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KCA, supports resolution of consumer damages associated with direct purchases from UK online shopping websites 2018-08-22

KCA, supports resolution of consumer damages associated with direct purchases from UK online shopping websites

- Signed an MOU for resolution of cross-border consumer damages with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute in the UK -

 

    On June 21, the Korea Consumer Agency (President Hee-sook Lee) concluded an MOU for resolution of cross-border consumer damages with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) in the UK in order to efficiently respond to consumer damages arising from cross-border transactions. Under the MOU, Korean consumers can file complaints to the KCA about damages associated with UK travel, online shopping from UK websites, etc.

* Chartered Trading Standards Institute(CTSI): a consumer protection organization in the UK which handles consumer complaints occurring within Europe

 

    According to the MOU, in the case where Korean consumers sustain damages due to products or services purchased from business operators in the UK, they can file complaints to the KCA and redress is provided through the CTSI. With the signing of the MOU, inconveniences or difficulties faced by Korean consumers in resolution of damages associated with UK travel and direct online purchasing from UK shopping sites are expected to be largely reduced. And conversely, in the case where British consumers sustain damages due to Korean business operators, complaints filed by the British consumers will be handled by the KCA.  

 

    Over the last three (3) years, Europe has been the second largest overseas direct purchase market* in Korea and related consumer damages have continued to increase year after year, requiring establishment of cooperative networks for resolution of consumer damages arising from cross-border transactions with consumer protection organizations in that area. Therefore, the MOU signing with the UK is anticipated to be also conducive to expanding the cooperative network to other European countries in the future.

* (based on the transaction amount in 2017) 1st: the USA ($1,214,630,000), 2nd: Europe ($418,409,000) (Korea Customs Service, March 20, 2018)

 

    Since 2015, the KCA has been concluded MOUs for resolution of consumer damages arising from cross-border transactions with consumer protection organizations in foreign countries. Until last year, the KCA signed MOUs with Japan, Vietnam, the US, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc., and this year, the KCA established a cooperative network with the UK by signing an MOU which is the KCA’s first MOU with a European country.

 

    In 2017, cross-border consumer complaints and damages lodged with 1372 Consumer Counseling Center* totalled 15,684 cases, up 41.1% from a year ago (11,118 cases). The KCA has operated Cross-Border Transaction Consumer Portal (http://crossborder.kca.go.kr) to enhance consumer competency in cross-border transactions, and last year, it involved in resolving a total of 1,463 cases of consumer damages stemming from cross-border transactions by providing information or asking overseas organizations to cooperate.

* 1372 Consumer Counseling Center: a nationwide integrated consumer call center (1372, no regional code) operated by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), and consumer groups, the KCA, and local governments work together to provide counseling services

 

    In the case of consumer damages arising from cross-border transactions, there are many cases where consumers face difficulties in resolving their problems due to language barrier, time and space restraints, different laws and commercial practices of the countries involved, etc. The KCA plans to keep working for the protection of consumers’ rights and interests through continuous expansion of international networks for resolution of consumer damages arising from cross-border transaction.

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