Korea has granted generalized system of preference to least developed countries including Laos by allowing duty free and unlimited quotas. This was initiated in 2008 as a continuation of the results of the resolutions of the WTO Ministerial level meeting which was held in Hong Kong in 2005, allowing developing countries to offer a voluntary affordable preferential duty free and unlimited quotas to the least developed countries. GSP was improved by Korea itself in 2000.

Korea is ranked number 8th in the world for imports in 2012, with total imports of 519.6 billion U.S. dollars, or 2.9% in the world. Laos is ranked 124 in Korea’s market.  Laos exports to Korea in 2012 were approximately 11.3 million U.S. Main products are copper, wood and furniture, clothing, coffee and tea, tobacco, beverages, alcoholic, leather and others (Click here for more detail).

GSP Scheme

Lao products can be exported to Korea if they meet criteria of ROO and duty free and unlimited quota can cover 85% of the total number of products requested by Korea in 2008 and expected to increase to 95% in 2012.

The preference may be applied to both agricultural and industrial goods which are clearly mentioned clearly in the list of goods (file attached here). Agricultural products include: Section 1 (live animals), Section 3 (fish and fish processing), Section 5 (leather and wool) until section 24 (tobacco products). Industrial products include: Section 25 (salt, sulphur and rock; materials TLASTER, lime and cement) to Section 97 (art, collection pieces or antiquities). However, some categories such as clothing, agriculture and fisheries products cannot obtain GSP and for those products the normal MFN tariff of Korea must be paid.

As well as the GSP Scheme, Lao products exported to Korea can also make use of the preference under the ASEAN- Korea Free Trade Agreement and the Asia - Pacific (APTA) for which the information is given separately.

Rules of Origin: ROO

Lao products in the preferential treatment list given by South Korea to request preferential treatment to import into South Korea, will also need to follow ROO conditions as follows:

• Wholly obtained or produced: WO is basically agricultural products (plant and animal), agricultural processing products and minerals etc…

 • Processed goods undergoing substantial transformation or finalization produced in Laos, by importing raw materials not exceeding 50% of the F.O.B value of the content of the products.

In the case of using imported raw materials from Korea for processing, those products may deduct the value of raw materials imported from abroad (or consider that raw materials originate in Laos)


To obtain preferential tariff treatment, Lao exporters must use certificate of origin Form CO-Korea which is issued by the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry or Provincial and Capital.  The documents supporting the requested certificate of origin are:

1.) Application letter;
2.) Printed of Certificate of Origin;
3.) Invoices and Packing list;
4.) Customs Declaration;
5.) True copy of Bill of Lading;
6.) Domestic Bills of sale or purchase (in the case of domestic buying);
7). Cost statement or working’s process (in the case of imported raw materials).


To obtain trade preference, transportation is one criteria that must be met. In principle products have to be shipped directly to Korea. However, there are 2 exemptions:

• When it is necessary to transport to a third country due to geographical reasons (for example Laos does not share border with the sea) so that it is necessary to transit through or temporary store goods in a third country as long as the goods remain under Customs control.

• Exhibition goods in a third country and then re-exported to South Korea.

For more information:

 Division of Origin, Department of Import and Export, Ministry of Industry and Trade:

 Certificate of Origin Division,

Department of Import and Export,

Ministry of Industry and Commerce


Tel/Fax: 021-450255, email: