Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement

Chapter 19: Transparency

Article 19.1: Publication

  1. Each Party shall ensure that its laws, regulations, procedures and administrative rulings of general application respecting any matter covered by this Agreement are promptly published, including on the Internet where feasible, or otherwise made available in such a manner as to enable interested persons and the other Party to become acquainted with them.
  2. To the extent possible, each Party shall:
    1. publish in advance any such laws, regulations, procedures and administrative rulings of general application that it proposes to adopt; and
    2. provide interested persons and the other Party a reasonable opportunity to comment on such proposed measures.

Article 19.2: Provision of Information

On request of the other Party, a Party shall promptly provide information and respond to questions pertaining to any actual or proposed measure that the requesting Party considers might affect the operation of this Agreement, regardless of whether the requesting Party has been previously notified of that measure.

Article 19.3: Administrative Proceedings

  1. Each Party shall ensure that all laws, regulations, procedures, and administrative rulings of general application to which this Agreement applies are administered in a consistent, impartial, objective and reasonable manner.
  2. With a view to administering in a consistent, impartial, objective and reasonable manner its laws, regulations, procedures and administrative rulings of general application with respect to any matter covered by this Agreement, each Party shall ensure, in its administrative proceedings applying these measures to particular persons, goods or services of the other Party in specific cases that it:
    1. provides wherever possible, persons of the other Party that are directly affected by a proceeding reasonable notice, in accordance with its procedures, when a proceeding is initiated, including a description of the nature of the proceeding, a statement of the legal authority under which the proceeding is initiated, and a general description of any issues in controversy;
    2. affords such persons a reasonable opportunity to present facts and arguments in support of their positions prior to any final administrative action, when time, the nature of the proceeding and the public interest permit; and
    3. follows its procedures in accordance with its law.

Article 19.4: Review and Appeal

  1. Each Party shall establish or maintain judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative tribunals or procedures for the purposes of the prompt review and, where warranted, correction of final administrative actions regarding matters covered by this Agreement. Such tribunals shall be impartial and independent of the office or authority entrusted with administrative enforcement and shall not have any substantial interest in the outcome of the matter.
  2. Each Party shall ensure that, in any such tribunals or procedures, the parties to the proceeding are provided with the right to:
    1. a reasonable opportunity to support or defend their respective positions; and
    2. a decision based on the evidence and submissions of record or, where required by the law of the party, the record compiled by the administrative authority.
  3. Each Party shall ensure, subject to appeal or further review as provided in its law, that such decision shall be implemented by, and shall govern the practice of, the office or authority with respect to the administrative action at issue.

Article 19.5: Definitions

For the purposes of this Chapter:

administrative ruling of general application means an administrative ruling or interpretation that applies to all persons and fact situations that fall generally within its ambit and that establishes a norm of conduct but does not include:

  1. a determination or ruling made in an administrative or quasi-judicial proceeding that applies to a particular person, good, or service of the other Party in a specific case; or
  2. a ruling that adjudicates with respect to a particular act or practice.