Submarine Mineral Resources Development Act


Published: 2011-04-14

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 Article 1 (Purpose)   print
The purpose of this Act is to rationally exploit the sea areas adjacent to the coasts of the Korean Peninsula and its affiliated islands, that are the territory of the Republic of Korea, or the continental shelves over which the Republic of Korea may extend all of her sovereignty, which are blessed with submarine minerals, hence contributing to the industrial development.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 2 (Definitions)   print
The definitions of terms used in this Act shall be as follows:
1. The term "submarine minerals" means petroleum, natural gas, etc. from among the natural resources which are rich in the continental shelves of the Republic of Korea;
2. The term "submarine mining" means the exploration and gathering of submarine minerals and any business affiliated thereto (referring to processing, transport and storage);
3. The term "submarine mineral exploitation area" means the submarine area prescribed by Presidential Decree;
4. The term "submarine mining right" means the right to explore, gather and acquire submarine minerals in a specific submarine area which has been registered within the submarine mineral exploitation area (hereinafter referred to as "submarine mining area");
5. The term "submarine mining concession right" means the right to explore, gather and acquire submarine minerals in the State-owned submarine mining area pursuant to an act of establishment;
6. The term "submarine mining concession area" means the area wherein the submarine mining concession right has been established from among the submarine mining areas.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 2-2 (Establishment of Master Plans for Development of Submarine Mineral Resources)   print
(1) The Minister of Knowledge Economy shall establish and execute the master plans for development of submarine mineral resources (hereinafter referred to as "master plans") for the efficient and reasonable development of submarine mineral resources.
(2) The master plans shall include the matters falling under each of the following subparagraphs:
1. Matters concerning the objective and direction of the development policy for submarine mineral resources;
2. Matters concerning the execution system for the development of submarine mineral resources;
3. Matters concerning the collection and management of information on geological features, mining area, etc. and technological researches necessary for the development of submarine mineral resources;
4. Matters concerning the financing and investment plan necessary for the development of submarine mineral resources;
5. Matters concerning the training of professional human resources and international cooperation necessary for the development of submarine mineral resources;
6. Other matters prescribed by Presidential Decree concerning the use, management, development and promotion of submarine mineral resources.
(3) Where the Minister of Knowledge Economy intends to establish or change the master plans, he/she shall consult with the head of the central administration agency concerned and undergo deliberation by the deliberative committee for the development of submarine mineral resources under Article 2-3.
(4) Matters necessary for the establishment, change and execution of the master plans other than those referred to in paragraphs (1) through (3) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 2-3 (Deliberative Committee for Development of Submarine Mineral Resources)   print
(1) The deliberative committee for development of submarine mineral resources (hereinafter referred to as the "Committee") shall be established under the Minister of Knowledge Economy, in order to deliberate on the following matters concerning the development of submarine mineral resources:
1. Establishment and change of the master plans;
2. Establishment of submarine mining areas;
3. Designation and publication of a promising mining area and the provision of subsidies therefor under Article 3 (4);
4. Permission for the establishment of the submarine mining concession right and the extension of the period of existence thereof;
5. Expropriation or use of land;
6. Cancellation of the submarine mining concession right;
7. Other matters deemed necessary for the deliberation by the Minister of Knowledge Economy related to the development of submarine mineral resources.
(2) The Committee shall be comprised of not more than 15 members, including one chairperson.
(3) The Vice Minister of Knowledge Economy who is in charge of business related to energy and resources shall be the chairperson of the Committee.
(4) The members of the Committee shall be those falling under any of the following subparagraphs:
1. Public officials appointed by the heads of their agencies, from among those who belong to Senior Civil Service of the relevant central administration agencies prescribed by Presidential Decree;
2. Persons commissioned by the chairperson from among those with sufficient expertise and experience in marine and submarine mineral resources.
(5) The term of office of the members commissioned under paragraph (4) 2 shall be two years, and the consecutive recommission may be permitted.
(6) The Committee shall have a working committee in order to efficiently perform affairs of the Committee.
(7) Matters necessary for the formation and operation of the Committee and the working committee other than those referred to in paragraphs (1) through (6) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 3 (Submarine Mining Area, etc.)   print
(1) Boundaries of a submarine mining area or a submarine mining concession area shall be set in straight lines, and its margin shall be right below the submarine boundary lines.
(2) Location and a shape of a submarine mining area shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree, on the basis of longitude and latitude.
(3) The Minister of Knowledge Economy may establish the submarine mining concession right by dividing a submarine mining area into two or more areas.
(4) Where a submarine mining area in which gathering submarine minerals of economic value is highly expected, the Minister of Knowledge Economy may designate such submarine mining area as a promising mining area and publicly announce such fact.
(5) The Minister of Knowledge Economy may preferentially subsidize those who are granted with the license of the establishment of the submarine mining concession right in a promising mining area under paragraph (4).
