EU/Korean equivalence agreement now in effect

EU/Korean equivalence agreement

As of 1st February an equivalence agreement was reached between the EU and the Republic of Korea, which means that processed product can be both exported and imported from each.

This covers all processed products except those from aquaculture. The definition of processed, is either a multi-ingredient product, where ingredients are mixed together, or have additives added to them (except if just salt). Single ingredient products need to be sufficiently processed that their original form cannot be recognised such as powders or purees.

Other conditions:
Products must be processed in the EU to count. It does not matter if the product was produced before the 1st February, these can still be marketed under the terms of the agreement.

Only products labelled as organic (>95%) can be exported, those with derogations, hunting or fishing components, aquaculture ingredients, or <95% organic are not covered by the agreement, nor are unprocessed single ingredient products.  For a Q&A on the agreement, please see the following link.

Korean Import Certificate:

The Korean import certificate can be downloaded also (attached). SAC will endorse these, please send to before 3pm, Mon-Fri and they will be endorsed the same day.


The Korean labelling standards need to be adhered to, the main differences are that a telephone number of the Korean importer should be displayed on the label, as well as the SA licence number and reference to Soil Association Certification as the certifier. The manufacturer name and address should also be included.The requirement to use the MAFRA logo is optional, though if it is not used, the EU logo should be. For the MAFRA logo see link to the standards.

As of the time of writing (13th February 2015) there remain some clarifications regarding the labelling requirements that we are working with Defra to resolve. These include formatting, translation and country of origin queries, this should be finalised soon.

Unprocessed products:
For product that is not regarded as processed, such as raw plant materials, or roasted or dried nuts, full supply chain certification is necessary. We are able to inspect to the Korean standard via our partnership with ACO (Australia Certified Organic), so as long as the ingredients are certified to the Korean Organic standard, we will be able to help with the certification of UK based processors.