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Gov’t vows an end to custom camper red tape

Aug 09,2019
Customizing cars could become easier - and less illegal - as the government considers easing regulations to foster a camping vehicle industry.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said Thursday it will work to lift regulations and allow passenger, commercial and special purpose vehicles to be customized as camping vehicles.

“Until now, our society has regarded auto customizing as a distinct culture only participated in by a limited number,” the ministry said in a statement.

“We will work to correct the negative view of auto customizing to create a sustainable and positive customizing culture.”

According to ministry data, the number of registered camping vehicles has increased more than five times to 20,892 units as of March from 4,131 posted in 2014. During the same period, the number of vans customized as camping vehicles has increased from 125 vehicles to 6,235 units.

Under current regulations, only vans that can hold more than 11 people are allowed to be tuned into camping vehicles. That prohibited 9-person vans like Kia Motors’ Carnivals and Hyundai Motor’s Starexes from being tuned into camping vehicles.

When the regulations are lifted, all passenger cars, commercial vehicles and special-purpose vehicles like fire wagons will be able to be converted into camping vehicles.

By lifting the regulations, the government expects the market for customizing passenger cars and commercial vehicles into camping vehicles to reach 6,000 jobs worth 130 billion won ($107 million) per year.

It also projects the market for converting special-purpose vehicles into camping vehicles to reach 5,000 jobs worth 220 billion won per year.

Also in the Thursday announcement, the ministry said it will no longer require pre-approvals for 27 auto parts being customized. The list includes LED headlamps, wheel lights, noise reducers and plastic secondary bumpers.

By allowing LED headlamps alone to be installed without needing a permit, the ministry believes the customization market will grow 12 billion won per year.

As more people consider customizing their gasoline cars to electric, the ministry is also setting new standards and regulations for that kind of modification.

The ministry added it will support the vehicle customization market by establishing its own test center.

BY KO JUN-TAE [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]


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