U.S. Customs May Be Ramping Up U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement Verifications

04/02/2014 (press release: strtrade) // Miami, Florida, USA // Nancy Cook

Just as the two year anniversary of the implementation of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement passes, importers are voicing concerns that the U.S. government may be ramping up its verification reviews, requiring importers to produce extensive documentation proving that goods imported under the agreement are eligible for FTA benefits.

“We’ve seen a definite spike in inquiries from our clients,” says Larry Ordet, a member of the leading international trade law firm Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A. “They are reporting an increase in Customs’ requests for information and are anticipating notifications of more intense verification reviews,” he adds.

The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, often referred to as KORUS FTA, took effect on March 15, 2012. Tariffs on almost 80 percent of two-way trade in consumer and industrial products were eliminated as of that date, and another 15 percent will become duty free by January 1, 2016. A few tariffs will remain in place until 2021, with some being phased out in equal annual stages over either five years or 10 years, and others remaining at their base levels for several years until being eliminated all at once or in annual stages.

While taking advantage of the KORUS FTA can be a great advantage for global traders, the importance of ensuring that the rules for qualification are followed cannot be overemphasized. “The time to get ready for a verification review is before the government comes knocking at your door,” Ordet says.

Ordet will present a webinar entitled “U.S. – Korea Free Trade Agreement Verifications: How to Pass United States and Korean Government Reviews” on Wednesday, April 9. To register, visit our registration page or www.strtrade.com/events-US-Korea-Free-Trade-Agreement-Verifications-040914.html or email [email protected] for more information.

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, together with its related global trade management company Sandler & Travis Trade Advisory Services, Inc., forms the largest dedicated international trade and customs firm in the world, employing over 700 global trade professionals in 12 cities throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.strtrade.com

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