The customs authorities of the exporting country may authorize any exporter exporting goods outside the trade agreement to export declarations of origin for goods, regardless of their value. The exporter must provide the customs authorities with sufficient guarantees to verify the original character of the products and compliance with all other requirements of the agreement (protocol). In the event of abuse, customs authorities may withdraw the status of an approved exporter. The Republic of Korea and the United States have implemented the United States. Free trade agreement on 15 March 2012 (amended in September 2018). The agreement is the largest free trade agreement (FTA) negotiated by the United States since NAFTA. For more information on the KORUS Free Trade Agreement, see www.ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/korus-fta. Trade in processed agricultural products falls under Schedule IV of the main agreement. In addition, trade in agricultural commodities is covered by three bilateral agreements on basic agricultural products negotiated between the state of EFTA concerned and Korea.
These agreements are part of the instruments for creating the free trade area. They are providing concessions on both sides. The agreement establishes a high level of protection of intellectual property rights (Articles 7.1 to 7.3 and Appendix XIII) that covers areas such as patents, trademarks and copyrights and, in some areas, goes beyond what is provided for in the WTO agreement on aspects of intellectual property rights affecting trade (TRIPS) and other international agreements and treaties. 41 David Lawder, «U.S., South Korea to Revise Trade Pact with Currency Side-Deal, Autos Concessions,» Reuters, March 28, 2018; and Congressional Research Service, «U.S.-South Korea (KORUS) FTA,» December 28, 2018. The agreement established a number of specialized commissions and working groups between the two parties to monitor implementation. 9 Steve Holland, «Trump Hints on Withdrawal from U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Deal,» Reuters, September 2, 2017. At this time, North Korea announced a successful test of a nuclear weapon that could be loaded onto a long-range missile, which could have influenced the views of the United States and South Korea on trade issues. «North Korea Nuclear Test: Hydrogen Bomb `Missile`Ready,» British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) News, 3 September 2017.