South Korea introduces stricter safety checks for imported crypto mining equipment

on Apr 19, 2018

South Korea’s border control agency has introduced measures that would make it more difficult to import foreign made crypto mining chips to the country, industry website Coindesk has reported.

According to the news outlet, the South Korean Customs Service (KCS) yesterday published data, revealing that cryptocurrency mining chips have been added to the current list of items that must meet certain legal requirements for importation, such as safety and sanitation certifications.

Coindesk also cited Korean media outlet Kyunghyang, which said that the measure was introduced after the border control agency noted the increasing amount of cryptocurrency miners imported into South Korea. In the final two months of last year alone, the agency noted imports of 454 mining chips worth an estimated 1.3 billion Korean won ($1.2 million), the report states.

The KCS is reportedly concerned that the high electricity consumption of cryptocurrency mining equipment, which produces heat as a byproduct, could lead to more fire incidents in the country. To tackle these safety concerns, the agency intends to apply existing regulations and requirements for radio and electronic goods to imported crypto miners.

The South Korean authorities are stepping their efforts to stop allegedly illegal mining activities especially in public spaces due to concerns over high electricity consumption and fire risk, Coindesk notes. Earlier this month the website reported that the South Korean police had arrested 14 people from 13 companies, who had allegedly used cheap electricity provided at industrial factories to mine digital currencies.

Meanwhile, some retailers have made similar moves. Last August, a Seoul-based electronics retail marketplace banned vendors from mining digital currencies in their stores. The marketplace, Yongsan Market, cited electrical costs, rising temperatures and the risk of fire as the reasons behind its decision.