South Korea



Pornographic materials, firearms, swords and long knives, ammunition, narcotics, non-branded drugs. Any item which is considered to be detrimental to the public interest and national security.


Personal effects cannot be customs cleared prior to a shipper’s arrival in Korea. All shipments are subject to inspection, excluding diplomatic shipments. Arrival must be within 6 months of entry into Korea, by the owner(s). Non-Korean clients must have a work visa or long-term visa in order to do clearance without Duty/Tax. If clients pay Duty/Tax, Korean customs do not refund in any case.

Used household goods and personal effects are normally qualified for duty/tax free admittance into the Republic of Korea if they are considered to be necessary and an appropriate quantity.


New items, tobacco products, used and new automobiles, boats, aircrafts, motorcycles, jewels, grand pianos (free if over 6 months old one of piano major Diploma holder), over 50? TV’s, over two TV sets (29?-49?)/one free & others dutiable, plasma TV’s are dutiable. Only 1 golf club and 1 ski per adult duty free.

Alcohol – Duty free for 1 bottle of wine, cognac, whiskey, vodka etc. per 1 adult.

For exceeding portion, the duty/tax rates are as follows ;
– Wine : 68.2% of customs duty, based on customs assessed value.
– Cognac : 144.9% of customs duty, based on customs assessed value
– Whiskey/Vodka : 155.5% of customs duty, based on customs assessed value
Honey – Duty free for 3 kgs per person (new)


All automobiles being imported into the Republic of Korea are subject to pay high duty/tax unless they belong to diplomatic or military personnel/ U.S. Governmental Contractor (SOFA: Status of Forces Agreement). An automobile must have been registered under shipper’s name at least three months before shipping to Korea. Proof of ownership / age (Registration, Title, Insurance policy and/or Purchasing receipts necessary. Korean made cars, which have been used more than 6 months are free of import duty/tax, however a Korean vehicle, which has been assembled in a foreign country is NOT eligible for import without duty/tax. Please contact your T.I.M.N. agent, for additional information.


Household goods and personal effects of foreign diplomats are exempt from examination. Korean diplomats are not subject to the same regulations as those of any returning Korean resident, their shipments are inspected as they aren’t diplomats in Korea. Please specify DIPLOMATIC HOUSEHOLD GOODS on ocean/air bill of lading.


1) Original B/L or Air Way Bill
2) Legible inventory list
3) Original Passport of each member of the family
4) Original Residence Certificate (shipper and family)


Please show in the consignee & notify of OBL/AWB for every location in Korea as:
Owner’s full name as printed in the passport
C/O T.I.M.N. Agent’s name and address


Cats and dogs will be released through customs only after passing through medical inspection at the National Quarantine Station. A Certificate of Health and Rabies Vaccination Certificate from the country of origin are also required.


Korean shipper must be present for inspection at any Customs House, foreigners do not need to be present for inspection at Customs House.

Surface shipment

1) Busan :
We strongly recommend you to send shipment to Busan if you need it to be delivered to Seoul or to the southern part of Korea. Customs regulations allow bonded transit from port Busan to Seoul Customs House for inspection. Transit / clearance time 10-15 days.
2) Incheon:
Bonded transit from Incheon port to the Seoul Customs House is not permitted. Shipments imported via Incheon will be customs inspected within the Incheon port (only).

Air cargo shipments

Kimhae Airport (Busan)
For Busan and southern area.
Incheon Airport (Seoul)
Port of entry for any shipment.


Korean customs regulations do not allow port to door delivery of containers except diplomatic shipments. Containers must be unloaded at the customs bonded warehouse for inspection. After customs clearance, shipments will be transported to the destination residence by truck / van.

Plants Quarantine

– Korean customs do not allow to import pine pallet from USA, Japan, China, Taiwan, Canada, Mexico and Portugal. If it is imported from those areas, Customs incinerate the pallet and bill the charge, about $50 USD/pallet.
– Korean customs quarantine cereal (rice, sesame etc.), seed.

Important:This information is intended for general guidance. Forward Van Lines International cannot take responsibility for any errors or oversights or for any loss or damage that may occur from its use. It is advisable to contact the Korean Embassy at for more information prior to your shipping.

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