Country Guide: South Korea

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Updated: November 20, 2015

Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Copy of Passport (identification and entry stamp) from shipper and accompanying family members
  • Work Visa, valid for at least 1 year
  • Detailed inventory
  • Original Bill of Lading  (OBL) / Air Waybill (AWB)
  • Certificate of Alien Registration / Residence Card (from Korean Immigration Office)
  • Certificate of Entry and Departure (returning Koreans)
  • Application for Duty Exemption issued by Foreign Affairs Ministry of Korea (Diplomats)

 

Specific Information

  • Goods must arrive at port of entry / airport of entry (POE / AOE) in Korea within 6 months of the owner’s arrival.
  • Clearance should take place at a bonded warehouse.
  • Personal effects cannot be Customs cleared prior to the shipper’s arrival.
  • All incoming shipments, excluding diplomatic shipments, are subject to open inspection by the Korean Customs Authority.
  • Evidence of at least 1 year abroad must be shown in Passport (returning Koreans)

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Original Title
  • Original Registration Certificate
  • Original Purchase Receipt or Invoice
  • Detailed inventory (Diplomats)
  • Original insurance documents
  • Proof of ownership (Diplomats)
  • Insurance Declarations Page or policy information (Diplomats)
  • Customs Duty Exemption showing frame number or chassis number, engine number, model and type (Diplomats)

 

Specific Information

  • Vehicle must be listed on the inventory with full technical specifications (make, model, plate number, etc.)
  • In order to register and to drive in South Korea, the vehicle must pass the following Government tests:
    • Emission Gas Level Test
    • Noise and Vibration Test
    • Type and Model Approval
  • Documentary clearance does not require a physical inspection. 
  • Vehicles cannot be sold or transferred by a Diplomat to a non-diplomatic individual for 3 years; however sale or transfer between diplomatic individuals is authorized.
  • If a vehicle is sold or transferred to a non-diplomatic individual by a Diplomat within 3 years of vehicle importation, duties and taxes shall be charged by Korean Customs.
  • The vehicle must be identified on the detailed inventory.

Pets

Documents Required

  • Valid Health Certificate
  • Vaccination Record (must include rabies vaccination)
  • Proof of identification

 

Specific Information

  • Animals will be quarantined upon arrival to South Korea; currently, there is a 10-day quarantine required.
  • Animals should have vaccinations at least 30 days prior to import.
  • If rabies vaccinations are not older than 30 days, pets must remain in quarantine the 10-days plus the number of days to total 30 full days since the rabies vaccination.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • The following household goods may be imported duty free by persons 19 years and older within the limits indicated:
    • Alcohol (1 L)
    • Cigarettes (200), cigars (50), tobacco (250 g)
    • Perfume (2 oz.)
    • Personal items (gifts, new items, etc. up to $400)
  • Firearms, ammunition, and explosive materials, including fireworks (permission from the Korean authorities is required)
  • Narcotic and psychotropic drugs
  • Animals
  • Foodstuff
  • Plants and plant byproducts (subject to quarantine and approval by the authorities; denial of entry is possible)

Prohibited Items

  • Illegal drugs
  • Pornographic material
  • Counterfeit goods or materials
  • Subversive and treasonous materials

Consignment Instructions

Recommended:  Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.

 

IAM Note:  Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While IAM has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, IAM makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability. 

 

Helpful Website(s):

 http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2800.htm

 http://usa-newyork.mofat.go.kr/english/am/usa-newyork/main/index.jsp

 

IAM Note: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While IAM has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, IAM makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.