ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARYNo
On 18 July 2014, the government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) announced that it has decided to scrap the current caps on rice imports, ending a 20-year waiver prematurely. As the agreement with WTO that allowed the country to postpone its rice market opening will expire at the end of this year, the ROK government chose not to seek another waiver, but to open its market instead.
For the past 20 years, the ROK's rice imports have increased in 20,000-ton increments per year under the MMA (Minimum Market Access). MMA imports (currently 409,000 tons) are subject to a 5 percent tariff. The current MMA with 5% tariff will be still valid after the tariffication.
Although the ROK government did not specify the tariff rate in the announcement, government officials have said that it will impose a high rate so that it would make the imports more expensive than locally produced rice.
In September 2014, the Korean government finally introduced import tariffs on rice (seeelated Measures).
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