Illegal data collection of Korea duty from EU exporters

The German Chambers of Commerce point out that German exporters are repeatedly asked by the South Korean business partner / importer to send their goods their authorization letter to the “Authorized Exporter” (EA) or a confirmation from the German customs office about the authorization number assigned to the German company “Authorized Exporter “. In the meantime, a new request has been received asking German exporters to complete a “Verification of Origin” form. Companies that are invited to do so are strongly advised not to do so.

Examinations of preferences of German exporters are to be formally and exclusively addressed to the German customs authorities by the South Korean customs authority in accordance with the EU – South Korea Free Trade Agreement. In addition, the “Verification of Origin” questionnaire collects data, some of which are only broadly related to a preference assessment and clearly disclose proprietary information.

Since South Korea has tariff preferences with several states, some of which leave open the possibility of direct inspection of Korean customs via questionnaires to the exporter, it is conceivable that the authority does not always distinguish between the different agreements. However, as described, the preferential agreement with the EU explicitly does not provide for this option.
A sample of the “Verification of Origin” can be found here:

Source: IHK-Schwaben-News-07/2018