Guide to Sending Parcels to South Korea

South Korea is an old, rugged, and mountainous country that has made a huge impact on the modern world: spicy kimchi, high-kicking taekwondo, champion short-track speed skaters, and K-pop (think of BTS, PSY, and SNSD).

But there is also a serious side to South Korea. Companies like Samsung, LG, Hyundai, have helped to sky-rocket the country's GDP from near last in the 1970s to 10th today.

South Koreans use their very well developed internet infrastructure to shop on-line more than any other nation giving it the world's fifth-largest e-commerce market.

That will buy you a lot of kimchi and bibimbap!

Sources for this page came mostly from Korea Customs Service .

Shipping Rates

Easily compare the best and cheapest shipping shipping options to South Korea through a variety of carriers using Secureship

find the cheapest way to ship to South Korea from Canada
Secureship provides safe and affordable shipping from Canada to South Korea. Whether you are an everyday shopper or a business, you can easily save up to 50% on your international shipping costs by way of accessing our group buying power.
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Easy Tracking Information

Shipments through Secureship come with full, easy to read tracking information to South Korea

Full tracking information for parcels to South Korea is available with Secureship
Tracking #:780123123123
Tel: 1-800-463-3339
Signed By: Pikwalia @ Residence
May 31, 2020
8:49 am
Daegu, DA, SK
Delivered
May 30, 2020
7:18 am
Incheon, IN, SK
In transit
May 29, 2020
9:03 pm
Busan, BU, SK
International Clearance
May 29, 2020
8:14 am
Seoul, SE, SK
In transit
May 29, 2020
12:17 am
Toronto, ON, CA
In transit
May 28, 2020
4:30 pm
Ottawa, ON, CA
Pickup Scan

Disclaimer!

While we have made every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, Customs laws and procedures change regularly so it is important to consult a licensed broker in South Korea before shipping any goods.

Types of Shipments

Not all types of shipments are created equal. Shipping a television will require different paperwork, duties, and taxes than shipping an accounting statement, for example.


Shipping Documents Only Image to South Korea

Documents Only

Most documents can be shipped to South Korea from Canada duty and tax free.

Examples of typical shipments of documents include:

  • Advertising literature, brochures and pamphlets
  • Annual reports
  • Bids and proposals
  • Blank forms
  • Blueprints
  • Business cards
  • Catalogues
  • CDs for business purposes
  • Contracts
  • Cash letters and credit cards
  • Diaries
  • Diagrams and drawings
  • Greeting cards and Invitations
  • Intercompany mail, company newsletters and reports
  • Manuscripts and publications
  • Maps
  • Newspapers and periodicals
  • Paper and stationery
  • Passports
  • Photographs and diagrams
  • Specification sheets
  • Technical manuals
  • Visa applications

NOTE:
Shipping traveller's cheques is prohibited.
Bank drafts, banking cheques and blank airline tickets are considered to be non-documents.

Sources:
https://www.fina.org/sites/default/files/general/customs_and_freight_forwarding_guide_final.pdf
https://www.ups.com/ga/CountryRegsPrint?loc=en_US&origcountry=US&destcountry=KR&cat=015016017011018019020021023024009004014006007008002012010005013003&PrintRegulations=PrintRegulations
https://www.ups.com/ga/CountryRegs?loc=en_US

Shipping Gifts to South Korea

Shipping Gifts

Shipping a gift to South Korea from Canada is tax and duty free providing:

  • It is a genuine gift and not a commercial good
  • The total value of the shipment, including the gift, shipping and insurance costs is less than 150,000 South Korean won (about $170 CDN)
Gift Checklist
  • A commercial invoice must be included with your shipment
  • The words 'Gift Shipment' or 'Unsolicited Gift' are included on the commercial invoice, even if the shipment is sent at Christmas time (see sample)
  • List the items in the parcel and write the value of each
  • Sending more than one gift in the parcel? Wrap and tag each one individually.

Shipments from Individual-to-Individual

If you ship a gift to someone in South Korea, the receiver will be exempt from duties and taxes if the parcel's value (including insurance and shipping) is less than 150,000 South Korean won (about $170 CDN).

