Trade ministry eases rules for export firms

Asia's Tech News Daily

Trade ministry eases rules for export firms

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By Lee Kyung-min

The government will simplify the administrative procedures for exporters of Korea’s key goods, as part of an expanded compliance program (CP), whereby 156 businesses abide by expedited, self-regulated export control measures, the trade ministry said Wednesday.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said that relevant ordinances have been revised to accommodate manufacturers of the country’s key export items, mostly via expedited and simplified inspections and paperwork submissions for export permission after the fact.

This government effort is the latest to strengthen the competitiveness of local exporters, the prime growth driver of the country reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ministry held its first meeting with top-rated exporters and experts from academia, including from universities and think tanks, in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul. Ministry officials and participants at the event shared concerns about the status quo and discussed ways to improve the system.

Businesses that export the same item on more than four separate occasions within a year will be able to submit simplified paperwork before export.

The submission of paperwork for certain dual-use goods items subject to the Wassenaar Arrangement will be waived. Formally established in July 1996, the arrangement is a voluntary export control regime, whereby 42 members exchange information on the transfers of conventional weapons and dual-use goods and technologies. The members include Korea, the U.S., a number of European countries and Russia.

The firms that attended the event conveyed to the ministry officials the need to extend the CP-certified period to five years, up from the current three.

Those designated as ministry-certified participants in the CP are given one of three grades ― A, AA and AAA ― based on their manufacturing, operating and management capabilities.

The firms underscored the need to set up a consultative body to share information on the management of what the government considers to be key strategic materials ― a measure critical to prevent an acute shortage of key trade items.

The ministry plans to organize one-on-one consultations for a variety of sectors in the industry starting in August of next year. The first will be held for the software industry, Aug. 18, followed by one for semiconductors and display manufacturers, Oct. 7. One for bio and precision chemical industries will be held Nov.30, and one for small- and medium-sized enterprises, Dec. 1.

“CP-mediated strategic material export control is the minimum defense mechanism for local firms to earn a reputation in the global trade industry as reliable partners,” a ministry official said. “The government will continue its efforts to revise and implement rules that best help the exporters of the country.”

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