South Korea has accepted regionalization of Dutch pork and poultry products

Thanks to this agreement, even if there is an outbreak of African Swine Fever(ASF) or Bird Flu (HPAI), the Netherlands can continue exporting pork, processed pork products, poultry meat, day-old chicks, poultry, and eggs to South Korea. It is a significant step forward for Dutch exporters.

Pork Belly

On 2 September 2022, MAFRA (Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs-South Korea) notified the amendment of Import Health requirements for pork and poultry products from the EU member states. In this amendment, the Korean government accepted Regionalization concerning outbreaks of ASF and HPAI in the EU.

According to the amended import health requirements, in the case of ASF or HPAI, the area will be divided into “Restricted Zone” and “Free Zone”. “Restricted zone” includes infected zone, protection zone, surveillance zone, restricted zone I, II, III, and further restricted zone established by the Dutch government to prevent the spread of the diseases. “Free zone” means an area recognized by the Korean government corresponding to the ASF-free zone outside the ASF/HPAI-restricted zones established by the Dutch government. Even if there is an outbreak of ASF or HPAI, Dutch exporters can continue exporting meat and animals from establishments in the free zone. 

Due to outbreaks of HPAI in the Netherlands, poultry and poultry product exports have been suspended almost yearly. Much effort was needed to satisfy Korea’s requirements to resume exports. The ASF has been an alert to the Dutch pig sector. Concerns over ASF have been growing due to findings of ASF in wild boars in neighboring countries such as Germany and Belgium.

Korea was the 4th largest importer of pork in the world in 2020, after China, Japan, and Mexico. The Netherlands was the 4th largest exporter of pork to Korea in 2021, after the US, Spain, and Austria, by exporting 33,000 tons (129 million euros by value) of pork. Due to frequent outbreaks of HPAI in the Netherlands, poultry and poultry product exports are limited, but the demand for poultry meat and day-old chicks is growing.

Together with the EU and EU member states, the Netherlands has pushed the Korean government for Regionalization of pork and poultry products. LNV (The Netherlands ministry of agriculture, nature and food quality) sent an official letter to MAFRA in 2019 to ask for the Regionalization of Dutch animal products. After 3-years of effort, the Korean government has accepted Regionalization.

The agricultural department of the Netherlands embassy has to keep in touch with APQA to make model certificates for all relevant animal products based on the import health requirements amended for Regionalization. It will take a couple of months to put the Regionalization into effect in quarantine and inspection in the field.

For the details on Regionalization, please get in touch with