Starting from Feb. 1, China will adopt the tariff rate it has pledged under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement on selected imports from the Republic of Korea (ROK), a statement released by the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council said Thursday.
The move will come on the same day as the RCEP deal comes into force for the ROK, said the statement. The ROK has recently deposited its instrument of approval to the Secretary-General of ASEAN, who is the depositary of the RCEP agreement.
For the years after 2022, annual tariff adjustments as promised in the agreement will take effect on the first day of each year.
The ROK's RCEP implementation would further bolster regional economic and trade cooperation and bring mutual benefits to all RCEP members, added the statement.
As the world's largest free trade agreement, the RCEP agreement entered into force on Jan. 1. After it takes effect, more than 90 percent of merchandise trade among members that have approved the accord will eventually be subject to zero tariffs.
The RCEP was signed on Nov. 15, 2020, by 15 Asia-Pacific countries -- ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, and New Zealand -- after eight years of negotiations that started in 2012.