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Business calls for regulatory changes in Korea

South Korean businesspeople have called for easing unfavorable regulations that are not applied in rival countries in order to secure the competitiveness of the nation’s major industries.

On Friday, the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry held a second meeting of the regulatory improvement for the major industries with the private and public sectors to listen to the regulatory difficulties of the equipment industry and seek solutions. The meeting was attended by industry associations and major companies in steel, non-ferrous metals, oil refining and petrochemicals sectors.

Participants discussed easing regulations with regard to the installation of hazardous chemical storage facilities and the flexible application of gas emission facilities at steel mills.

According to the regulations introduced in 2015, outdoor storage facilities of hazardous chemicals should be equipped with discharge barriers to prevent spillage. However, if the detection warning system installed before 2015 is strengthened with sensors or CCTV, they are recognized as installing the discharge wall.

The businesspeople said it was unclear whether the exceptions are still granted when the existing facility was replaced due to old age. In response, the government agreed to review whether to apply the exception if there were no safety concerns when replacing old facilities.

Some also suggested that tariffs should be adjusted temporarily for major raw materials so that they can compete in the same environment as their international competitors. If a domestic chemical company procures naphtha at home and abroad, it is subject to a 0.5 percent flexible tariff. Participants said if prices of products fall through flexible tariff adjustment, it will help small and medium-sized processing companies.

Park Gu-yeon, co-chairman of the public-private joint regulatory improvement promotion group, said, “We will make active efforts to enhance regulatory innovation by listening to and resolving the lively voices of the field on the regulatory innovation of major companies.” 

By Shin Ji-hye (
Korea Herald daum