S Korea lifts import tariffs for eggs to ease egg shortage

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Seoul, January 3
South Korea’s import tariffs on egg products will be cut to zero from tomorrow as part of the government’s efforts to ease an egg shortage sparked by the country’s worst-ever bird flu epidemic. South Korea’s agriculture ministry said yesterday the tariff cut will be applied to a total of 98,600 tonnes of eight types of egg products including fresh eggs, liquid egg and egg powder until June 30 and, if necessary, it will consider extending the period. At present, tariffs of 8 per cent to 30 per cent are imposed on imported egg products but Korea has not imported fresh eggs since 1999.
“Tariffs on imported egg products such as fresh eggs and processed egg products will be lowered,” Lee Jun-won, Vice Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, said at a briefing. “In the case of fresh eggs, even if the government funds air freight costs, considering current local egg prices, still imported egg prices will be higher so it will be difficult to import for the moment but more processed egg products can be brought into Korea,” Lee said.

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