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KNCP Operation Rules

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

Chapter 1. General Provisions

Article 1 Purpose

The purpose of the Rules is to decide on requirements for the structure and operation of the Korean National Contact Point, which is necessary to establish under the OECD Council’s decision to effectively implement the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

Article 2 Definition

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

  • 1. "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.
  • 2. "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").
  • 3. "The National Contact Point(hereinafter "the NCP")" refers to the National Contact Point established in each member state according to the OECD Council’s decision on 25 May 2011.

Article 3 General Principles
  • ① The NCP shall encourage implementation of the Guidelines to the Multinational Enterprises operating in the territory of or locating their corporate headquarters in the Republic of Korea.
  • ② Interpretation and application of the Guidelines shall be conducted within a balanced scope that is consistent with domestic laws and the purpose of the Guidelines.
  • ③ 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
  • ① The NCP consists of nine (9) or less non-permanent commissioners including one (1) Chairperson (hereinafter "the Chairperson"), and is in charge of the following activities:
    • 1. promotion and raising awareness of the Guidelines
    • 2. interpretation of the Guidelines
    • 3. mediation of complaints regarding the Guidelines and cooperation with National Contact Points of other countries
    • 4. reporting implementation status of the Guidelines to the OECD Council.
    • 5. other matters regarding implementation of the Guidelines
  • ② The Chairperson shall be the Director General for Cross-Border Investment Policy of The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (hereinafter “the MOTIE”), and commissioners shall be as follows:
    • 1. appointed from among head of Division level public official designated by the head of the relevant agency at the request of the Minister of the MOTIE.
    • 2. appointed by the Minister of the MOTIE from among candidates with expert knowledge and abundant experience relevant to the OECD Guidelines, and with the ability to conduct affairs in a fair manner.
  • ③ The assistant administrator of the NCP shall be the head of the Overseas Investment Division of the MOTIE.
Article 5 Duties of the Chairperson
  • ① The Chairperson shall represent the NCP, conduct NCP meetings and be responsible for all the office affairs.
  • ② If the Chairperson is not able to carry out his/her duties due to inevitable reasons, a commissioner who has been pre-appointed by the Chairperson shall carry out the Chairperson’s duties. If there is no pre-appointed commissioner, the commissioner appointed by the Minister of the MOTIE shall carry out the Chairperson’s duties.
Article 6 The Chairperson and commissioner’s term of office
  • ① The term of office of commissioners appointed under Article 4.2.2 shall be three (3) years and may be reappointed only once.
  • ② A commissioner whose term of office expires shall continue his/her duties until his/her replacement is appointed.
  • ③ In case of a vacancy of the position of a commissioner, the NCP shall decide on requirements, application timeline and process for the replacement to be appointed and make public announcement including on the website within thirty (30) days from the date of vacancy.
  • ④ The NCP shall evaluate the applicant under paragraph 3 above and may recommend an eligible candidate to the Minister of the MOTIE.
  • ⑤ The term of office for the commissioner who replaces the vacated commissioner, shall begin a new term.
Article 7 Guarantee of a commissioner’s status

① A commissioner shall not be dismissed against his/her will unless sentenced heavier than imprisonment. Provided, a commissioner may be made to resign by a vote of at least two-thirds of all the commissioners 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
  • ① No person shall be appointed as a commissioner if the person:
    • 1. is not a citizen of the Republic of Korea
    • 2. falls under Article 33 of the State Public Official Act
    • 3. is a member of a political party
    • 4. is registered as an election candidate under the Public Official Election Act
  • ② If a commissioner falls under any subparagraph under paragraph 1 above, the commissioner shall resign.
Article 9 Proceedings for meetings and quorum
  • ① The NCP shall open a meeting by the presence of at least a majority of all the commissioners and make decisions by a vote of at least a majority of the commissioners present. Provided, if a commissioner is unable to attend a meeting due to inevitable reasons, the commissioner may submit his/her opinion in writing.
  • ② Notwithstanding paragraph 1 above, if an item on the meeting agenda is minor, or there is insufficient time to call a meeting, or with the Chairperson’s approval, a decision may be made in writing.
  • ③ The Chairperson shall notify the commissioners of the date, venue and agenda of an NCP meeting at least five (5) days before the date of the meeting, except in case of urgent or inevitable events.
Article 10 Disclosure of proceedings

The NCP’s proceedings shall be disclosed. Provided, if the NCP deems it necessary, it may not be disclosed.

Article 11 Mediation Committee
  • ① The NCP shall establish the Mediation Committee under the NCP, to effectively mediate complaints related to the implementation of the Guidelines.
  • ② The Mediation Committee consists of one (1) Chairperson and two (2) or four (4) commissioners.
  • ③ The Chairperson of the Mediation Committee shall be appointed from among the NCP commissioners by the Chairperson of the NCP, The Mediation Committee shall consist of the NCP commissioners or other external experts in the relevant field by a vote at a NCP meeting.
Article 12 The Secretariat
  • ① The NCP shall establish the Secretariat to handle office affairs.
  • ② The Secretariat shall be the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board. The Secretariat consists of one (1) Director General of the Secretariat and other staff members.
  • ③ Among the subparagraph of Article 4.1, the NCP shall delegate the following subparagraphs to the Secretariat.
    • 1. general matters of promotion and education of the Guidelines
    • 2. marginal matters related to inquiries about the Guidelines
    • 3. notification about the receipt and acceptance of a complaint under Article 14, preliminary investigation for the initial assessment under Article 15, and issues related to support mediation under Article 16
    • 4. reports to the MOTIE and the OECD regarding the implementation status of the Guidelines.

