HomeInsightsGovernment finalises the UK’s first independent adequacy decision with Republic of Korea


The Government says that legislation for its first independent adequacy decision will be finalised before the end of 2022. It will mean, the Government says, that UK organisations will be able to share personal data securely with the Republic of Korea.

According to the Government’s Impact Assessment, once in force, the Data Protection (Adequacy) (Republic of Korea) Regulations 2022 are estimated to cut administrative and financial burdens for UK businesses by £11 million a year and to increase exports to South Korea by £3.8 million annually.

After agreeing to a data adequacy agreement in principle in July 2022, the Government has completed its full assessment of the Republic of Korea’s personal data legislation and concluded that the Republic of Korea has strong privacy laws in place which will protect data transfers to South Korea, while upholding the rights and protections of UK citizens.

The Government says that the adequacy decision will open opportunities for many small and medium-sized businesses who may have avoided international data transfers to Korea due to having to put contractual safeguards, such as standard data protection clauses and Binding Corporate Rules, in place.

In the Government’s view, removing barriers to data transfers will also boost research and innovation by making it easier for experts to collaborate on medical treatments and other vital research.

The new adequacy decision is broader than the EU’s deal with South Korea. The most significant difference between the two deals is that UK organisations will be able to share personal data related to credit information with the Republic of Korea to help identify customers and verify payments. The ability to share this type of data will help UK businesses with a presence in the Republic of Korea to boost credit, lending, investment and insurance operations in the Republic of Korea.

The legislation was laid in Parliament on 23 November 2022 and is expected to come into force from the 19 December 2022. To read the Government’s press release in full and for a link to the legislation, click here. To access all supporting documents to the legislation, click here.