls, hypermarkets, and on-line shopping businesses. Expanding into foreign markets has been another area that leading Korea retailers have also invested heavily in recent years in an effort to find new growth opportunity. For example, Lotte Mart, which currently operates 88 hypermarket stores in Korea, has increased its stores in foreign markets to 105 as of January 2011, including 81 in China. Korean retailers in general rely heavily on independent importers for imported food and agricultural products. Although leading players are currently seeking ways to increase direct importing for lower cost and improved product assortment, their attention is mainly targeted on a limited number of large volume products such as fresh oranges and walnut because of lack of experience and expertise. On the other hand, retailers of international origin, Costco Wholesale Korea in particular, procure a larger part of the imported products that they sell directly through their international sourcing networks. Leading retailers maintain heavy efforts to expand private label brand (PB) business on both local and imported food and agricultural products for higher profit and customer loyalty. Growth of modern retail business in Korea has coincided with development of modern large-scale logistics service industry. Leading retailers are equipped with temperature controlled distribution network of trucks and warehouses that cover the entire market. On the other hand, small to medium size retailers in general rely on third party logistics service providers. Logistics service industry is likely to continue a rapid growth in the coming years particularly due to a rapid rise in demand for home delivery service, which is now widely offered not only by on-line retailers but also by conventional retail stores. For further detailed information about the retail food sector in Korea, please refer to the Korea Retail Food Sector Biennial Market Brief 2011, KS1108 dated February 15, 2011. C. Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional (HRI) Food Service Sector Changes in lifestyle and dietary culture coupled with increased consumer income level stimulated a rapid growth of the food service sector in Korea. Monthly per capita spending on eating outside the home has more than doubled in the last ten years, reaching W 80,780 in 2008. In other words, each Korean spent 46 percent of his/her food expenditure, or 12 percent of total consumption expenditure on dining out. It is expected that dining out will remain a key part of consumer spending in the coming years partly due to a rapid increase of single-member households and duel-income families. Figure 3: Monthly Per Capita Household Spending on Dining-Out Source: Household Monthly Expenditure Survey, Korea National Statistics Office Figure 4: Breakdown of Household Food Expenditure by Item Source: Household Monthly Expenditure Survey, Korea National Statistics Office According to the Korean government statistics, the food service sector earned W64.7 trillion of cash register sales in 2008, up 9 percent from the previous year. The restaurant business was restricted by law to individuals and small businesses up until mid 1990's. In addition, the restaurant sector was a major refugee to many of those people who lost corporate jobs during and aftermath of the Asian economic crisis in late 1990's. As a result, the sector has been largely composed of small-scale, family- operated businesses, as evidenced by the fact that 90 percent of restaurants and bars in Korea were small businesses that hired less than five employees as of 2008. In addition, 41 percent of restaurants and bars made less than W50 million of annual cash-register sales. However, market analysts point out that the sector has finally reached a saturation point in terms of the total number of restaurants and bars, as indicated by the stagnant growth of the number since 2003. Figure 5: Total Number and Annual Sales of Restaurants & Bars Source: Restaurant Industry Statistics, Korea National Statistics Information Service Note: Sales Unit W100 million Restructuring of the sector, mainly fueled by increased competition from government deregulation that allowed large conglomerates into the food service business, has led to a rapid growth of large-scale restaurants under franchise management at the expense of small-scale, family-operated establishments. Retail sector, armed with HMR (Home Meal Replacement) products, has also emerged as another competitor to restaurants. The total number of restaurants and bars in the sector is likely to be on a gradual decline in the coming years. Evolving tastes of