January 17, 2023 11:43
The government will scrap red tape for parents of students abroad and businesses to report any foreign currency transfer of more than US$50,000 to financial authorities.
The Ministry of Economy and Finance said on Monday that it will revise the law this year to scrap the requirement from the second half of next year.
The law was enacted in 1999, when there were fears that the nation's wealth would somehow leak away overseas.
Currently only transfers under $5,000 can be made without reporting them to financial authorities, but any amount above that must be remitted through designated banks. Koreans who buy real estate abroad have to submit the contracts and other documents to their bank.
Also, people who transfer more than $50,000 a year overseas must validate the transaction with a foreign school enrollment certificate, proof of identity and a record showing the recipient has really left Korea.
Violators face up to a year in prison or a fine of up to W100 million (US$1=W1,235).
A ministry official said, "We get so many requests to simplify the complicated process and are looking into scrapping the requirement. For example there were complaints that people having to pay the emergency medical bills of family members abroad got into trouble because of the regulation."
But the official said large transfers by businesses will still have to be reported.
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