The staff of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) at the United States Embassy in Seoul, in conjunction with our colleagues at the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Seoul office, represent the interests of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Korea.
Growing agricultural trade between the United States and Korea has created a vital role for APHIS ensuring that new trade opportunities are realized and that existing trade between the two economies flows smoothly. The APHIS Seoul office maintains technical working relationships with our Korean counterparts to resolve Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) issues whenever they arise. This relationship contributes to maintaining the success of agricultural trade-related commercial activities between the two economies, helping ensure they thrive.
In addition, our office maintains direct contact with industry trade groups, importers and exporters in order to assist and facilitate resolution of trade-related issues as they occur at Korean ports of entry.
Finally, as a principle role of APHIS is to make sure the United States and our trading partners adhere to the SPS rules set forth by the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as the other relevant international standards-setting organizations, APHIS' role will continue to increase as the United States and Korea continue to expand their current trade relationships and establish new partnerships into the foreseeable future.
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is a multifaceted Agency with a broad mission area that includes protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, regulating genetically engineered organisms, administering the Animal Welfare Act and carrying out wildlife damage management activities. These efforts support the overall mission of USDA, which is to protect and promote food, agriculture, natural resources and related issues.
Kelan Evans, Agricultural Science Officer
Countries of Responsibility: South Korea, North Korea
Mar. 5, 2019 - Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) announced it would be lowering the inspection rate for U.S. beef back to the previously agreed rate of 3 percent. MAFRA raised the inspection rate from 3 percent to 30 percent following the detection of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Florida in August 2018. APHIS worked with Korean counterparts to provide the needed information to have the rate reduced.
Oct. 16, 2018 - On October 1, U.S. exporters officially began using new certificates for the export of poultry and poultry products to Korea. This follows several years of discussion between U.S. agencies (USTR, FAS, APHIS, and FSIS) and Korea’s Ministries of Agriculture, Forestry, and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) and Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) to reach agreement on a protocol for regionalization for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). While both countries agreed in March 2018 to regionalize the United States to the State level in the event of an HPAI detection, the language in the health certificates had to be updated to reflect the agreement. With these updated certificates now in place, the United States will be able to continue exporting from non-affected zones during an HPAI event, retaining a market that reached $122 million in 2014 (the last full year without any HPAI-related trade restrictions in place).