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S. Korea to Ban Unsafe Overseas Direct Purchase Products

Photo by Markus Winkler / Unsplash

Sejong, South Korea — The South Korean government has announced plans to prohibit direct overseas purchases of products deemed harmful to consumers, including children's goods, electrical appliances, and chemical products unless they obtain safety certification.

The government's decision to implement this ban coincides with exponential growth in e-commerce transactions. 

In 2023, these transactions increased by 27% to KRW 6.8 trillion (US$5.1 billion) compared to the previous year. 

This phenomenon has resulted in an influx of unsafe and counterfeit products and tax avoidance issues.

The new regulations stipulate that 34 categories of children's products, 34 types of electrical goods, and 12 chemical products will be prohibited from direct overseas purchase without KC safety certification. 

Moreover, cosmetics, hygiene products, and accessories containing harmful substances will also be prohibited from entering the country.

Moreover, the government will require major foreign e-commerce platforms to designate domestic representatives to address consumer disputes and product safety concerns. 

Information on overseas purchases will be integrated into a single consumer portal, enhancing accessibility.

To support local industries adversely affected by the e-commerce boom, the government has announced plans to promote advanced logistics infrastructure, assist small merchants in diversifying their sourcing and product portfolios, and expand support for overseas sales by domestic firms.