Korea customs tackles counterfeits by marking cosmetics

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Korea customs tackles counterfeits by marking cosmetics

Related tags Korea South korea

The Korea Customs Service (KCS) has said it will begin marking Korean cosmetics in a bid to tackle the rise of conterfeiting affecting the country’s beauty industry.

According to the Korea Herald, the customs office will start marking products with ‘a special QR code label’ that will identify the relevant products as authentic, in a bid to “help protect both brands and consumers​”. 

The new system will reportedly come into force in June, and is set to particularly benefit cross-border retail for Chiese consumers increasingly using ecommerce platforms to purchase Korean beauty products.

Cross-border buying

Korea’s overseas online cosmetics sales have grown on-year by a whopping 261.9% according to the KCS, reaching 161 million won last year. At 45.8%, cross-border sales in China made up a considerable majority of this.

According to the KCS, unauthorised copycat Korean brands and products are on the rise, increasingly listed on Chinese e-commerce retailers.

China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce has stated that around 40% of all cosmetics products sold via e-commerce in China is fake, and with Korean beauty seeing soaring popularity in the country, the number of copycat Korean products is on the up too.

Online beauty fix

A recent report, ‘Haitao Retailing’, released by Euromonitor International looked at e-commerce trends in China, and note that increasing numbers are getting international beauty products online.

The research reveals that three in five (58%) Chinese consumers bought foreign products online from domestic shopping website in the six month period ending November 2015, with South Korea (47%), Japan (29%) and France (27%) the top three countries attracting beauty product purchases. 

According to the report, cross-border ecommerce grew at a higher CAGR than digital retail more generally (63.3% and 48.8% respectively) in 2015, and Mintel expects this trend to continue.

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