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KNCP Rules

Rules for the Operation of the National Contact Point to Effectively Implement the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

Chapter 1. General Provisions

Article 1 Purpose

The purpose of these rules is to provide necessary requirements for the structure and operation of the Korea National Contact Point which was established under the OECD Committee’s decision to effectively implement the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

Article 2 Definition

The definition of terms used in these Rules shall be as follows:

  • (a)"Multinational Enterprises" refers to companies or business entities established in two (2) or more countries and so linked that they may co-ordinate their operations in various ways.
  • (b)"The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises" refers to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (hereinafter “the Guidelines”) adopted on 25 May 2011 at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (hereinafter “OECD”).
  • (c)"The National Contact Point(hereinafter "the NCP")" refers to the National Contact Point established in each member state according to the OECD Committees’ decision on 25 May 2011.

Article 3 General Principles
  • (a)The NCP shall promote the implementation of the Guidelines to multinational enterprises operating in the territory of or locating their corporate headquarters in the Republic of Korea.
  • (b)The interpretation and application of the Guidelines shall be conducted within a balanced scope that is consistent with the domestic law and the purpose of the Guidelines.
  • (c)Multinational Enterprises shall follow the Guidelines in a voluntary and responsible manner.

Chapter 2. Structure and Operation of the NCP

Article 4 Structure and Function of the NCP
  • (a) The NCP consists of 7 non-standing commissioners including one (1) Chairman of commissioners (hereinafter “the Chairman”), and is in charge of the following activities:
    • A. promotion and raising awareness of the Guidelines
    • B. interpretation of the Guidelines
    • C. mediation or arbitration of cases involving violation of the Guidelines and cooperation with National Contact Points of other countries
    • D. submit report regarding the implementation status of the Guidelines to the OECD Council. Other matters related to the implementation of the Guidelines
  • (b) The Chairman shall be the Director General for Cross-Border Investment Policy of The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (hereinafter “the MOTIE”), Committee members shall be
    • A. appointed from among Division Chief level public officials designated by the head of the relevant agency at the request of the minister of the MOTIE.
    • B. appointed by the minister of MOTIE from among candidates with expert knowledge and abundant experience relevant to the specific OECD guideline instances, and with the ability to conduct affairs in a fair manner.
  • (c) The assistant administrator of the NCP shall be the Chief of the Overseas Investment Division of the MOTIE.
Article 5 Duties of the Chairman
  • (a) The Chairman shall represent the NCP, conduct NCP meetings and be responsible for all office work.
  • (b) When the Chairman is not able to carry out his/her duties due to unavoidable reasons, a commissioner who has been pre-appointed by the Chairman shall carry out the Chairman’s duties. When no there is no pre-appointed commissioner, the minister of the MOTIE shall appoint a commissioner to carry out the Chairman’s duties.
Article 6 the Chairman and Commissioner’s term of office
  • (a) The term of office for the Chairman and the commissioners shall be 3 years and they may serve a second term.
  • (b) A commissioner whose term of office expires shall continue his/her duties until his/her replacement is appointed.
  • (c) When a commissioner’s position is vacated, the Minister of MOTIE shall appoint a replacement within 30 days from the date of vacancy.
  • (d) The term of office for a commissioner, who replaces a vacated commissioner, shall begin anew.
Article 7 Guarantee of a commissioner’s status

(a) A commissioner shall not be dismissed against his/her will unless otherwise sentenced to imprisonment. However, a commissioner may be made to resign by a majority of two-thirds or more of the committee members present if the commissioner finds it difficult or is unable to perform his/her duties due to his/her physical or mental disabilities.

Article 8 Disqualification of a Commissioner
  • (a) No person shall be appointed as a commissioner if the person:
    • i. is not a Korean citizen
    • ii. meets one of the requirements under Article 33 of the Civil Service Act
    • iii. is a member of a political party
    • iv. is registered as an election candidate under the Public Official Election Act
  • (b) When a commissioner falls under any one of the restrictions under Article 8(a), the commissioner shall resign.
Article 9 Proceedings for meetings and quorum
  • (a) A meeting shall be opened when a majority of the commissioners are present. Issues to be discussed in the meeting shall be decided by a majority of the commissioners in attendance. However, if a commissioner is unable to attend a meeting due to unavoidable reasons, the commissioner may submit his/her opinion in writing.
  • (b) If issues to be considered in a meeting consist of minor issues, or there is insufficient time to call a meeting, or the Chairman considers it is necessary, despite Article 9 (a), a decision may be made in writing.
  • (c) The Chairman shall notify the commissioners of the date, venue and agenda of an NCP meeting at least 5 days before the date of the meeting. However, the Chairman may not need to notify in cases of emergency or unavoidable reasons.
Article 10 Confidentiality of Proceedings

The NCP’s proceedings shall be disclosed to the public. However, when the NCP or the Arbitration Committee recognizes the need for confidentiality, the proceeding may not be open to the public.

