South Korea ends ban on imported sex dolls

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has officially lifted a ban on imports of full-body sex dolls, ending years of debate over government interference in privacy.

Although there are no laws or regulations prohibiting the importation of sex dolls, hundreds, if not thousands, have been seized by customs, who cited a clause in the law prohibiting the importation of goods who “harm the fine traditions of the country and public morals”. .”

The importers complained and took their case to court, most of which agreed with them and ordered customs to release the sex dolls, claiming they are used in people’s private spaces and do not wear no violation of human dignity.

On Monday, the Korean Customs Service said in a statement that it had started enforcing a revised guideline for importing life-size adult sex dolls. He said he looked at recent court decisions and opinions from relevant government agencies, including the Department for Gender Equality and Family Affairs.

The customs department said it would still prohibit the import of child sex dolls or others that embody certain people. He said that other countries like the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom also ban child sex dolls.

While the ruling reflects South Korea’s slow but incremental moves to curtail state interference in personal lives, some women’s rights and conservative organizations will likely voice their opposition to the use of sex dolls. They say they deepen the sexual objectification of women and undermine public morals.

Carenshare Co., a South Korean company that imports sex dolls, said in a statement that it was “deplorable” that the customs department was lifting the import ban after allegedly wasting taxpayers’ money on lawsuits with importers. The company said it suffered immense losses. He said South Korea needs to reform other regulations that negatively impact the economy.

“We believed that our people’s rights to pursue happiness and to use (sex dolls) in their private life had been restricted by the state,” said Lee Sang-jin, who ran one of the malls in company line. “There are different types of people who use (sex dolls), including those who are sexually alienated or those who need them for artistic purposes.”

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

South Korean authorities do not crack down on the sale of domestically-made sex dolls, but their quality is generally lower than those made overseas, Lee said.

Lee said his former company had already repossessed more than 20 sex dolls from customs officials through legal action. He said the company had filed separate lawsuits seeking compensation from the government because many recovered sex dolls had become unusable after around two years of seizures by the customs service.

The Customs Department’s decision would allow importers to retrieve their sex dolls held in the government depot run by the agency.

Customs officials said they still likely had more than 1,000 sex dolls that had been sent to South Korea since 2018.

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