Korea - Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards

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Korea is well equipped with a modern legal system that is based on a fixed hierarchy. Based on this framework, an Act or law, legislated by the National Assembly, gives the legal basis for government regulations. The draft bill may be submitted by an individual National Assembly member or the competent government ministry for National Assembly consideration. Under each Act, a Decree and Rule are drawn up by the responsible ministry to implement the law. At about the same time, the competent ministry or agency also promulgates notices and guidelines in order to provide more detailed guidance. The adjacent pyramid, albeit an oversimplification, shows how this legal hierarchy fits together. New and/or revised Acts, Decrees, Rules, and the implementing guidelines are published in the government gazette for public comments. These changes are also notified to the WTO for international comments. In addition, over the last decade, the Korea Legislation Research Institute has translated many of these laws into English in order to strengthen cooperation with trading partners and multinational firms doing business in Korea.

Seung Ah Chung
Michael G. Francom