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FAQ

  • Title
    What other laws are involved when a construction approval is granted?
  • Content
    Having an approval granted means that it is also approved by the below. In case of factories, it is subject to article 13-2 and article 14 of the Industrial Cluster Development and Factory Establishment Act. 
    1. Structure notification of temporary buildings in accordance with article 20, clause 2 
    2. Structure notification of article 83 
    3. Approval of development activities in accordance with article 56 of the National Land Planning and Utilization Act 
    4. Designation of operator in accordance with article 86, clause 5 of the National Land Planning and Utilization Act, as well as approval for action plan in accordance with article 88 clause 2 of the same Act 
    5. Approval for forest land conversion and notification in accordance with article 14 and 15 of the Management of Mountainous Districts Act, approval for temporary use of forest land and its notification in accordance with article 15-2 of the same Act. However, reserve forestlands are only subject to urban areas. 
    6. Approval for private road construction in accordance with Act 4 of the Private Road Act 
    7. Farmland approval, notification and negotiation of Article 34, 35, 43 of the Farmland Act 
    8. Approval for road construction by an entity other than the construction management office, in accordance with article 36 of the Road Act, and approval for road connecting to other facilities in accordance with article 52, clause 1 of the same Act 
    9. Approval for private use of roads in accordance with article 61 of the Road Act 
    10. Approval for private use of river in accordance with article 33 of the River Act 
    11. Notification of drainage facilities installation in accordance with article 27 of the Sewerage Act 
    12. Notification of private sewage treatment facilities installation in accordance with article 34 clause 2 of the Sewerage Act 
    13. Water supply ordinance set by the local government in accordance with the Water Supply and Waterworks Installation Act, if the local government is the supplier 
    14. Approval or notification of establishing private electric facilities in accordance with article 62 of the Electric Utility Act 
    15. Approval or notification of establishing water pollutants discharge facilities in accordance with the Water Quality and Ecosystem Conservation Act 
    16. Approval or notification of establishing air pollutants discharge facilities in accordance with article 23 of the Clean Air Conservation Act 
    17. Approval or notification of establishing noise and vibration discharge facilities in accordance with article 8 of the Noise and Vibration Control Act 
    18. Approval or notification of discharge facilities in accordance with article 11 of the Act on the Management and Use of Livestock Excreta 
    19. Approval of action in accordance with article 23 of the Natural Parks Act 
    20. Approval for private use of urban parks in accordance with article 24 of the Act on Urban Parks, Greenbelts, etc. 
    21. Notification of soil contamination management facilities in accordance with article 12 of the Soil Environment Conservation Act 
  • Title
    Where should one get approval for the construction of buildings?
  • Content
    Those who wish to construct or repair a building must get approval by mayor / district office head of metropolitan city.  The same must be done prior to the construction of buildings with more than 21 stories designated by the Presidential decree or in a metropolitan city. 
    In accordance with article 1, mayor & district office head must get approval by governors prior to approving construction of building that fit into any of the listed items below. 
    1. Buildings that fit into conditions under clause 1 
    2. Buildings with 3 stories or more, or gross area of 1000㎡ or more that are constructed in an area designated and publically announced by governors to conserve the environment, which fit the purpose set by the Presidential decree, such as recreation facilities or accommodation facilities.
    3. Buildings built in areas designated and publically announced by governors to conserve the environment, which fit the purpose of recreation facilities or accommodation facilities 
    ③ Those who wish to get approval must submit their application with design plans to the concerned authorities. 
    ④ In the cases below, it is possible for the authority not to grant a construction approval. 
     