Shipments from Business-to-Business

There is no exemption from duties and taxes on a gift shipment from a Canadian business to a South Korean business.

This also applies to a gift sent to an individual at his or her business address.

Shipments from Business-to-Individual

A gift may be sent from a Canadian business to an individual in South Korea duty and tax free if the shipment is valued at less than 150,000 South Korean won (about $170 CDN). (This includes the cost of shipping and insurance.)

Sample Commercial Invoice for Gifts

Ship To Invoice
Mr. Kim Dae-jung
68, Samhak-ro 92 beon-gil
Mokpo
Jeollanam-do 58751
South Korea

Phone: +82 61-245-5660
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Personal Shipment / Gift Shipment

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 28 May 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Gift Shipment: LEGO Star Wars Rebel UWing Fighter, 659 piece set

CA $79.99
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Gifts
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $79.99
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge


Multiple Gifts in One Shipment

If there are several gifts in one shipment, the duty and tax exemption of 150,000 South Korean won or less (about $170 CDN) applies to the shipment, not to each gift.

Sample Commercial Invoice for Gifts

Ship To Invoice
Mr. Kim Dae-jung
68, Samhak-ro 92 beon-gil
Mokpo
Jeollanam-do 58751
South Korea

Phone: +82 61-245-5660
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Unsolicited Gift: Consolidated Gift Package

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 28 May 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Gift - Roger: LEGO Star Wars Rebel UWing Fighter, 659 piece set

CA $39.99
1 Each Gift - Erica: Handwoven French Canadian Catalogne Blanket

CA $49.99
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Gifts
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $89.98
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge

Sources:
https://www.customs.go.kr/kcshome/main/qna/QnaView.do;jsessionid=5tpndPSGZ0vLfyT1qmRtcQQ8pb922rBK21p19M0pZQ8hwJxbGxk1!-528478286?qnaId=QNA_ID_0000000003332&layoutMenuNo=21035¤tPageNo=432&searchKeyword=&searchCondition=


Shipping personal effects/belongings to South Korea

Shipping Personal Effects

Personal effects may be shipped to South Korea from Canada duty and tax free providing:

  • They are used items having been owned for a minimum of 3 months
  • They are not intended to be sold either wholesale or retail, or used or distributed for business purposes
  • They are NOT medicines or perishable foods
  • They are appropriate for a home setting and not a commercial enterprise
  • They are suitable in number and style for your occupation and means

NOTE: Perfumes, alcoholic drinks, tobacco products CANNOT enter duty or tax free, as well as items less than 3 months old.


Personal effects can include the following used items:

  • Home appliances
  • Furniture

Personal items that will incur taxes include the following, and anything made from them:

  • Jewels
  • Pearls
  • Ivory
  • Coral
  • Tortoiseshells
  • And any item with a value of more than 5 million South Korean won (about $5,650 CDN)

Moving Temporarily

Students and Non-Students

If you are moving temporarily to South Korea, perhaps to study, no duties or taxes on your personal effects will be charged.

An exception to this is if you are bringing expensive goods with you, such as jewellery.

Moving Temporarily - Personal Effects Checklist
  • A commercial invoice must be included with your shipment
  • Write 'Personal Effects / Personal Belongings' on the commercial invoice in the general description of goods
  • Complete an inventory list of your personal effects that states an estimated value of the goods
  • Include a photocopy of your passport or ID card

Moving Permanently

Are you planning to live in South Korea for more than a year? Then your personal effects are free of duties and taxes if they have been used for more than 3 months.

Unaccompanied baggage should arrive in Korea within 6 months of your arrival in the country.

Moving Permanently - Personal Effects Checklist
  • Import declaration form (original)
  • Moving goods declaration form (original)
  • Packing form (original)
  • Copy of Bill of Lading or Airway Bill
  • Photocopy of passport or identification card

NOTE: Be sure to provide original copies on the shipment.

