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[Bills in Focus] Tougher measures against family monopolies, housing scams, construction safety

By Korea Herald

Published : Aug. 21, 2023 - 17:36

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Proposed bill: Partial Amendment to the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act

Proposed by Rep. Kim Han-kyu (Democratic Party of Korea)

● Although the current law stipulates stringent penalties against the provision of unfair benefits to specially related parties, the effectiveness of such penalties is limited due to the insufficient time frame given by the current statute of limitations. This amendment extends the statute of limitations for the provision of unfair benefits to related contractors, such as the children of a company owner, from five years to a maximum of 15 years.

Proposed bill: Act on the Management and Promotion of Real Estate Sales Agency Business

Proposed by Rep. Park Jeong-ha (People Power Party)

● To prevent the recurrence of jeonse scams, there have been demands to regulate unreliable small-scale real estate sales agencies and revise regulations to be applicable to studio apartment buildings with fewer than 30 households. Accordingly, this bill outlines the general matters of the real estate sales agency industry for all real estate types, including the qualifications, obligations, and prohibited acts of real estate sales agencies. In particular, it requires individuals who intend to start a real estate sales agency business to possess a minimum capital of 200 million won ($149,050), have experts who satisfy specific qualifications, and be duly registered by the mayor or the Do Governor.

Pending bill: Partial Amendment to the Framework Act on the Construction Industry

Proposed by Rep. Kim Jung-jae (People Power Party)

● Structural safety and quality control have become an important issue in the construction industry following the 2022 apartment collapse in Gwangju that resulted in the loss of seven lives. This bill cancels registration and imposes a five-year restriction on the re-registration of constructors whose defective construction work, whether by intention or negligence, leads to substantial damage and fatal accidents involving the death of five or more individuals including construction project participants, or three or more individuals excluding construction project participants.

Promulgated bill: Enforcement Decree of the Act on the Protection of Financial Consumers

Competent Authority: Financial Services Commission

● In line with the upcoming fast-track system for dispute resolution between financial companies and consumers this November, this bill enables the Financial Supervisory Service to accelerate the dispute resolution process by allowing mediation applications that satisfy certain requirements to be deliberated without having to undergo the mandatory settlement agreement recommendation procedure.

Administrative announcement: Partial Amendment to the Enforcement Rule of the Wastes Control Act

Competent Authority: Ministry of Environment

● This amendment rationalizes regulations by unifying the process of collecting, transporting, and disposing waste that contain hazardous chemical substances. Moreover, it modifies the safety management criteria to improve regulations for the recycling of dead electric car batteries and the use of materials for carbon dioxide capture. In particular, it exempts cases where dead electric car batteries are reused from the duty to establish a waste recycling facility to encourage the broader adoption of new technology.

The Korea Herald republishes a weekly legislative report by local law firm DR & AJU LLC to provide the latest information on bills approved, proposed, pending and set to be promulgated. -- Ed.

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For any queries about the bills, contact cr@draju.com.