SEOUL, May 10 (Korea Bizwire) — As an increasing number of South Korean consumers are engaging in direct purchases overseas, there are also a higher number of products recalled by foreign companies being imported, products that are therefore banned from being distributed in South Korea.
While the government bans sales of products placed on recall lists, some products were still found to have entered the South Korean market.
The Korea Consumer Agency (KCA) reported that products banned from South Korea after being recalled by foreign manufacturers have increased in number from 57 items in 2016 to 132 in 2018, largely due to an increasing number of foreign direct purchases.
Foreign direct purchases increased from 17.4 million cases in 2016 to 32.2 million cases in 2018.
The KCA produces list of recalled products in cooperation with 25 different foreign agencies to ban online advertisements or recommend returns or refunds.
The agency, however, does not have the legal force to completely shut down sales of banned goods.
Out of 87 banned products with a specified country of origin, 35 were made in China.
Among the banned products, 28.8 percent were designed for children, and most were recalled by manufacturers due to concerns that children may swallow them or engage in other dangerous activities.
However, some of the products were still found to be available in the South Korean market, evading official countermeasures.
The KCA, monitoring 116 products out of 121 banned last year with a lack of transaction records in South Korea, found that five products were still being advertised and sold in the South Korean market.
Products that do not meet relevant qualifications in South Korea are also entering the domestic market.
Tooth whitening products, for instance, cannot be sold online in South Korea if the concentration of hydrogen peroxide exceeds 3 percent.
They are, however, allowed for online sale in other foreign markets, such as the United States.
Eleven tooth whitening products sold by one company in South Korea were found to contain more than 3 percent of hydrogen peroxide, some of them containing as much as 12.7 percent.
In response, the KCA has taken down advertisements of the products, but they are still being sold at several online shopping malls.
“Interagency cooperation is crucial to put a stop to the distribution of recalled products in our market,” said the board.
Ashley Song (email@example.com)