South Korea's customs office said Wednesday it will ease regulations on small and medium-sized duty-free shops to allow them to more freely relocate within the same administrative district.
The Korea Customs Service has limited small and medium- sized duty-free shops from moving to other locations as it grants license to operators as a way to attract foreign travelers and boost the local economy.
The local duty-free industry had benefited from the influx of Chinese travelers over the past several years but a sharp drop in their numbers following Seoul's installment of an American missile system in March has dealt a serious blow to smaller players.
Duty-free operators hit hard by the plunge in Chinese travelers have called on the government to allow them to relocate their shops to other locations.
The customs office also tentatively abolished the sales cap on the goods stored over a set period of time to help the shops manage their rising inventory.
"The small and medium-sized duty-free shops would be able to more flexibly respond to the changing market environment with the latest policy," the Korea Customs Service said in a release. "It is also expected to reduce the burden on rising stockpiles and help provide liquidity." (Yonhap)