(6) Matters necessary for the designation and announcement of promising mining areas under paragraph (4) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 4 (Reversion of Submarine Mining Right)   print
(1) The submarine mining right shall be held only by the State.
(2) Any application for establishment of the submarine mining right and its registration shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 5 (Types of Submarine Mining Concession Rights)   print
The submarine mining concession rights shall be classified into two types: the exploration right and the gathering right.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 6 (Transfer of Submarine Mining Concession Right)   print
(1) The submarine mining concession right shall not be an object of other rights, except for transfer through obtaining authorization from the Minister of Knowledge Economy.
(2) When the Minister of Knowledge Economy grants authorization for transfer of the submarine mining concession right under paragraph (1), he/she may grant it only in cases which meet the qualifications and standards under Articles 11, 13 and 15 (1). In such cases, he/she shall consult with the Minister of Strategy and Finance and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 7 (Succession to Rights and Duties)   print
Rights and duties of a holder of the submarine mining concession right stipulated in this Act shall be succeeded by a universal title.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 8 (Succession of Effect Resulting from Conduct)   print
Conduct under this Act shall also be effective against a successor to a person who desires to become a submarine mining concession right holder, a submarine mining concession right holder, a landowner, or stakeholders.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 9 (Period of Existence of Exploration Right)   print
(1) The period of existence of the exploration right shall not exceed ten years from the date of the establishment of exploration right: Provided, That when any exploration of submarine minerals has been impossible due to force majeure, the period of existence may be extended for the period equivalent to that during which exploration was impossible, through obtaining permission from the Minister of Knowledge Economy.
(2) The Minister of Knowledge Economy may permit the extension of the period of existence of the exploration right within three times according to standards prescribed by Presidential Decree. In such cases, the entire period of existence, including the extended period of existence, may not exceed the limit of the period of existence under the main sentence of paragraph (1).
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 10 (Period of Existence of Gathering Rights)   print
(1) The period of existence of the gathering right shall not exceed 30 years from the date of the establishment of gathering right.
(2) The period of existence under paragraph (1) may be extended only twice for five years each time by obtaining permission from the Minister of Knowledge Economy, as prescribed by Presidential Decree: Provided, That when any production of submarine minerals has been impossible due to force majeure, the period of existence may be extended for the period equivalent to that during which exploration was impossible, by obtaining permission from the Minister of Knowledge Economy.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 11 (Qualification of Submarine Mining Concession Right Holders)   print
Any submarine mining concession right may be only enjoyed by a juristic person.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 12 (Establishment of Exploration Rights)   print
(1) Any person who intends to establish an exploration right shall file an application therefor with the Minister of Knowledge Economy and obtain permission therefor from him/her.
(2) When filing an application under paragraph (1), it shall be accompanied by the following documents:
1. Submarine area map clarifying the area to be explored;
2. Exploration and financial plans;
3. Specification of major equipment required for exploration;
4. Other documents prescribed by Presidential Decree.
(3) When the Minister of Knowledge Economy intends to grant permission for exploration right under paragraphs (1) and (2), he/she shall consult with the Minister of Strategy and Finance and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 13 (Criteria for Permission of Exploration Rights)   print
When an application is filed under Article 12, the Minister of Knowledge Economy may grant permission to such applicant who falls under each of the following subparagraphs and who is deemed suitable for exploration of submarine minerals, following deliberation by the Committee:
1. A person who is deemed to possess sufficient financial and technical capability and equipment to perform exploration business;
2. A person who is deemed capable of rationally exploring submarine minerals.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 14 (Establishment of Gathering Rights)   print
(1) When any holder of an exploration right has discovered submarine minerals of economic value as a result of exploration of a submarine mining concession area, he/she shall report such fact to the Minister of Knowledge Economy within seven days and file an application for the establishment of a gathering right with the Minister of Knowledge Economy by not later than three months prior to the expiration of the period of existence of exploration right and obtain his/her permission therefor.
(2) In filing an application under paragraph (1), the following documents shall be attached thereto:
1. Map of the submarine area desired for the establishment of the gathering right;
2. Written report on exploration of submarine minerals, and the closing statement of expenses required for such exploration;
3. Written plans for gathering submarine minerals, and financial plan;
4. Other documents prescribed by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 15 (Permission for Establishment of Gathering Rights)   print
(1) When any application is filed under Article 14, the Minister of Knowledge Economy shall grant permission therefor, only where it is deemed that the applicant has faithfully performed his/her exploration business during the exploration period, that the discovered submarine minerals are of economic value, and that the business of gathering them is to be sufficiently performed.