    1. Purpose, size or form of buildings that are to be constructed to serve as recreation or accommodation facilities are deemed inappropriate, considering the environment surrounding them.
    2. It is deemed inappropriate to use a building’s underground floor as a living space or set up a living room, if the building is constructed in an area with the risk of submergence, such as disaster prevention district pursuant to article 37, clause 1-5 of the National Land Planning and Utilization Act, or natural disaster prevention district pursuant to article 12, clause 1 of the Countermeasures against Natural Disasters Act. 
  • Title
    In what case can construction be cancelled after it’s approved?
  • Content
    The admitter should cancel the approval in the cases below. However, construction commencement can be postponed within a period of 1 year, provided that there is a reasonable ground. 
    1. The construction does not commence for 1 year upon approval (3 years for factories approved for reconstruction, expansion or change of business, 2 years for factories pre-approved for farmland diversion)
    2. The construction commenced within the period mentioned in no.1, but is deemed impossible to be completed 
  • Title
    When a building is approved for its use, what other laws are involved?
  • Content
    When the building owner has approval for building use, he/she is deemed to have received completion inspection or registered the building. For approved factories, legal inspection is considered to be given, pursuant to article 14-2 of the Industrial Cluster Development and Factory Establishment Act. 
    1. Completion inspection of drainage system according to article 27 of the Sewerage Act, and completion inspection of private sewage treatment equipment according to article 37 of the Sewerage Act 
    2. Registration of changes to the cadastral record pursuant to article 64 of the Land Survey Act 
    3. Elevator completion inspection pursuant to article 13 of the Manufacture and Management of Elevators Act 
    4. Boiler installation inspection pursuant to article 39 of the Energy Use Rationalization Act
    5. Pre-inspection of electric facilities pursuant to article 63 of the Electric Utility Act
    6. Pre-inspection of Information & Communication construction pursuant to article 36 of the Information and Communication Work Business Act 
    7. Confirmation of completion of road resistance spot construction pursuant to article 38-3 of the Road Act 
    8. Completion inspection of development project pursuant to article 62 of the National Land Planning and Utilization Act 
    9. Completion inspection of city/military planning project pursuant to article 98 of the National Land Planning and Utilization Act 
    10. Reporting of operation of water pollutants discharge facilities pursuant to article 37 of the Water Quality and Ecosystem Conservation Act 
    11. Reporting of operation of air pollutants discharge facilities pursuant to article 30 of the Clean Air Conservation Act 
  • Title
    What is the institutional framework that mediates any possible conflict that may arise during construction of buildings? (Article 88 of the Building Act)
  • Content
    ① When conflicts arise regarding construction of buildings, mediation can be filed to the construction conflict expert committee of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. 
    Construction dispute expert committee does not mediate disputes that fall under article 69 of the Framework Act on the Construction Industry. Construction dispute expert committee is divided into central construction dispute expert committee of central construction committee, and central construction dispute expert committee of local construction committee. 
    1. Dispute between construction expert and local resident 
    2. Dispute between expert technician and local resident 
    3. Dispute between construction expert and expert technician 
    4. Dispute among construction experts 
    5. Dispute among local residents
    6. Dispute among expert technicians 
    7. Other dispute issues designated by the Presidential decree 
  • Title
    Is it possible to construct a tourist hotel within a golf course?
  • Content
    Pursuant to article 2 section1-2 of the Public Health Control Act, accommodation facility cannot be set up within golf courses. As an exception however, it can be established as long as the golf course does not violate restrictions stipulated by annex 3 of the enforcement ordinance of the Installation and Utilization of Sports Facilities Act. 
    1. If the golf course does not violate the restriction on facility installation stipulated by the above law, the business operator can submit altered business plan to the major/head of district office, pursuant to article 12 of the Installation and Utilization of Sports Facilities Act. 
    2. In order to establish a tourist hotel pursuant to the Installation and Utilization of Sports Facilities Act with a golf course, district units plan needs to be changed. Business operator must add tourist hotel construction plan to the district units plan and submit for change to mayor/head of district office. 
    3. According to the Installation and Utilization of Sports Facilities Act, the process of applying changes to the district units plan under the National Land Planning and Utilization Act must be complete before registering tourist accommodation business to mayor/head of district office according to article 4 of the Tourism Promotion Act.
     Q : What is the law that comes closest to expansion and rebuilding of buildings? 
    ① Many construction-related law is related to the Building Act, but below are the ones that are especially relevant. 
    1. Seoul Metropolitan Area Readjustment Planning Act : stipulates issues related to reducing population / industry density in metropolitan areas 
    2. National Land Planning and Utilization Act : stipulates issues related to appropriate land use, restrictions, land planning, running of land planning projects and restrictions
    3. Framework Act on the Construction Industry: stipulates issues related to licensing of construction workers etc. 
    4. Fire Services Act: stipulates issues related to protection of public lives and assets
    5. Construction Technology Management Act: stipulates issues related to construction technology research, construction quality management etc. 
    6. Certified Architects Act: stipulates issues related to qualifications and work scope of certified architects etc. 
    7. Parking Lot Act : stipulates issues related to construction, management of parking lots etc. 
    8. Special Act on the Safety Control of Public Structures: stipulates issues related to safety assessment, maintenance etc. 
    9. Act on the Parceling-out of Buildings: stipulates issues related to parceling-out procedure prior to completion of building construction etc.
  • Title
    What are the construction approval procedures and how long does the process take?
  • Content
    ① He or she should submit the application for construction/ building permission under Article 8 of the Building Act with attached the documents proving the rights (ownership rights for multi-unit dwelling) for the scope and use of the land and the architect’s drawing and specification to the relevant City Mayor, County Mayor or Head of a Gu. The building size and the process time are as follows:


