Direct purchases South Koreans made from overseas almost tripled over the past four years, data from the Korea Customs Service showed Tuesday.
According to the data submitted to Rep. Han Byung-do of the main opposition Democratic Party, South Korean shoppers made about 96,120,000 cross-border purchases online in 2022, up by almost threefold from 32,255,000 in 2018, the data showed.
In the first half of this year, the figure came to 57,570,000.
The surge in direct purchases from overseas also came with an increase in illegal activities involving cross-border shopping.
The customs service booked a total of 192 cases of illegal activities, such as smuggling and tax evasion, related to cross-border shopping in 2022, with a total of 59.8 billion won ($45.2 million) being seized.
In the first half of 2023 alone, the amount seized came to 41.9 billion won, the data also showed.
"Customs authorities should take proactive measures to counteract customs-related illegal activities that threaten public health and consumer safety," Han said. (Yonhap)