Week 34, 2011 – a news from Korean Customs

One miserable news came: with only three days left to Copenhagen Design Week, notebooks sent from Nagano were kept at Korean Customs in Yangsan, a city where everything from abroad through the harbors in Busan are examined. The reason was that the origin of production was not indicated on every single notebook although it was marked on the boxes. Earlier, we have decided to remove the extra cover marked ‘Made in Japan’, and the new barcode sticker with the information was supposed to be done in Korea.

We found two options before we could re-admit our boxes to be screened, one being to hire so-called ‘professionals’ to put ready-made ‘Made in Japan’ sticker –apparently this doesn’t only happen to us, and there are people making living out of it – and the other being me doing it myself. There were no time to think and money was not an issue either. The question was whether the hired people will treat the notebooks carefully enough.

Eventually, I made up my mind to make a trip to Yangsan as it seems their professionalism is more about being quick than being careful. I embarked on the job early in the next morning with Soeun, Seungjoon, Jimin without whose help I could never get it done. The packages were ready for re-examination before noon, and we were told they would be arrive no later than this Saturday, one day prior to our departure. The emergency is resolved, but the real problem is tricky. We have moved the warehouse to Korea, that is to say, our office in Seoul to save costs and better-serve our customers by dispatching the items ourselves, but putting six different barcode stickers for only a few thousand notebooks in Japan may cost more than that. Turns out, the high production price was not the only problem.

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