Article 11 Arbitration Committee
  • (a) The NCP shall establish an affiliate committee (hereinafter “the Arbitration Committee”), to effectively mediate/arbitrate disputes related to the implementation of the Guidelines.
  • (b) The Arbitration Committee consists of one (1) Chairman and 2 or 4 Committee Members.
  • (c) The Chairman of the Arbitration Committee shall be appointed by the Chairman of the NCP commissioners, and Arbitration Committee members shall be appointed from among commissioners and other external experts in the relevant fields.
Article 12 The NCP Secretariat
  • (a) The NCP shall establish the Secretariat.
  • (b) The Secretariat shall be the Korea Commercial Arbitration Board (hereinafter “the Arbitration Board”). The Secretariat consists of one (1) Director General of the Secretariat and other staff members. The Director General of the Secretariat shall be recommended by the President of the Arbitration Board and appointed by the Chairman of the NCP.
  • (c) The NCP shall delegate the following particulars under Article 4(a) to the Secretariat.
    • i. general matters of promotion and education of the Guidelines
    • ii. marginal matters related to inquiries about the Guidelines
    • iii. preliminary investigation for mediation/arbitration of instances related to an alleged violation of the Guidelines
    • iv. submit reports to MOTIE and OECD regarding the implementation status of the Guidelines.

Chapter 3 Inquiries and Complaint

Article 13 Inquiries
  • (a) Korean citizens, organizations and corporations or enterprises (including foreign investment companies under the Act of Foreigner Investment Promotion) (hereinafter "the complainant") shall submit a form provided in Appendix 1 when they need a specific answer in order to confirm or interpret the content of the Guidelines.
  • (b) When the complainant needs a specific answer from the NCP, the complainant shall submit a written request, and the method of request may be made via post mail, electronic means, facsimile or computer communication. However, matters which do not require written evidence may be discussed orally or through a phone call.
  • (c) The head of the Secretariat shall consider the significance of the enquiries and, where appropriate, shall include them in the agenda to be discussed during the NCP meeting.
  • (d) Unless there is a special circumstance, the NCP shall respond within 30 days from the date of receipt of the enquiry under Article 13(a).
  • (e) A special circumstance, as stated in Article 13(d), refers to an occasion where issues on the specific instances are complicated and an investigation is required to identify facts, or an authoritative interpretation from OECD is required.
Article 14 Receipt of complaint
  • (a) If the complainant wishes to file a complaint against a certain multinational enterprise (hereinafter “Respondent”) regarding the implementation of the Guidelines, it can submit a complaint by filling out the form provided in Appendix 2.
  • (b) When there is a complaint under Article 14(a), the NCP shall decide within 30 days whether to accept the complaint, and notify the receipt of the complaint to the complainant and the respondent.
  • (c) If the NCP decides that the specific instances fail to merit consideration, the NCP shall inform its decision and the reasons for its decision to the complainant and the respondent within 30 days from the date of receipt of the complaint.
Article 15 Initial Assessment
  • (a) If the NCP considers a complaint under Article 14(a) to merit further examination, within 90 days from the receipt of a complaint, the NCP shall notify the complaint and the respondent, and announce at the NCP’s website or by other methods the NCP’s decision by considering the following particulars whether to carry out further procedures including further investigations and mediation/arbitration,
    • i. contribution to the purposes and effectiveness of the Guidelines
    • ii. outcomes of similar issues treated in other domestic or international proceedings
    • iii. ability to resolve dispute through applicable law including court rulings and procedures.
  • (b) The NCP shall hear opinions from both parties before making its decision whether to carry out further procedures.
Article 16 Mediation/ Arbitration and Others
  • (a) If the NCP considers that the complaint merits further examination under Article 15(a), the NCP shall offer “good offices” for mediation/arbitration purposes and form an Arbitration Committee to resolve the specific instances.
  • (b) The mediation/arbitration shall be closed to the public, unless parties agree otherwise or the Chairman of the Arbitration Committee decides that disclosure is necessary.
  • (c) Where it is necessary, for the purpose of mediation/arbitration, the NCP shall seek advice from relevant authorities, as well as representatives of the business community, labour organizations, other non-governmental organization and experts.
  • (d) The NCP shall terminate mediation/arbitration proceedings regarding the complaint within 1 year from the date of the notice of receiving the complaint.
Article 17 Disclosure of the results of the proceedings
  • (a) When the two parties reach agreement on the issues through mediation/arbitration, the NCP shall make publicly available the details of the complaint, the mediation/arbitration procedures of the NCP, and the content and time of the agreement.
  • (b) When the parties fail to reach agreement on the issues, the NCP shall make publicly available the details of the complaint, the mediation/arbitration procedures of the NCP and the details of each party’s arguments regarding the implementation of the Guidelines, and where it is necessary, shall make recommendations on the implementation of the Guidelines.
  • (c) The NCP shall make publicly available the results under Article 17(a) or 17(b) within 30 days after the termination of the mediation/arbitration, and notify the results of the issues to competent administrative authorities pertinent to the complaint.
  • (d) Even if the NCP makes publicly available the contents under Articles 17(a) or 17(b), the NCP shall not make publicly available the internal information of multinational enterprises submitted during the complaint procedures without the agreement of the parties. However, contents unrelated to the trade secrets of multinational enterprises shall be made publicly available, and may be reported to OECD.

Chapter 4 Report and supervision

Article 18 Report on status of activities
  • (a) The NCP shall annually report its activities to MOTIE and OECD.
  • (b) Activities under Article 18(a) shall include subparagraphs of Article 12(c) and the results of the proceedings.
Article 19 Supervision and Support
  • (a) The NCP shall be supervised and supported by the minister of MOTIE in regard to the operation of the NCP office including financial affairs.
  • (b) Where it is necessary, the minister of MOTIE may provide financial support for the smooth functioning of the NCP, and may provide allowances and travel expenses within the budget for commissioners who attend NCP/ Arbitration Committee meetings.
Article 20 Supplementary rules

The Chairman shall decide necessary regulations concerning the operation of NCP, Arbitration committee and the Secretariat other than provided in this Rule.