(2) When the Minister of Knowledge Economy grants permission for the establishment of the gathering right under paragraph (1), he/she shall consult with the Minister of Strategy and Finance, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Minister of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 16 (Conditional Permission)   print
The Minister of Knowledge Economy may attach conditions and obligation to the permission for the establishment of the exploration right or for that of the gathering right.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 17 (Report on Change)   print
(1) Those who obtained permission for the establishment of the exploration right shall, where they have changed the details of the documents falling under any of Article 12 (2) 2 through 4, report such fact to the Minister of Knowledge Economy.
(2) Those who obtained permission for the establishment of the gathering right shall, where they have changed the details of the documents falling under any of Article 14 (2) 2 through 4, report such fact to the Minister of Knowledge Economy.
(3) Matters necessary for the report under paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 17-2 (Attribution of Ownership of Data, etc. on Survey on Geological Features)   print
Any data related to the exploration and gathering acquired by the holder of a submarine mining concession right while conducting submarine mining activities or surveys on geological features shall belong to the State.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 18 (Fees for Mining)   print
(1) When any holder of a submarine mining concession right has gathered submarine minerals in a submarine mining concession area, he/she shall pay mining fees to the Minister of Knowledge Economy.
(2) Criteria for imposition and time of payment of the mining fees under paragraph (1) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 19 (Waiver and Extinguishment, etc. of Submarine Mining Concession Right)   print
(1) Where any holder of a submarine mining concession right intends to waive his/her submarine mining concession right on the whole or part of a submarine mining concession area for which a submarine mining concession right has been established, he/she shall submit a written waiver of the submarine mining concession right clarifying the date of waiver and waived districts to the Minister of Knowledge Economy.
(2) When a written waiver of a submarine mining concession right under paragraph (1) has been submitted, the submarine mining concession right on the waived districts shall be extinguished on the waiver date entered in the written waiver of submarine mining concession right.
(3) When the submarine mining concession right has been extinguished under paragraph (2), the Minister of Knowledge Economy shall eliminate the registration of the submarine mining concession right, as prescribed by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 19-2 (Restoration)   print
(1) The holder of a submarine mining concession right shall, where the effect of the submarine mining concession right expires, remove structures, facilities and other equipment (hereinafter referred to as "structure, etc.") installed in the submarine mining area and restore the submarine mining area to its original state: Provided, That this shall not apply where the approval from the Minister of Knowledge Economy is obtained in cases falling under any of the following subparagraphs:
1. Where the relevant structure, etc. is transferred to the holder of new submarine mining concession right with respect to the relevant submarine mining area;
2. Where it is necessary to continue using the installed structure, etc., and the relevant structure, etc. is intended to belong to the State, as prescribed by Presidential Decree.
(2) Where the holder of submarine mining concession right fails to restore the structure, etc. to its original state under paragraph (1), the Minister of Knowledge Economy may order the restoration to the original state within one year.
(3) Where any person who has been imposed by an order of restoration under paragraph (2) fails to perform such order, the Minister of Knowledge Economy may take necessary measures for the restoration under the Administrative Vicarious Execution Act.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 20 (Registration)   print
(1) Any person who has obtained permission under Articles 9, 10 (2), 12 (1) or 14 (1) shall file registration with the Minister of Knowledge Economy within 30 days from the date of receiving such permission.
(2) Matters necessary for the registration under paragraph (1) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 21 (Effect of Registration)   print
(1) Establishment, alteration, and transfer of the exploration right or gathering right, or any extension of the period of its existence shall become effective by registering them in the original register of submarine mining.
(2) Any registration under paragraph (1) shall substitute for a court-registration.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Articles 22 through 25 Deleted.<by Act No. 5781, Feb. 5, 1999>   print
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 Article 26 (Report and Examination)   print
(1) The holder of a submarine mining concession right shall report the current status of the acquisition of data under Article 17-2 and the status of progress of submarine mining activity to the Minister of Knowledge Economy.
(2) The Minister of Knowledge Economy may have the public officials under his/her command perform an on-site examination, in order to confirm the current status of the acquisition of data and submarine mining activities under paragraph (1). In such cases, if deemed necessary, experts in the field may participate in the on-site examination.
(3) The Minister of Knowledge Economy shall, where performing the on-site examination under paragraph (2), give notice to those who are subject to the examination about the examination plan, including the date, reason and details of the examination by not later than seven days prior to the examination: Provided, That this shall not apply where there is an emergency or it is deemed impracticable to attain the objective of the examination if prior notice is given because it is feared that the relevant data may be destroyed.
(4) Matters necessary for reports under paragraph (1) and examination under paragraph (2) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
(5) Any public official who performs the examination under paragraph (2) shall carry certification indicating his/her authority and produce it to the interested parties.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Articles 27 through 29 Deleted.<by Act No. 5781, Feb. 5, 1999>   print
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 Article 30 (Land Expropriation, etc.)   print
(1) Any holder of a submarine mining concession right may use or expropriate another person’s land when it is necessary to explore or gather submarine minerals. In such cases, however, he/she shall obtain authorization therefor from the Minister of Knowledge Economy.
