South Korean government agencies will intensify their lubricants inspection program beginning next year.
The South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced earlier this month that it will begin inspecting all lubricants traded in the country next year. A previous regulation dictated that authorities inspect products formulated with at least 70 percent mineral oil, but a recent act expanded the provision to cover all lubricant products.
This is to control the quality of lubricants more tightly and to include synthetic lubricants, which have been exempted from inspection so far, Kim Gyeongho, a ministry official, told Lube Report Asia.
Importers and exporters of lubricant products will have to report their businesses to the Korea Petroleum Quality & Distribution Authority (K-Petro), the agency conducting quality inspections on all applicable petroleum products in the country.
Forty-three cases in which substandard or fake synthetic lubricants were supplied to the military or public transportation [agencies] have been uncovered in the past year, Kim said. The South Korean customs authority will also report to K-Petro any suspicious imports of lube base oil that could potentially be used to make fake gasoline or diesel products.
Any lubricant products that have undergone the process to successfully obtain Korean Industrial Standards (KS) certification – which involves its own litany of inspections and audits – will not have to undergo the secondary government inspection process.
The ministry is to revise its Petroleum and Alternative Fuel Business Act by the second half of 2018 to make these changes happen, Kim added.