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European automakers call for lower regulatory barriers for EVs

Sept. 21, 2023 - 15:07 By Song Seung-hyun

From left: ECCK's Insurance Committee Chairperson Herve Boulanger; incoming president, Stefan Ernst; Chairperson Philippe Van Hoof; Maria Castillo-Fernandez, ambassador of the European Union to Republic of Korea; ECCK's incumbent president, Christoph Heider; Healthcare Committee Chairperson Kay Bae; Food Committee Chairperson Thomas Caso; Passenger Vehicles Committee Chairperson Kim Hong-joong; and Beverage, Wine and Sprites Committee Chairperson Frantz Hotton (ECCK)

European automakers called for a relaxation of regulations on selling electric vehicles in Korea during a press conference for the publication of a white paper by the European Chamber of Commerce in Korea on Thursday.

The ECCK’s passenger vehicles committee chairperson, Kim Hong-joong, said that the recent law amendment requiring automakers to secure the pre-certification of electric vehicle batteries to prevent safety hazards should be aligned with United Nations standards.

“We recommend that European automobile manufacturers who have obtained UN Regulation-type approval in Europe should be recognized as satisfying the requirements of the battery safety certification system in Korea,” Kim said.

“Specifications and details need to be clearly stated in the relevant law and regulations, which will prevent any potential trade barriers,” he added.

The ECCK's white paper is issued annually and contains recommendations from European companies regarding the Korean business environment.

Kim argued that this would help European automakers enter the domestic market and promote the adoption of electric vehicles.

The ECCK’s Healthcare Committee Chairperson Kay Bae recommended the expansion of the risk-sharing system and pharmacoeconomic evaluation exemption system to improve patient access to innovative medicines.

“In addition, we need a systemization of the procedures for introducing new vaccines into the national vaccination program, and a price adjustment of in-vitro diagnostic equipment, which plays a key role in diagnosing infectious diseases,” Bae said.

This recommendation comes in light of the shared experiences brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bae added.

A total of 100 recommendations and regulatory issues across 17 industries were included in the White Paper published by the Chamber this year.

Representatives from various ECCK committees, including the committees on vehicles; health care; food, beer, wine and spirits; energy and environment; and insurance were also in attendance to present relevant recommendations.

“It would be important for the government to implement its pledge to cut red tape and lead a pro-business policy for both Korean and European businesses. Therefore, we hope that this White Paper serves as a constructive communication tool,” said Philippe Van Hoof, chairperson of the ECCK.

He also highlighted the achievements of past ECCK white papers.

“About 40 percent of our white paper recommendations for 2022 have been accepted,” he said.

Maria Castillo Fernandez, ambassador for the European Union to South Korea, also attended the press conference and emphasized the ties between the EU and Korea.

“In the year marking 60 years of diplomatic relations between Europe and Korea, the 10th Korea-EU Summit was held in May 2023 and leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation in the field of supply chain(s) and industrial policies to support industrial competitiveness, technology and entrepreneurship,” she said.