Sources:
http://www.customs.go.kr/kcshome/main/qna/QnaView.do;jsessionid=wLmGRQJGZPJXY2YqdJQ1qndkLxJGWsJW77T2ZGmBXX41ZL8hrnpt!2049041072?qnaId=QNA_ID_0000000002552&layoutMenuNo=21035¤tPageNo=6&searchKeyword=&searchCondition=

Sample Commercial Invoice for Personal Effects

Ship To Invoice
Mr. Kim Dae-jung
68, Samhak-ro 92 beon-gil
Mokpo
Jeollanam-do 58751
South Korea

Phone: +82 61-245-5660
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Personal effects being delivered to my new address.

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 28 May 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
5 Pairs Personal Effects: 5 pairs of various types of shoes

IN $40.00
1 Each Personal Effects: Arc'terix Winter Jacket

CA $478.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Personal Effects
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $678.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Shipping Food, Chocolate, Candies to South Korea

Food, Chocolate, Candies

The Free Trade Agreement between Canada and South Korea (CKFTA) allows a number of foodstuffs and confectionary to enter South Korea from Canada duty free.

You May Ship

  • Chocolate
  • Hard candies

Do Not Ship

  • Meat of goats, lambs, deer
  • Any cooked meats
  • Cakes if they contain fresh fruits, vegetables, or nuts

Foods Requiring Quarantine

Korea's Food Sanitation Act subjects a number of foods to undergo quarantine before they enter the country. They are:

  • Processed meats like beef jerky, sausages, ham
  • Cheese
  • Fresh fruit
  • Unhusked walnuts

Imported foods are subject to the quarantine according to the Food Sanitation Act. However, small sum items for personal use are not checked for having met the condition. When they exceed the duty free allowance - 150,000 KRW (about $170 CDN), they must be inspected by the relevant ministries and get a quarantine certificate and other required documents.

Sources:
https://m.customs.go.kr/
https://unipass.customs.go.kr/csp/persIndex.do
http://www.qia.go.kr/english/html/Plant/Plant_003.jsp
https://www.fina.org/sites/default/files/general/customs_and_freight_forwarding_guide_final.pdf
https://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/korea-coree/overview-apercu.aspx?lang=eng#1

Sample Commercial Invoice for Food, Chocolate, Candies

Ship To Invoice
Mr. Kim Dae-jung
68, Samhak-ro 92 beon-gil
Mokpo
Jeollanam-do 58751
South Korea

Phone: +82 61-245-5660
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Food Shipment - Assorted chocolate bars in their original manufacturer's packaging

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 28 May 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Box Nestle Chocolate Bars in original packaging expiring May 2021 (shelf life of 6 months or longer)

CA $20.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Permanent / Sold
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $20.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Shipping Promotional Material to South Korea

Samples

The purpose of sending samples is to encourage orders of the product.

Product samples may be shipped from Canada to South Korea duty and tax free by following a few simple rules. They are:

  • The samples are valued at less than $250 USD (about $330 CDN)
  • The number of items of the same sample should be limited
  • The goods have no commercial value and are sent free of charge

Be sure to state on the Commercial Invoice: 'Sample of no Commercial Value' or 'Sample - No Charge'.

Sources:
http://www.customs.go.kr/kcshome/main/content/ContentView.do?contentId=CONTENT_ID_000001317&layoutMenuNo=21022
https://www.ups.com/ga/CountryRegs?loc=en_US

Sample Commercial Invoice for Commercial Sample

Ship To Invoice
Mr. Kim Dae-jung
68, Samhak-ro 92 beon-gil
Mokpo
Jeollanam-do 58751
South Korea

Phone: +82 61-245-5660
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Commercial Sample - Not for Resale

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 28 May 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Box Commercial Sample - Advanced reading copy of Dan Brown's novel.

CA $20.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Commercial Sample
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $20.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Sending Promotional material to South Korea

Advertising Material

Advertising material includes items that are handed out to promote products or services.

Advertising items include:

  • Advertising literature and posters
  • Brochures
  • Catalogues
  • Price lists

Advertising and promotional materials can be shipped from Canada to South Korea duty and tax free.

If the advertising materials are of a temporary nature, an ATA carnet can be used. See the Temporary Imports section for details.