Korean consumers have also brought significant changes to the sector in terms of recipes, products, and services offered. Consumers are seeking more new and international tastes while becoming more concerned about the quality, safety, and ?well-being? aspect of foods that they eat in restaurants. Diversification and differentiation have emerged as key words in the sector due to elevated competition. It is not surprising to observe that most of the newly open restaurants take fully different approach to recipes and store design from existing ones next door. Streamlining of the product supply chain is another area in which the sector has made a significant progress in recent years. Although traditional multi-layered supply chain, comprised of wet-markets and small-scale wholesalers, still remains a dominant production distribution channel for independent, family operated small restaurants and bars, large-scale ?one-stop, broad-line? service distributors are growing rapidly along with the growth of large-scale restaurants under franchise operation. The evolvement of the food service sector is creating growing demand for imported products that offer new and healthy recipes, value price, stable supply capacity, and added-value for labor saving, characteristics where U.S. products are competitive. For further detailed information about the HRI food service sector in Korea, please refer to the Korea HRI Food Service Sector Biennial Market Brief 2010, KS1005 dated March 9, 2010. D. Food Processing Sector Korea maintains a strong processing industry that manufactures a wide variety of processed agricultural and food products. Many of the Korean conglomerate business groups have an agriculture/food processing business, and more of the Korean processors are trying to expand their sales to foreign markets. Korean government is also providing the industry with a financial and promotional support under ?globalization of Korean cuisine? campaign. However, the local processing industry relies heavily on imported products for raw materials, intermediate ingredients, and additives because of limited local resources. As a result, Korea is an outstanding buyer for almost all types of agricultural products for processing use from basic commodities such as corn, soybeans, wheat to intermediate ingredients such as hides, oils, whey powder, fruit juice concentrate to food additives such as flavors, coloring agents, and preservatives. There were a total of 4,061 agriculture/food processing businesses that hired 10 or more employees in Korea at the end of 2008, which generated an estimate of 56 trillion won of cash register sales. Table 9: Korea?s Self-sufficiency Rate for Food Grain (2007) Total Rice Barley Wheat Corn Soy Beans potatoes Others A 27.2% 95.8% 48.3% 0.2% 0.7% 11.1% 98.4% 9.8% B 51.6% 95.8% 52.3% 3.2% 3.2% 34.5% 109.1% 10.4% A: self-sufficiency Ratio including feed B: self-sufficiency Ratio for food only Source: Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Statistical Yearbook 2009 Table 10: Gross Output by Agriculture & Food Processors with 10 or more Employees (2008) of Production Product Segment Value umber of Employees (Billion won) N Processed Meat 7,408 25,610 Processed Fish and Seafood 3,076 22,481 Processed Fruits and Vegetables 1,851 13,484 Fats and Oils 2,507 2,470 Dairy and Ice cream 5,863 9,530 Grain processing and Starch 4,324 7,198 Other Processed Foods 14,606 59,303 Feed processing 7,918 7,560 Alcoholic Beverages 4,585 6,478 Non-alcoholic beverages 3,494 6,470 Total 55,632 160,584 Source: Report on Mining and Manufacturing Survey, Korea National Statistics Information Service It is notable that the local processing industry is led by a small number of large-scale players, as indicated by the fact that only 14 out of the 4,061 processors had over 500 employees. Table 11: Employment Size of Agriculture & Food Manufacturers (2007) Number of Employees Number of Processors 10-19 1,985 20-49 1,324 50-99 448 100-199 206 200-299 56 300-499 28 500 and Over 14 Total 4,061 Source: Report on Mining and Manufacturing Survey, Korea National Statistics Information Service For further detailed information about the food processing sector in Korea, please refer to the Korea Food Processing Ingredients Sector Biennial Market Brief 2010, KS1004 dated March 12, 2010. SECTION VI. KOREA?S AGRICULTURAL & FOOD IMPORTS A. Agricultural & Food Import Statistics Monthly updated statistics of Korea?s agricultural and food imports, organized by a 4-digit HS code based on the Korea Trade Information Service (KOTIS) database is available from the ATO Seoul?s Internet home-page (www.atoseoul.com). B. Best High-value, Consumer-oriented Product Prospects 3 Yr. 2010 Avg. Imports Annua Key Market l Import Product HS ($ Mil) Attractiveness C Import Ta Constraints riff ategory Code from over Market for U.S. Tota Growth Rates /1 l Development Suppliers USA Total USA Beef 0201- 1,080 4% 40% High tariffs Ban on bone-in 0202 395 35% BSE image beef lifted. 