Korea Fully Legalizes the Usage of LPG as a Fuel for Vehicular Transportation

The Amendment to the Korean Safety Control and Business of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Act (“Liquefied Petroleum Gas Act” or “Act”) was proposed by the Korean Chair of the Trade, Industry, Energy, SMEs and Startups Committee on March 13, 2019 and shall become effective upon promulgation. The aforementioned Amendment enables the use of liquefied petroleum gas (“LPG”) as a fuel for vehicular transportation in the Republic of Korea via elimination of the restrictions on the use of LPG in vehicles.

The existing Safety Control and Business of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Act

The existing Act’s purpose, as noted in the Act, is to “…ensure public safety by prescribing matters concerning the export and import, filling, storage, sale, and use of liquefied petroleum gas, and the safety control of gas appliances and to ensure proper supply and use of liquefied petroleum gas by rationally regulating liquefied petroleum gas business.”

The Act was promulgated at a time when liquefied petroleum gas as fuel for transportation was considered not developed enough to be safe for certain vehicles and the supply of LPG was not stable, thus, the Act included restrictions regarding the use of LPG, as fuel, for certain classes of vehicles.

For example, Art. 28 Liquefied Petroleum Gas Act states:

Where the Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy deems it necessary for appropriate supply and demand of liquefied petroleum gas, safety control in its use, and the public interest, he or she may restrict the use of liquefied petroleum gas as a fuel for motor vehicles or users thereof, […]: Provided, That the foregoing shall not apply where a motor vehicle falls under any of the following: 1. Where five years have passed after the registration of a motor vehicle […] as a passenger vehicle […] that uses liquefied petroleum gas; 2. In cases of multi-purpose passenger vehicles and other types of passenger vehicles in accordance with detailed standards by types […].

Major Changes Due to the Amendment of 2019

The Amendment to the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Act deletes Art 28 and Art 73 (3) 5, thus, eliminating the majority of bans on use of LPG in vehicles.

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