Towards a regulatory reform of maritime affairs


Cho Seung-hwan

The author is the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries.

The seas were once a place for fishing and transporting goods. As marine science and technology advance rapidly, a new maritime industry has emerged. In such remarkable changes, we must first create a symbiotic ecosystem where creativity is maximized and diverse stakeholder responses can help build a neo-marine economy. Current systems and government regulations that inhibit ideas and flexibility have only slowed the development of new industries and imposed unnecessary burdens on businessmen, related industries and local residents.

To help change these outdated ecosystems, the Department of Oceans and Fisheries has designed demand-driven initiatives for regulatory reforms: it plans to hold a public competition and gather public opinion on a wide range of issues concerning maritime affairs. The Department will first eliminate unnecessary regulations that are blocking the new maritime economy by reviewing over 7,200 regulations and developing new ideas to improve the system.

The global shipping industry is changing rapidly, as evidenced by the growing use cases for autonomous, remotely operated – and environmentally friendly – ​​vessels. But in Korea, even after the technology has been successfully developed, it has to go through the four-step certification process. This will be streamlined by replacing it with a one-stop verification process through a private organization with expertise in the field. In addition, since there was no single law applicable to the operation of autonomous vessels, candidates for the operation had to comply with several laws, including the Ship Safety Act and the People’s Act. sea. The government will enact a new law dealing with the special cases of trial operations of autonomous vessels to end the dismissal.

In addition, red tape on complexes adjacent to ports will be eased to facilitate related business activities. Requirements for operating multiple businesses will be lifted so that existing businesses operating logistics businesses can also engage in manufacturing businesses. For example, if a logistics service provider importing textiles wishes to manufacture sporting goods with these imported textiles, this is currently not allowed. Thus, the application procedures and requirements for such business expansion will be simplified so that companies can operate high value-added manufacturing activities as well as logistics activities.

Meanwhile, regulations on camping facilities at beaches will also be lifted so bathers can see the effects of the relaxed regulations immediately. At present, the installation of facilities such as showers on the beaches is not allowed, which has caused serious problems such as campers dumping their rubbish on the beach and even occupying public toilets to showering and cooking in some extreme cases. The ministry plans to allow operators of camping facilities to install such convenient facilities on beaches after assessing the effects of the change on the marine environment. The Department of Oceans and Fisheries expects that such a measure will contribute to significantly intensifying our culture of camping on the beach and allow the harmonious coexistence of campers and local residents.

The ministry also plans to improve 83 regulations that have caused inconvenience to public and private enterprises. The department hopes these regulatory reforms will benefit the general public and accelerate the rapid shift to the new marine economy that the government is championing.


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