Advertising Material Checklist
  • A commercial invoice must be included with your shipment
  • Write 'Promotional Material - Not for Resale' on the commercial invoice in the general description of goods

Sources:
https://www.customs.go.kr/kcshome/ftaportalkor/ftaView/ftaViewExportTariffCategoryView.do?layoutMenuNo=&ftaId=KORSG&nationId=SG&buttonId=sg&keyword=&gubun=export&searchCondition=1&searchKeyword=49

Sample Commercial Invoice for Promotional Material

Ship To Invoice
Mr. Kim Dae-jung
68, Samhak-ro 92 beon-gil
Mokpo
Jeollanam-do 58751
South Korea

Phone: +82 61-245-5660
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Promotional Material - Not for Resale

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 28 May 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Promotional Material: Not for Resale. Product pamphlets to hand out at trade show.

CA $163.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Promotional Material
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $163.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge

Have your goods warranty repaired in South Korea

Repairs

Shipments of goods for repair must be declared as a formal entry to South Korea. This means an ATA carnet cannot be used.

Items Under Warranty

Since South Korea and Canada have a free-trade agreement (CKFTA), repairs under warranty returning to Canada from South Korea are duty-free and will not be charged GST.

Items No Longer Under Warranty

Equipment that is no longer under warranty and returning to Canada from South Korea after repairs will be charged GST on the value of the repair and on any new parts required to complete the repair.

Sending Product for Repair to South Korea

If a piece of equipment made in South Korea is being returned there for repair, you will need to include the original South Korean export permit.

You must include the original export permit issued by South Korean Customs when the shipment was exported.

Document Checklist

  • Write 'REPAIR & RETURN' on the commercial invoice under General Description or Remarks
  • Indicate the Serial/Product number under the Detailed Description of Goods section on the commercial invoice
  • Include a copy of the Repair Contract with all your export documentation

Returning Product After Repairs are Completed

If a repair was done in Canada and the good is being returned to South Korea, the duty charge will be based on the cost of repair and the freight expenses - both to Canada and its return to South Korea.

Document Checklist

  • Write 'REPAIR & RETURN' on the commercial invoice under General Description or Remarks section
  • Indicate the serial/product number under the Detailed Description of Goods section on the commercial invoice
  • Include a copy of the repair contract with all your export documentation

Sources:
https://www.ups.com/ga/CountryRegsPrint?loc=en_US&origcountry=US&destcountry=KR&cat=015016017011018019020021023024009004014006007008002012010005013003&PrintRegulations=PrintRegulations

Sample Commercial Invoice for Warranty Repair

Ship To Invoice
Mr. Kim Dae-jung
68, Samhak-ro 92 beon-gil
Mokpo
Jeollanam-do 58751
South Korea

Phone: +82 61-245-5660
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Repair and Return - Watch being sent for repair

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 28 May 2020
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Fossil Watch being sent for repair - Model E5, serial # 789456FG7E2 - Repair Cost $76.00

US $163.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Warranty Repair
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $163.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
    Temporary Imports / Exports for shipments to South Korea

    Temporary Imports

    South Korea allows the importation of temporary items duty and tax free. Items that qualify for this include:

    • Commercial samples
    • Advertising materials by non-residents of South Korea
    • Professional and medical equipment
    • Equipment and gear for sporting events or commercial expositions
    • Teaching materials

    Qualifying for Duty & Tax Free Temporary Import

    In order to import your goods duty and tax free into South Korea, you can pick from 1 of the 2 Temporary Import Methods listed below.

    Each option has its pros and cons. Regardless, each of the following methods requires you to complete a Commercial Invoice (CI). More details below.


    Option # Temporary Import Method Risk of paying Duties and taxes
    1 Commercial Invoice Only High - if broker cannot clear goods temporarily)
    2 Commercial Invoice
    +
    ATA Carnet
    Very Low


    1. Complete a Commercial Invoice Only


    This is the simplest and quickest option. See example.

    NOTE: You should be aware that shipping using this method doesn't guarantee that your items will be imported duty/tax free. Not all brokers will clear goods as temporary imports (i.e. UPS, Fedex, DHL), nor is it a guarantee that customs won't charge any duties and taxes.


