France/EU-South Korea FTA
On 3 August 2012, France sent the European Commission a request for the monitoring of imports of vehicles from South Korea. There is a marked increase in these imports. France’s request for the monitoring of imports of vehicles from the Republic of Korea is in line with the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement, which came into force on 1 July 2011.
This request follows the very significant rise in imports of private cars to France from South Korea. Over January and February 2012, there was on average a 50% rise compared to the same period of the previous year. The diesel vehicle industry, especially small-engine cars, has been particularly hit, with very significant rises.
The Free Trade Agreement states that a sudden increase in imports to one or several member states of products in sensitive sectors, including the automotive sector, must be notified to the Commission, which will deal with the issue as quickly as possible.
Monitoring automotive trade flows helps build a more precise understanding of the scale of the bilateral imbalances. It requires importers to obtain permission from the European Commission before any importing takes place.
This data will allow us to assess the real effect of the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement on the automotive sector, and to consider new provisions if trade relations prove too unequal./.