Britain and South Korea are in talks to protect an arrangement of tax breaks for Korean buyers of North Sea crude beyond Britain’s upcoming exit from the EU, officials from both countries said, although a breakthrough does not look imminent. An EU free-trade agreement has been in place since 2012 with South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy and last year’s third-biggest importer of British North Sea crude, which is a significant source of revenue for the United Kingdom. The current trade deal allows EU exporters to sell their oil to South Korean refineries tax-free, and Britain has been the biggest beneficiary of this break. Last year, Korea imported 34.11 million barrels of British crude oil, up 83.5 percent from 2016, making up three percent of Korea’s total crude imports, according to data from state-run Korea National Oil Corp. Britain, which is trying to forge new trade relationships beyond Europe, will leave the EU next March and enjoy a status-quo transition until the end of 2020, according to the current plan. – Reuters

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