S. Korean farm products to face toughened quarantine screening in China
SEJONG, March 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korean farm products exported to China will face toughened customs and quarantine procedures as Beijing takes retaliatory measures against Seoul's plan to deploy a U.S.-led missile defense system on its soil, the government said Wednesday.
As South Korea accelerated its move to station the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) on its soil, monthslong tensions between South Korea and China are likely running into a trade spat.
Recent reports showed that some retail shops in China run by South Korean retail giant Lotte were put under business suspension by local authorities, while Chinese travel agencies are told to stop selling tour packages heading to Korea.
"Following the decision on the THAAD deployment, concerns are rising that the Chinese authorities will strengthen customs clearance and quarantine system on imported Korean foodstuffs," said the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "The government will monitor the related situation as China will highly likely tighten or delay the process."
Some local exporters are complaining that the Chinese authorities ask for more paperwork and labeling requirements, the ministry said.
The government earlier said outbound shipments of farm products will reach US$10 billion this year, up sharply from last year's $6.5 billion.
But many are worried that they will fail to reach their goal due to the rising trade tensions with China, with exports to China standing at $1.1 billion last year.