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Consumers need to check whether a product they purchase through foreign direct shopping has been recalled 2018-02-12

Consumers need to check whether a product they purchase through foreign direct shopping has been recalled

In 2017, corrective actions including sales suspension and free-of-charge repairs for 106 products were recommended


    Products recalled overseas have been found for sale through a variety of distribution channels on and offline, which requires consumers’ extra attention.

    The Korea Consumer Agency (KCA) monitored defective or faulty products recalled from overseas markets being distributed in Korea throughout 2017, and recommended that the businesses involving 106 products* take appropriate actions including sales suspension of recalled products, free-of-charge repairs, exchanges, etc.


              *an increase of 83% compared to 58 products in 2016


    Among those 106 products, the Korean official importers and distributors of 16 products including ATV, motorcycles, ski equipment, bicycles, infant toys, etc. agreed to voluntarily* provide free-of-charge repairs, exchanges or refunds, and measures including removing from product listing pages online and sales suspension of recalled products were also taken for 90 products which were not sold by Korean official importers and distributors or whose distribution channels were unidentified through a regular consultation body consisting of online shopping intermediaries** so that the products concerned could not be distributed in Korea.


  * The revised version of the 「Framework Act on Consumers」(effective on May 1, 2018) clearly states that if an enterpriser has found that the same products as the ones manufactured, imported, sold or supplied by him or her were recalled from overseas markets, he or she shall report the recalls to the head of the competent central administrative agency (Article 47), and also if he or she fails to make a report on the recalls, he or she shall be punished by a fine for negligence (Article 86). Therefore, it is expected that enterprisers will respond to recalls more actively than before.


 ** The KCA, Naver(shopping), SK planet(11Street), EbayKorea(Auction, G-market), Interpark(shopping) and Forward Ventures(Coupang) have participated in the regular consultation body in order to secure safety of products distributed online.


    The countries where the product recalls were made the most were ‘the U.S.’(55 products, 52%), ‘Japan’(8 products, 8%), ‘Canada’(7 products, 7%) and ‘Australia’(7 products, 7%), respectively.

    In addition, the most-frequently recalled product categories were ‘sports and leisure goods’(27 products, 25%), followed by ‘goods for children and infants’(24 products, 23%), ‘daily use & automotive products’(20 products, 19%), and ‘food products’(10 products, 9%).

    And the most common reasons for recalls were ‘risks of injury to consumers’, ‘excessive overheating and fires’, and ‘violation of safety standards’, and in particular, as for ‘goods for children and infants’, 40% of recalls were associated with swallowing objects such as small toy parts or parts of broken toys, or ‘risks of strangulation’ from strings or cords attached to toys, which requires special attention from parents as well as children and infants.

    The KCA has advised consumers to check overseas recall information on the Consumer Injury Surveillance System(www.ciss.go.kr)* or the Happy Dream Open Consumer Portal(www.consumer.go.kr)**websites before purchasing products through overseas direct purchases or proxy purchase services since products recalled overseas can be distributed in Korea through a variety of distribution channels.


    * Consumer Injury Surveillance System(www.ciss.go.kr) homepage, ’Safety Issue Breaking News regarding Injury Information’

  ** Happy Dream Open Consumer Portal(www.consumer.go.kr) homepage, ’Product Safety Information Breaking News regarding Injury Information’


    Furthermore, the KCA plans to continue to strengthen its monitoring activity on defective or faulty products recalled overseas through the regular consultation body consisting of a variety of distribution channels including online shopping intermediaries, TV home shopping malls, and big supermarkets so that the distribution of those recalled products can be blocked in Korea.


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