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South Korea Drops Trade Barrier

1 July 2002

Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton today welcomed Korea's decision to allow greater flexibility in the distribution of imported meat by allowing the freezing down of chilled product.

Mr Sutton said that measures taken by the Korean National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service from 1 July to remove the prohibition on freezing chilled meat once it enters the distribution system would assist New Zealand exporters.

"This action marks the removal of a significant non-tariff barrier facing our meat exports to Korea and brings Korea into line with international standards. It will give our exporters increased opportunities to develop high end markets for chilled beef and lamb."

Korea's prohibition on the freezing meat imported in a chilled state created an obstacle for the development of a chilled meat market.

Mr Sutton also welcomed the equal application of the requirements to both imported and domestic meat.

Korea's actions follow longstanding representation by New Zealand and other meat exporting countries on this issue and other restrictive practices in the distribution and sale of imported meat. The changes also follow the removal last year of retail restrictions on imported beef, as required by the World Trade Organisation, and the ending of all quantitative restrictions on beef imports from January 2001.

Korea is New Zealand's fifth largest market for meat exports, most of this being frozen beef.

Office of Hon Jim Sutton

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