664 -6% 22.5- High tariffs Pork 0203 162 -9% 25% C Strong demand ompetition 165 14% 18- Competitors? Poultry 0207 72 9% 27% lowe Strong demand r price 1,167 8% 10- Competitors? Fish, Frozen 0303 Strong demand 60 1% 63% lower price C 259 3% tariffs Competitive heese & Curd 0406 % High 76 12% 36 EU suppliers price, quality Nuts 143 18% Dominant 0802 0% High tariffs 136 20% 8-5 presence C 148 6% 30- High tariffs Dominant itrus 0805 140 6% 50% Sanitation presence Gr 91 6% 21- High tariffs apes 0806 Good quality 17 9% 45% Chile C 33 1% igh tariffs herries, Fresh 0809.20 24% H Good quality 31 2% Short shelf life C 372 9% offee 0901 25 9% 2-8% Competition Strong demand 290 -5% Soybean Oil 1507 .4% Competition Good quality 48 -14% 5 Sausages & 22 2% 18- Similar 1601 g Competitive h tariffs 20 3% 30% Hi price, quality Products Good quality Sugar 72 4% C 1704 Competition and creative onfectionery 11 3% 8% products Chocolate & 189 8% Food 1806 -40% Competition Good quality 65 20% 8 Preparation Bread, Pastry, 148 -1% C 1905 % Competition Good quality akes, etc. 38 -5% 8 Processed High tariffs Ve 2001- 640 0% getables & 5-50% Competitors? Good quality 2009 180 4% Fruits & Juices lower price Sauces & 162 3% High prices 2103 8-54% ality Preparations 21 3% Additi Good quves Competition Food 570 10% 2106 0% Strong local Strong demand Preparations 256 19% 8-3 production Mineral Water, 34 1% Strong local 2202 Good quality Flavored 22 0% 8% production W 113 -11% petition ine 2204 5% Com d quality 11 -11% 1 Hig Gooh prices /1 For specific tariff rates for individual products in the category, please contact ATO Seoul. SECTION VII. KEY CONTACTS AND FURTHER INFORMATION A. USDA/FAS Offices in Korea 1. For information about the Korean agricultural market and regulations, please contact: U.S. Agricultural Trade Office Seoul (ATO) Korean Address: Room 303, Leema Building, 146-1, Susong-dong, Jongro-gu, Seoul, Korea U.S. Mailing Address: U.S. Embassy Seoul, Unit 15550-ATO, APO, AP 96205-5550 Telephone: +82-2 397-4188 Fax: +82-2 720-7921 E-mail: atoseoul@fas.usda.gov Internet homepage: www.atoseoul.com Agricultural Affairs Office, U.S. Embassy Seoul (AAO) Korean Address: U.S. Embassy, 82, Sejong-ro, Jongro-gu, Seoul, Korea U.S. Mailing Address: U.S. Embassy Seoul, Unit 15550-AgAff, APO, AP 96205-5550 Telephone: +82-2 397-4297 Fax: +82-2 738-7147 E-mail: agseoul@fas.usda.gov 2. For further information about sanitary/export certificate requirements, please contact: U.S. Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service Seoul (APHIS) Korean Address: Room 303, Leema Building, 146-1, Susong-dong, Jongro-gu, Seoul, Korea U.S. Mailing Address: U.S. Embassy Seoul, Unit 15550-APHIS, APO, AP 96205-5550 Telephone: +82-2 725-5495 Fax: +82-2 725-5496 E-mail: yunhee.kim@aphis.usda.gov Internet Homepage: www.aphis.usda.gov B. USDA/FAS? On-line Supplier List The United States Department of Agriculture?s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA/FAS) offers information and services that can be beneficial to both new and experienced exporters. For example, the U.S. Suppliers Service is a searchable database of over 5,000 U.S. exporters and their products, which is used by USDA/FAS to help facilitate connecting potential buyers with U.S. suppliers. This database is used by more than 85 USDA/FAS Overseas offices to help export agents, trading companies, importers and foreign market buyers locate U.S. suppliers. It is also used to recruit U.S. exporters to participate in market development activities sponsored by USDA and federal export programs. You can register online for this service at http://www.fas.usda.gov/agx/partners_trade_leads/us_suppliers_list.asp C. Strategic Trade Regional Groups (STRG) For information about financial supports and export aid programs offered by Strategic Trade Regional Groups, please contact: Food Export Association of the Midwest USA 309 W. Washington St., Suite 600, Chicago, Illinois 60606, USA Telephone: 312-334-9200 Fax: 312-334-9230 E-mail: thamilton@foodexport.org Website: www.foodexport.org Western United States Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA) 2500 Main Street, Suite 110, Vancouver, WA 98660-2697, USA Telephone: 3
Posted: 30 November 2011

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