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S. Korea-EU FTA to come into full force Sunday

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Baku, December 12, AZERTAC 

South Korea's free trade deal with the European Union (EU) will go into full effect this weekend, four years after it was "provisionally" implemented, the Korean government said, according to Yonhap news agency.

The country`s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said that starting Sunday, all provisions of the South Korea-EU free trade agreement (FTA) will be implemented fully.

The FTA effectively went into effect on July 1, 2011, under an arrangement to prevent administrative delays from holding back tariff cuts and free movement of goods. South Korea's National Assembly already ratified the deal along with all 27 EU member states.

South Korea and the EU have all moved to cut and reduce import duties and non-tariff rules, although some aspects of the deal have not been implemented up till now.

"With the full implementation, even parts of the FTA like those covering cultural sector cooperation and intellectual property rights protection will now go into force," the ministry said.

Cultural exchange covers supporting cooperation between artists and performers, and joint development of audio-video content, as well as expanding ties in the broadcasting, live performances and publishing areas.

Intellectual property rights protection calls for measures aimed at dealing with unauthorized use of trademarks, counterfeiting of designs copyrights and neighboring copyright issues, as well as how to penalize offenders.

The two sides agreed on Sept. 15 to fully implement the FTA within the year, with Seoul and Brussels exchanging letters confirming their plans on Oct. 15 to complete all administrative processes so the trade agreement can go into full effect in 60 days.

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