Progress of Legislation Related to Space Development (Taiwan)

Angela Wu and Albert Yen

The Space Development Act read the third time and passed at the Legislative Yuan on May 31, 2021 and was promulgated on June 16.  Consisting of 6 chapters and 22 articles, the Space Development Act is the first national space law in Taiwan.  This law not only reveals the basic principles of space development, including respecting international conventions, implementing environmental protection and sustainable development, disclosing information on space development to the extent that the principle of national security and interests is satisfied, and promoting the principle of popularizing space science through education and advocacy, but also confirms that the MOST is the competent authority for space activities and provides that a launch carrier can only be launched from a national launch site and shall be registered with a launch plan included in the application to the MOST six months prior to the scheduled launch date.  In addition, if the launch site involves the lands and rights of the indigenous peoples, the procedure for obtaining the consent of relevant tribes should be followed in accordance with the Indigenous Peoples Basic Law. In this regard, the MOST stated that the Short-term Scientific Research Rocket Launch Site was approved during the Hsuhai Tribe Meeting in Mutan of Pingtung County on November 23.

Following the promulgation of the Space Development Act, the competent authority or the MOST has also prepared four draft ancillary regulations, namely, the draft Regulations Governing the Registration of Launch Carriers and Space Carriers, the draft Regulations Governing the Launch Approval of Launch Carriers, the draft Regulations Governing the Site Selection, Establishment, Operation, Administration, Compensation, and Feedbacks of Launch Sites, and the draft Regulations Governing the Compensation for the Provision of Private Space Carrier Data.  In addition, the MOST also completed the pre-announcement and solicitation of public opinions for the regulations on October 26, 2021, and the regulations are expected to be promulgated in the near future.

In addition, the Executive Yuan Council also adopted the draft Statute for the Establishment of the National Space Organization prepared by the MOST on November 25, 2021.  If the draft can clear through three readings at the Legislative Yuan, the NSPO, which has been established for 30 years to date and is still affiliated with the National Research Laboratories, is expected to be promoted to be an administrative corporation (and directly affiliated with the MOST in terms of organization) and expanded.

It is expected that the implementation of laws and regulations related to space development will contribute to the comprehensiveness of infrastructure and the enhancement of technical capacity and lay a solid foundation for the development of the space industry of Taiwan.