    Building size Process time
    Building Act (domestic companies) Foreign Investment Promotion Act (foreign companies)
    o Buildings with less than 2 stories or 1000㎡ 7 days (excluding negotiation period) (7 days) 14 days (7 days)
    o Buildings with more than 3 stories and less than 10 stories, or more than 1000㎡ and less than 5000㎡ 14 days (7 days) 14 days (7 days)
    o Buildings with more than 10 stories and less than 16 stories, or more than 5000㎡ and less than 30,000㎡ 14 days (10 days) 14 days (7 days)
    o Buildings with more than 16 stories or 30,000㎡ 25 days (15 days) 14 days (7 days)
    o Buildings subject to review by local construction committee 75 days (45 days) 30 days (15 days)
     
    ※ ( ) is process time for buildings investigated by construction companies
  • Title
    What are the buildings that need to be verified and approved?
  • Content
    ① Those who wish to construct or renovate a building must get approval from mayor/governor/head of district office etc. 
    The cases listed below are approved for construction upon notification. 
    1. Extension, rebuilding of a building with combined floor area of less than 85㎡ 
    2. Construction of buildings lower than 3 stories in management area, agricultural area and natural environment conservation area with total floor area of less than 200㎡. However, this excludes construction within area of district units plan and disaster prevention district designated by Presidential decree. 
    3. Large-scale repair of buildings with gross area of less than 200㎡ that has less than 3 stories 
    4. Large scale repair without disassembling of principal structural parts 
    1) Repairing more than 30㎡ of bearing wall vertical slab 
    2) Repairing more than 3 pillars
    3) Repairing more than 3 beams
    4) Repairing more than 3 roof truss
    5) Repairing firewall or floor & wall in fire compartments
    6) Repairing main stairs/emergency stairs/special evacuation stairs 
    5.  Construction of small buildings 
    1) Building with combined gross area of 100㎡ or less 
    2) Building that extends within 3 meters 
    3) Building that is constructed according to the standard design document and is designated by the construction ordinance as its use and size does not interfere with the surroundings 
    4) Manufacturing area pursuant to article 36, section 1-1 of the National Land Planning and Utilization Act, area of district units plan pursuant to article 51, section 3 of the National Land Planning and Utilization Act, factories with less than 2 stories and combined cross area of 500㎡ or less that are constructed within industrial complexes pursuant to the Industrial Sites and Development Act
    5) Cattle & crop cultivation sheds with gross area of 400㎡ or less, warehouse with gross area of 200㎡ or less that are constructed for the purpose of running agricultural & fisheries business 
  • Title
    Can foreigners ( including corporations) obtain land in Korea without restriction?
  • Content
    Regardless of whether they live in Korea or not, foreigners can obtain land just like Korean nationals, without restriction on usage and size. 
    1. Foreigners are subject to the same restriction on land acquisition, use, and development as Korean nationals. 
    2. As an exception however, acquiring land within military protection area, cultural asset protection area, ecology protection area requires prior approval (Article 4 of the Foreigner’s Land Acquisition Act). In this case, the authority must approve land acquisition if it is deemed not to harm any process of designated plans within the zone. 
    <.>Confirmation of land use plan can be issued by city/district office to find out regulations on the land concerned. 
    ★ Construction 
  • Title
    What are the required procedures when a foreigner acquires land in Korea?
  • Content
    Residing foreigners  
    1. Residing foreigners can report to city/district office within 60 days of contract, followed by ownership transfer registration at the registry office within jurisdiction without the reporting procedure stipulated by the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act. 
    <.>For residing foreigners, registry number for foreigner’s real estate registration and  address verification document that are required for real estate registration can be replaced by alien registration number and address stated on the alien registration card. 
     
    Non-residing foreigners 
    1. When bringing in funds to purchase real estate, real estate acquisition notification must be made to the chief of foreign exchange bank, pursuant to the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act. ( Article 7-45) 
    2. If the acquired real estate is a land, land acquisition notification must be made to the city / district office pursuant to the Foreigner’s Land Acquisition Act, followed by ownership transfer registration. 
    Because the Foreigner’s Land Acquisition Act only stipulates rules regarding land acquisition, acquisition of real estate other than land (building etc) and related rights does not require notification pursuant to the act. However, it is customary to sell land and building separately, and separate acquisition of building is rare. 
    Registry number for foreigner’s real estate registration: non-residing foreigners can obtain their number from Korea Immigration Service, and corporations can obtain theirs from city / district office within the jurisdiction of the land. 
     
    Definition of residents 
    1. Individual : individuals with address or residence in Korea, work in a Korean company or engaged in sales activity 
    2. Foreigner : Foreigners staying in Korea for more than 6 months 
    3. Corporation : Local branch of corporation that has a main office in Korea 

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