    2. CI + an ATA Carnet

    This option is great for items that frequently travel in and out of the country. It's also great because once you have an ATA Carnet, it is accepted by 176 countries worldwide making the application process a one-time thing.

    In addition to declaring your commercial invoice as a temporary import, you can get an ATA Carnet for the items that are of temporary nature.

    ATA Carnets are beyond the scope of this article. You can however, contact your local chamber of commerce and they will be able to guide you along. You can also find more information here: http://www.chamber.ca/carnet/


    In addition to the 2 options listed above, goods can stay no longer than 12 months in South Korea.

    • If the above conditions are not followed, duties and taxes will be charged as though the goods have been imported permanently
    • Your Customs broker can clear goods of a temporary nature, however FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc. typically cannot clear goods of a temporary nature

    Sources:
    https://www.export.gov/article?id=Korea-Temporary-Entry
    https://www.fina.org/sites/default/files/general/customs_and_freight_forwarding_guide_final.pdf
    http://www.customs.go.kr/kcshome/cop/bbs/selectBoardList.do;jsessionid=JVpJh8GHy6KzyjWsStryw1dnmF7VPNpQ7W7L4pkHJgTkLTCgXx5T!259294182?bbsId=BBSMSTR_1779&layoutMenuNo=32094&siteId=english&searchCtgry=&searchWrd=&recordCountPerPage=10¤tPageNo=4

     

    Sample Commercial Invoice for Temporary Imports

    Ship To Invoice
    Mr. Kim Dae-jung
    68, Samhak-ro 92 beon-gil
    Mokpo
    Jeollanam-do 58751
    South Korea

    Phone: +82 61-245-5660
    Carrier tracking number: 736534736
    General Description:
    Temporary Imports - Trade show booth and display equipment returning Jan 2020

    Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
    Customs Broker: UPS
    Date: 28 May 2020
    QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
    1 box Temporary Imports - Trade show booth and display equipment

    CA $1032.00
    Terms of Sale: None
    Total number of packages: 1
    Reason for export: Temporary Imports
    Contact Name: James Smith
    Total Invoice Amount: $1032.00
    Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
    Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge



    Permanent Goods / Sold To an individual or business within South Korea

    Permanent/Sold Goods

    The Free Trade Agreement between South Korea and Canada (CKFTA) has reduced the duties on virtually all goods traded between the 2 countries.

    However, commercial shipments will still require country of origin labelling, which must be written in Korean. Certain products demand particular specific labelling.

    For example, electrical and electronic products must have a Korea Certification (KC) Mark. Obtaining a KC Mark is beyond the scope of this article. You can find more information on this process here.


    NOTE:

    • Foods and food products have specific labelling requirements, which are beyond the scope of this article. We recommend you consult a South Korean customs broker for details.
    • Toys aimed at children younger than 14 years require permission from the Korea Conformity Laboratory to enter South Korea.

    Sources:
    https://www.sgs.com/en/news/2017/03/south-korea-kc-certification-for-electrical-and-electronic-products
    https://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/korea-coree/overview-apercu.aspx?lang=eng#1

    Sample Commercial Invoice for Permanent/Sold Goods

    Ship To Invoice
    Mr. Kim Dae-jung
    68, Samhak-ro 92 beon-gil
    Mokpo
    Jeollanam-do 58751
    South Korea

    Phone: +82 61-245-5660
    Carrier tracking number: 736534736
    General Description:
    Permanent/Sold: Parts and accessories for Canon B78n camera

    Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
    Customs Broker: UPS
    Date: 28 May 2020
    QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
    15 Each Camera Lenses: Canon EF 50mm, Canon EF 85mm & wide-angle lenses.

    CA $132.00
    Terms of Sale: None
    Total number of packages: 1
    Reason for export: Permanent/Sold
    Contact Name: James Smith
    Total Invoice Amount: $1980.00
    Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
    Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge

Required Documents


Shipping packages internationally requires a lot of documentation. This process alone can be confusing and time consuming. So we’ve narrowed down what documents you might need and ranked them based on likeliness of being needed.

