South Korea: Customs agency allows sex doll imports

South Korean officials declared the import of “full-body” sex dolls was allowed, but child-like dolls would still be banned. Importers said the decision was “reasonable.”

South Korea has formally ended a ban on the import of full-body sex dolls, three years after the country’s top court ruled the objects were not obscene.

The Korea Customs Service said in a statement on Monday that “customs clearance of full-body real dolls in adult shape is allowed.”

Ban on child-like dolls remains

A ban on dolls with child-like forms would remain with the customs agency saying that “real dolls in the shape of minors is prohibited.”

The agency said that when considering dolls depicting minors, overall appearance, height, weight, face and voice would be taken into account.

This would be in line with countries like the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom, all of whom ban child-like dolls.

The customs agency had only allowed the clearance of sex-dolls with particular body parts, and not full-body dolls since July.

While there had been no law explicitly banning the import of sex dolls, they were being seized by customs officials citing a clause in legislation banning goods which harmed South Korea’s traditions and public morals.

Lifting of ban welcomed by importers

Importers took their case to court arguing that the objects were used privately and therefore did not impinge on human dignity.

Lee Sang-jin who is the former head of a company that imports sex-dolls, was pleased with the decision.

“It’s a reasonable decision though it came bit late,” Lee said.

“We thought our people’s rights to seek happiness and use (sex dolls) in their private lives have been restricted by the state. There are various types of people who use (sex dolls), including those who are sexually alienated or those who need them for artistic purposes.”

The decision means that importers will now be able to retrieve their dolls held by customs authorities in storage facilities.

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