January 27, 2023

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The long debate over sex toys in South Korea has ended: the government’s decision

Lawmaker Lee Yong-joo poses with a sex doll during a parliamentary study at the National Assembly in Seoul on October 18, 2019. It was reported on December 26. 2022 that South Korea has formally ended its ban on the import of sex toys. (Lee Jong-chul/AP via Newssys)

South Korea has formally lifted a ban on the import of full-body sex toys, ending a debate over how much the government can interfere in private lives.

Although there are no laws or regulations banning the importation of sex toys, hundreds and thousands have been seized by customs, citing a provision. The law prohibits the importation of goods “injurious to the beautiful traditions and public morals of the country”..

The importers complained and took them away Case in courtMost of them agreed with them and ordered the customs to release the sex toys, saying they are used in people’s private parts and do not undermine human dignity.

On Monday, the Korea Customs Service said in a statement that it has begun implementing revised guidelines for importing life-size adult sex toys. It said it had reviewed recent court rulings and opinions of relevant government agencies, including the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family.

According to the customs department It will continue to ban the importation of sex toys shaped like children or dolls representing specific individuals. Other countries such as the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom are also banning child sex toys, he said.

Although there are no laws or regulations prohibiting the importation of sex toys, hundreds and thousands have been seized by customs.
Although there are no laws or regulations prohibiting the importation of sex toys, hundreds and thousands have been seized by customs, citing a section of the law that prohibits the importation of items “injurious to the beauty traditions and public morals of the country.”

While the decision reflects South Korea’s slow but gradual move to reduce state interference in private lives, some conservative and women’s rights groups are likely to speak out again against the use of sex toys. They say they deepen the sexual orientation of women and undermine public morality.

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Carenshare Co., a South Korean importer of sex toys, said in a statement. “deplorable” For the Customs Service to lift import bans for alleged waste of taxpayers’ money in litigation with importers. The company said that it has incurred huge losses. He said South Korea needs to reform other regulations that have a negative impact on the economy.

“We thought the government was restricting our people’s rights to pursue happiness and use (sex toys) in their private lives,” said Lee Sang-jin, who ran one of the company’s online shopping malls. “There are different types of people who use (sex toys), including those who are sexually alienated or need it for artistic purposes.”

Lee said the customs decision was “fair” but “a bit late”.

South Korean authorities do not ban the sale of domestically made sex toys, but their quality is generally lower than those made abroad, Lee said.

The customs department said importation of sex toys shaped like children's toys or dolls representing specific individuals will be banned.
The customs department said importation of sex toys shaped like children’s toys or dolls representing specific individuals will be banned.

Lee said his former company has already removed more than 20 sex toys through lawsuits from customs officials. He said the company had filed a separate lawsuit seeking compensation from the government as many of the recovered sex toys were unusable two years after they were seized by customs.

The decision by the Customs Service will allow importers to retrieve their sex toys at government warehouses run by the agency.

More than 1,000 sex toys have been sent to South Korea since 2018, customs officials said.

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(With information from AP)

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