Document Type When? Details
Shipping Label / Bill of Lading Always required This is a label provided by the carrier (UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.). Always required because the carrier needs to know the parcel’s destination.
Commercial Invoice Required for all non-document shipments
For all non-document shipments, you will require 3 copies of the commercial invoice (to be included with your shipping labels - These are for customs purposes and need to be included inside a document pouch outside of the box.

When creating a shipment through the Secureship website, the system will help you create this document automatically.

B13a Required if value exceeds $2,000 per shipment or is a controlled good
A B13a is required if your shipment exceeds $2000 CAD or is a controlled good

Learn more about the B13a form here.
Certificate of Origin (COO) Infrequently required

Allows a reduced or zero-rated import duty.
Canada has a preferential trade agreement with South Korea. A COO proves that an item has been produced, manufactured or processed in Canada.

When an item with a COO is imported into South Korea, it will incur a reduced or zero-rated import duty.
Certificate of Insurance (COI) Infrequently required

Shows that the shipment has been insured.
Banks may request a certificate of insurance when providing letters of credit for the goods. Otherwise, it is generally your choice whether to purchase insurance for the shipment.
ATA Carnet Infrequently required

Used to avoid duties and taxes on shipments of temporary nature.
If you ship goods of temporary nature to and from a country, you can obtain an ATA Carnet to expedite the customs clearance process and ensure that anything of temporary nature is not charged duties and taxes.

See temporary import section
Packaging List Infrequently required Required if value exceeds $2,000 per shipment or is a controlled good.
Packing list Infrequently required

No specific form is required, but generally includes information regarding:

  • The exporter, importer and transport company
  • Date of issue
  • Number of freight invoice
  • Type and number of packages
  • Contents of each package
  • Marks and numbers
  • Net weight, gross weight and measurements of each package
Proof of price

Always required

For goods intended for personal use, the receipt is accepted as proof of price.

Personal Customs Clearance Code (PCCC)

Frequently Required

As of 1 July 2018, de minimis B2C and C2C shipments will need a personal code of the private consignee/importer. (Known as the Personal Customs Clearance Code - PCCC.) De minimis values are 150,000 won or less (about $170 CD).

This requirement is not required for Document Only shipments (DOX).

If a Korean individual wishes to import goods, he or she must apply for a PCCC.

Shippers need to obtain this code from the

Prohibited & Restricted Imports


Prohibited items are not allowed into South Korea under any circumstances.

In the case of restricted items, customs clearance will be given only if certain requirements are fulfilled. This could be permission or approval from an appropriate South Korean agency.

Prohibited Items

  • Books, photos, films, and other similar products that violate constitutional orders, or may be harmful to public peace and South Korean customs
  • Items that contain confidential information on the South Korean government or its intelligence activities
  • Counterfeit or fake bank notes, money, securities, bonds
  • Goods that infringe on intellectual property, including trademarks
  • Meat from goats, lamb, and deer
  • Cooked meat
  • All weapons (including replicas and decorations) such as guns and swords, as well as gunpowder, explosives, toxins
  • Toy guns and replicas
  • Illegal drugs such as opium, marijuana/cannabis, cocaine, etc.
  • Animal skins
  • Commercial shipments of DHEA are prohibited, including samples with DHEA

Restricted Items

  • Traveller's cheques exceeding $10,000 USD (about $13,150 CDN)
  • Cash in any currency exceeding $10,000 USD (about $13,150 CDN)
  • Walnuts (must be husked)
  • Cellular phones
  • Materials like asbestos and industrial talc polymer require permission from Korea Chemicals Management Association
  • *Contact lenses
  • *Cosmetics, shampoos, and manicure items
  • *Dental instruments
  • Personal medicines (max of 6 bottles)
  • DHEA (max of 180 pills - 2 bottles of 90 pills per bottle)
  • Vitamins (max of 6 bottles)
  • **Medical drugs of commercial purposes
  • ***Electronic goods and parts - cables, batteries, switches, fuses, capacitors, automatic circuit breakers
  • ****Toys aimed at children below age 14 of commercial nature
  • Undiluted solutions of nicotine (or those with concentrations of more than 1% nicotine)
  • Products made from protected species (elephants, leopards, alligators and many more)

