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Product Specific Rules of Origin in the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement

Following exchanges of letters between Ambassador Froman and Korean Trade Minister Yoon, and between Ambassador Froman and Korean Ambassador Ahn, the United States and Korea have agreed on a conversion of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement’s product-specific rules of origin (Annex 4-A, Annex 6-A, and Appendix 6-A-1 of the FTA).   This agreement entered into effect on January 1, 2014.

This conversion aligns these specific rules of origin with the nomenclature of the most current 2012 Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS).  This conversion was necessary, as the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement was negotiated while the 2002 HTS was current, and therefore used the now outdated nomenclature.  Until now, exporters and importers seeking preferential tariffs under KORUS had to figure out what HTS code their product had under the 2002 nomenclature in order to determine the correct rule of origin.  This conversion eliminates that step, streamlining the process for U.S. and Korean traders.

The new specific rules of origin can be found here [Annex 4-A; Annex 6-A; Annex 6-A-1]and in the full text of the agreement on the USTR webpage.