South Korea intends to open negotiations with the EU on its proposed Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). The goal is to exempt Korean exports to the EU from additional taxes under the scheme, Kallanish notes.

The Korea Emission Trading Scheme (K-ETS) covers a range of sectors including steel. Korea wants this scheme to be recognised by the EU under its CBAM rules. This would mean that companies that have accounted for their emissions under K-ETS would not have to account for them again under CBAM.

Starting in 2026, CBAM will levy an import charge on materials equivalent to their carbon emissions from production. From 2023, EU importers will need to report their embedded emissions.

Korea has also been discussing its own CBAM system. A stakeholder consultation on CBAM was announced in August. This could eventually mean carbon taxes are paid on ferrous imports from Korea’s major suppliers such as Japan and China.

Korea exported 2.134 million tonnes of steel to the EU27 over January-August 2022, up 31.6% year-on-year, according to Korean Customs data.