To address a shortage of fresh eggs caused by a bird flu outbreak, the South Korean Government has temporarily removed tariffs for egg imports from a number of countries, including Australia.
Australian egg exporters are taking advantage of this temporary change, with shipments of fresh eggs already sent to South Korea.
The opportunity arose after the Australian Government – through the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources – and the South Korean Government agreed to export certification conditions which provide technical market access for shelled eggs from Australia.
Amanda Hodges, Austrade’s Seoul-based Senior Trade Commissioner for Korea and Mongolia, said Korea is applying a temporary zero tariff on imported shelled eggs until 30 June 2017.
‘While this is welcome news for the industry, helping to highlight Australia’s capabilities of producing high-quality food, Australian exporters still need to meet Korea’s import requirements for shell eggs,’ said Hodges.
‘South Korea maintains strict requirements for imports and requires all air and sea freight containers of shell eggs to be sealed using an Australian Government seal. The number of the Australian Government seal must also be included on the certificate,’ she said.
Hodges said the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has provided two market access advice notices (number 2017-02 and 2017-03) detailing the necessary requirements to assist exporters of fresh eggs to South Korea.
‘From a Korean consumer perspective, Koreans prefer to eat brown shell coloured eggs, rather than white. It is anticipated there may be demand for hatching-eggs and live chicks for breeding at a later date, as Korea seeks to rebuild its laying and breeding stocks,’ added Hodges.
Other global suppliers such as the US and Spain have also negotiated export protocols to supply fresh eggs to Korea for the first time.
Hodges also noted that once the tariff returned to normal levels, Australian exporters would still benefit if access is maintained because under the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) the tariff will be reduced over time. Under normal conditions, the tariff in 2017 would be 21 per cent.
Korea is Australia’s fourth-largest trading partner and KAFTA is helping to create a competitive advantage for Australian exporters on a range of products. You can find out the applicable tariffs for any imports or exports to South Korea at https://ftaportal.dfat.gov.au.