(2) Authorization from the Minister of Knowledge Economy under paragraph (1) shall be deemed as approval for a project under Article 20 (1) of the Act on the Acquisition of Land, etc. for Public Works and the Compensation Therefor, and the Act on the Acquisition of Land, etc. for Public Works and the Compensation Therefor shall apply to the use or expropriation thereof.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 31 (Sale of Natural Gas)   print
Where submarine minerals gathered by the holder of a gathering right after obtaining permission under Article 15 is natural gas, the holder may sell such natural gas to those who install gas supply facilities (limited to those who import natural gas for the purpose of self-consumption) other than gas wholesalers or urban gas business operators under the Urban Gas Business Act. In such cases, Article 3 (1) of the Urban Gas Business Act shall not apply.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 32 (Revocation of Exploration Rights or Gathering Rights)   print
When any holder of an exploration right or gathering right falls under any of the following subparagraphs, the Minister of Knowledge Economy may revoke such exploration or gathering right:
1. When he/she fails to file an application for the establishment of a gathering right, in violation of Article 14 (1);
2. When he/she fails to fulfill the conditions and obligation under Article 16;
3. When he/she fails to pay mining fees for one year or more under Article 18;
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 32-2 (Hearings)   print
When the Minister of Knowledge Economy intends to revoke an exploration right or gathering right under Article 32, he/she shall hold a hearing.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 33 (Relationship with other Acts)   print
The Mining Safety Act shall apply mutatis mutandis to the exploration and gathering of submarine minerals, except as otherwise provided for in this Act.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 34 (Exclusion from Application)   print
This Act shall not apply to any person prescribed by Presidential Decree, who performs the exploration or gathering of submarine minerals without seeking any profit-making.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 35 (Penal Provisions)   print
Any person who gathers submarine minerals without obtaining permission for the establishment of a gathering right under Article 15 shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than five years or by a fine not exceeding 30 million won.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 36 (Penal Provisions)   print
Any person who explores submarine minerals without obtaining permission for the establishment of exploration right under Article 13 shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than two years or by a fine not exceeding 10 million won.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
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 Article 37 Deleted.<by Act No. 5781, Feb. 5, 1999>   print
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 Article 38 (Penal Provisions)   print
Any person who falls under any of the following subparagraphs shall be punished by a fine not exceeding 10 million won:
1. Any person who has failed to make a report under Article 17 or has made a false report;
2. Any person who has failed to perform an order for the restoration to the original state under Article 19-2 (2);
3. Any person who has refused, obstructed or evaded reports and examination under Article 26.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011]
ADDENDUM
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDUM<Act No. 3067, Dec. 31, 1977>
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDA<Act No. 4128, Jun. 16, 1989>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on January 1, 1990.
Articles 2 through 5 Omitted.
ADDENDA<Act No. 4280, Dec. 31, 1990>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on January 1, 1991.
Articles 2 through 4 Omitted.
ADDENDA<Act No. 4541, Mar. 6, 1993>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation. (Proviso Omitted.)
Articles 2 through 5 Omitted.
ADDENDA<Act No. 4667, Dec. 31, 1993>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on January 1, 1994.
Articles 2 through 10 Omitted.
ADDENDA<Act No. 5453, Dec. 13, 1997>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on January 1, 1998. (Proviso Omitted.)
Article 2 Omitted.
ADDENDUM<Act No. 5454, Dec. 13, 1997>
This Act shall enter into force on January 1, 1998. (Proviso Omitted.)
ADDENDA<Act No. 5781, Feb. 5, 1999>
(1) (Enforcement Date) This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
(2) (Transitional Measures for Penal Provisions) In applying the penal provisions to any acts committed before this Act enters into force, the previous provisions shall govern.
ADDENDA<Act No. 6656, Feb. 4, 2002>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on January 1, 2003.
Articles 2 through 12 Omitted.
ADDENDUM<Act No. 6756, Dec. 5, 2002>
This Act shall enter into force six months after the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDA<Act No. 8464, May 17, 2007>
(1) (Enforcement Date) This Act shall enter into force six months after the date of its promulgation.
(2) (Applicability to Report on Changes of Exploration Right and Gathering Right) The amended provisions of Article 17 shall apply beginning from the change of the details of documents falling under any of subparagraphs 2 through 4 of Article 12 or Article 14 (2) 2 through 4 after this Act enters into force.
ADDENDA<Act No. 8852, Feb. 29, 2008>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation. (Proviso Omitted.)
Articles 2 through 7 Omitted.
ADDENDA<Act No. 10596, Apr. 14, 2011>
(1) (Enforcement Date) This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
(2) Omitted.