Chapter 3 Inquiries and complaint

Article 13 Inquiries
  • ① Korean citizens, organizations and corporations or enterprises (hereinafter "the Complainant") may submit a form provided in Appendix 1, if they need a specific answer from the NCP in order to confirm or interpret the details of the Guidelines.
  • ② If the Complainant needs a specific answer from the NCP, it shall submit a written form via post mail, electronic means, facsimile or computer communication. Provided, matters that do not require written evidence may be discussed verbally or through a telephone call.
  • ③ The Chairperson of the Secretariat shall consider the significance of the inquiries and, where appropriate, shall include them in the NCP meeting agenda.
  • ④ The NCP shall respond within thirty (30) days from the date of receipt of the inquiry under paragraph 1 above, except in case of special circumstances.
  • ⑤ Special circumstance under paragraph 4 above refers to an occasion where issues are complicated and an investigation is required to identify facts, or an authoritative interpretation from the OECD is required.
Article 14 Receipt of complaint
  • ① If a Complainant wishes to file a complaint against a certain multinational enterprise (hereinafter “the Respondent”) regarding implementation of the Guidelines, it can submit a complaint by filling out the form provided in Appendix 2.
  • ② If there is a complaint under paragraph 1 above, the NCP shall decide within thirty (30) days whether to accept the complaint, and notify the Complainant and the Respondent of the fact thereof.
  • ③ If the NCP decides the complaint of paragraph 1 above fail to merit consideration, the NCP shall inform its decision with reasons to the Complainant within thirty (30) days from the date of receipt of the complaint.
Article 15 Initial assessment
  • ① If the NCP considers a complaint under Article 14.1 to merit further examination, within ninety (90) days from the date of receipt of a complaint, the NCP shall notify the Complainant and the Respondent, and announce it 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 investigation and mediation
    • 1. information about relevant parties and their interests regarding the issue
    • 2. significance and evidence of the issue
    • 3. relevance between the business operation and the issue raised in the complaint
    • 4. applicable laws, court rulings and procedures.
    • 5. outcome of similar issues treated in other domestic or international proceedings
    • 6. contribution to the purposes and effectiveness of the Guidelines
  • ② The NCP or the Secretariat shall hear opinions from both the Complainant and the Respondent before making a decision to carry out further procedures.
Article 16 Mediation and others
  • ① If the NCP considers that the complaint merits further proceeding under Article 15.1, the NCP may offer good offices for mediation and request a Mediation Committee to discuss and resolve the issue.
  • ② The mediation shall be closed to the public, unless the parties agree otherwise or the Chairperson of the Mediation Committee decides that disclosure is necessary.
  • ③ If deemed necessary for mediation, the NCP may seek investigation or research from those including business community, labor group, non-governmental organization and experts.
  • ④ The NCP shall terminate mediation proceedings regarding the complaint within one (1) year from the date of receipt of the complaint. Provided, the time period may be extended if the complaint was raised from a non-adherent country.
Article 17 Disclosure of the results of the proceedings
  • ① If the parties reach an agreement on the issues through mediation, the NCP shall make publicly available the details of the complaint, the mediation procedures, the content and time of the agreement.
  • ② If the parties fail to reach agreement on the issues, the NCP shall make publicly available the details of the complaint, the mediation procedures and the details of each party’s arguments regarding the implementation of the Guidelines, and where it is necessary, may make recommendations to the parties by a vote at a NCP meeting.
  • ③ The NCP shall make publicly available the details stated in paragraph 1 and 2 above within thirty (30) days after the termination of the mediation.
  • ④ Before making public the details stated in paragraph 1 and 2 above, the NCP shall give opportunity to the parties to present their opinion, and shall not make public the trade secret of the multinational enterprises submitted during the proceeding without the parties’ consent.

Chapter 4 Report and supervision

Article 18 Report on activity status
  • ① The Secretariat shall annually report its activities to the MOTIE and the OECD.
  • ② Activities under paragraph 1 above shall include subparagraphs of Article 12.3 and the results of the proceedings.
Article 19 Supervision and support
  • ① The NCP and the Secretariat shall be supervised and supported by the Minister of the MOTIE regarding the operation of the NCP including financial affairs.
  • ② Where it is necessary, the Minister of the MOTIE may provide financial support for the smooth functioning of the NCP and the Secretariat, and the NCP may provide allowances and travel expenses within the budget to the commissioners who attend NCP, Mediation Committee meetings.
Article 20 Supplementary rules

Except as otherwise prescribed in the Rules, necessary measures regarding matters including operation of the NCP, Mediation Committee and the Secretariat shall be decided by the Chairperson of the NCP.