Seoul (VNA) – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Republic of Korea (RoK) have agreed to settle difficulties in customs procedures for more effective implementation of their free trade agreement (FTA), according to the RoK’s Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Under the agreement, the RoK firms will be able to receive tariff benefits if they submit copies of certificates of origin when they export goods to the 10 member states of ASEAN, according to the ministry.

Korean exporters have had difficulties as the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed international shipments of certificates of origin.

Amid the situation, the RoK proposed that the two sides mutually accept the copies of such certificates until the pandemic is brought under control, and ASEAN accepted the offer, the ministry said.

Since the free trade deal between the RoK and ASEAN took effect in June 2007, the country's trade with the bloc has more than doubled.

ASEAN currently stands as the second-largest trading partner for the RoK, with their trade reaching 143.8 billion USD in 2020, more than doubling from 61.8 billion USD tallied in 2006.

ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam./.