SEOUL, March 8 (Korea Bizwire) — Regulation reform has opened the path to the domestic market for hip airbags, a novelty item that gained widespread attention at CES 2018 this January.
The Office for Government Policy Coordination on March 7 detailed some of the notable adjustments the Moon administration had made to standing regulations based on public requests logged at www.sinmungo.go.kr, billed a “regulation reform newspaper”.
From the establishment of the current government until late January, 1,159 cases had been registered on the website and dealt with.
One of the cases that was concluded satisfactorily involved the South Korean manufacturer of hip airbags.
Developed by an SME, the hip airbags consist of a belt worn around the hips fitted with sensors that are triggered when the wearer is about to fall. In this scenario, the airbags contained within the belt burst open, insulating the wearer’s rear and breaking the person’s fall.
An innovative product hailed by some as perfect for the weak and elderly, the dilemma here was that extremely low traces of gunpowder were found in a key component of the hip airbags – a gas generator available only via foreign import.
Due to the presence of gunpowder, the gas generator was classified as an explosive and was thus subject to thorough approval procedures ascribed to the import-export, manufacture and sale of such items.
This led to the manufacturer posting a complaint on www.sinmungo.go.kr, pointing out that the gas generators ordered were similar in measurement and function to those used in car airbags, yet the gas generators for hip airbags were unjustly being regulated differently.
After consultations with law enforcement, the government agreed with the hip airbag maker’s argument, revising regulations so that all gas generators used for bodily protection that pass safety standards are exempt from categorization as explosives.
Other regulatory changes made allow for laborers paid in cash to apply for loans from savings banks up to 5 million won, for preschools to be run in public housing homes (to go into effect in April), for each alcohol transportation vehicle to carry multiple companies’ beverages on the same trip and for online retail businesses such as Coupang to sell animal products such as meat and eggs.
In addition, the defrosting and retail distribution of imported frozen cheese was previously permitted only to local manufacturers, but import and sales companies will be allowed to do likewise so long as they pass sanitary requirements imposed on manufacturers.
Kevin Lee (email@example.com)