Details:

* Require an Import Permit from the Korea Medical Devices Industry Association or the Korea Food and Drug Administration
** Require a recommendation from the Korea Food and Drug Administration
*** Require a permit from the Korea Electric Testing Institute
**** Require permission from the Korea Conformity Lab

Sources:
https://www.ups.com/ga/CountryRegsPrint?loc=en_US&origcountry=US&destcountry=KR&cat=015016017011018019020021023024009004014006007008002012010005013003&PrintRegulations=PrintRegulations

Duty & Taxes

Import duties and taxes in South Korea are calculated based on the sum of the customs value, insurance amount, and freight costs (shipping costs). This is known as CIF.

CIF Value = Customs Value + Insurance Amount + Freight Costs

Using the CIF Value, you can predict how much duty and tax the recipient must pay to the South Korean government to receive their goods.

From 2019, 95% of Canada's exports will benefit from duty-free access into Korea. To take advantage of this Canadian exporters must provide a valid certificate of origin to the South Korean importer at the time of importation of the goods.


Thresholds

For South Korea, the Customs threshold from which tariffs are applied is 150,000 won (about $170 CDN). This threshold is also known as the de minimis value.

Currency South Korean won (KRW)
Duty Exemption
(De minimis Value)
KRW 150,000 (about $170 CDN)
Duty Calculation Method CIF
TAX (VAT) 10%
Tax Exemption
(De minimis Value)
0
Tax Calculation Method FOB
Excise tax (certain luxury items and durable consumer items) 10-20%
Tax Calculation Method CIF
Liquor tax Varies per product*

* 115% for beer; 30% for fruit-based liquors; 72% for spirits


Duties on Imports
  • Candy0% (hard candies)
  • Chocolate0%
  • Spirits and Wines8.6% (beer)
    0% (wine and rye whisky)
    10% (vodka)
    2.3% (alcoholic beverage mixes)
    (about 70¢ - $3.20 CDN)
  • Tobacco40% (Chewing and pipe tobacco)
  • Books0%
  • Documents0%
  • Video Games & Consoles0%
  • Computers & Laptops0%
  • Tablets0%
  • Mobiles0%
  • Cameras0%
  • Accessories for Electronics0%
  • Coats13% when made of textile
  • Beauty Products & Cosmetics0%
  • Jewellery8%
  • Shirts & Pants13% when made of textile
  • Home Appliances8%
  • Toys8%
  • Sports Equipment8 - 13%*

Details:

* Sports footwear: 13%
* Lawn-tennis balls and racquets: 8%
* American footballs: 8%

Sources:
https://www.international.gc.ca/trade-commerce/assets/pdfs/agreements-accords/korea-coree/Tariff_Schedule_of_Korea_CKFTA_EN.pdf
https://www.cites.org/eng/disc/species.php
https://2016.export.gov/southkorea/doingbusinessinskorea/traderegulationsstandards/index.asp

South Korea Shipping Insurance


You can purchase insurance through Secureship and it is provided by the carrier that will be transporting your shipment.

Each carrier will charge a different amount per $100 of declared insurance. If you indicate that you need insurance for your shipment our system will automatically include the insurance costs for your shipment.

Insurance is great to have in case your package is accidentally lost or damaged by the carrier. But be careful, not everything you ship is insurable. Worse - even if your package contains items that are insurable, if it doesn’t meet the ISTA 3A packaging standard, the insurance purchased through the carrier would not be available to you.

Here are some items that cannot be insured by the carrier:

  • Personal belongings
  • Antiques
  • Artwork
  • Liquids (including alcohol)
  • Television
  • Jewelry in excess of $500
  • Perishable goods
  • Glass or Ceramic
  • And many more items

For more information, please see the carrier's terms and conditions.

Questions about Shipping to South Korea



Can I ship to South Korea?

Shipping to South Korea from Canada can take between 3-8 business days through the fastest carriers available on the Secureship platform. More economical services, such as Canada Post, can take up to 2 months to complete the delivery.

Find out how fast the Secureship trusted carriers can get your shipment delivered to South Korea by getting a quote now.


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