South Korea’s free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) has come into full force starting Sunday after more than four years the trade pact provisionally took effect.
According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Friday, the South Korea-EU FTA would go into full effect from Sunday, implementing also non-tariff clauses related to the protection of intellectual property rights and boosting cultural cooperation.
The full implementation of the trade agreement comes four years and five months after the agreement went into effect on July 1, 2011. Tariffs were immediately removed, but some aspects were left unimplemented.
Meanwhile, the full implementation of the trade agreement with the EU is expected to boost cultural exchange between artists, cultural professionals and performers, as well as development in audio-video content and broadcasting ties. It will also improve partnerships in performance arts, publishing and preserving cultural assets.
With regard to intellectual property rights protection, measures call for criminal punishment such as property seizing and imprisonment for those that intentionally forge trademarks, violate copyrights and neighboring copyrights, as well as counterfeit designs. Further details on penalty measures have not been included in the agreement as criminal penalty regulation varies by each EU country, the trade ministry said.