Neighbored by China, Japan and North Korea, South Korea is located in the southern part of the peninsula of Korea. The country’s capital, Seoul, is also the biggest city with a population of nearly 10 million.
There are dozens of shipping ports in South Korea but there are only a few that are typically used to handle the arrival of international shipments. The Port of Buson and the Port of Incheon are two primary ports for cargo shipments entering the country.
If you are interested in sea shipping to South Korea, there are some rules and regulations you may want to learn in advance. If you are moving overseas to Seoul or to some other city in the country, there are some important documents you’ll need to get in order before your departure.
Documents and information you’ll need before moving to South Korea include the following:
Passport. Plan to have an original passport for each member of your family who is moving to South Korea.
Work Permit. You should plan to have a work permit issued by the South Korean Embassy stating that you will be in South Korea for more than one year.
Residence Card. You will need a residence card for all of the people in your family moving to South Korea. Terms of stay should be for more than 2 years.
Employment Certificate. Sometimes an employment certificate can be substituted for a residence card.
If you are moving overseas, and shipping household goods and other items for personal use there, it is important to create a detailed inventory. You should plan to provide the original inventory along with a copy. The inventory should be easy to read and include model and serial numbers for all electrical appliances you are shipping overseas.
Whenever you ship overseas to South Korea, you will also need to provide an insurance certificate for the items that you are shipping. Power of Attorney is often important to provide, along with a delivery address for your goods and a contact phone number.
Make sure that your full and correct name, as shown on your passport, is also on all other documents. This is important because if your name on different documents does not match, your shipment may not be released by the South Korean customs agents.
Regulations when Cargo Shipping to South Korea
If you are shipping cargo to South Korea, you should plan to be present during the customs inspection process. All shipments entering the country are inspected by customs officials.
Your shipment should arrive within six months of your own arrival in the country (three months if it is coming from Southeast Asia).
You are allowed to ship used household goods and personal items to South Korea, duty free, if you are intending on living in the country for more than a year with your family or for at least two years alone.
If your estimated length of stay in South Korea is less than two years, your shipment will be classified as a quasi-immigrant removal. This typically results in higher duty fees.
If you are a South Korean citizen and you are moving back to the country after having been away for more than two years (or at least one year with your family), you are allowed to ship used household goods and personal effects duty free.
All new items (less than six months old) that you ship to South Korea, or duplicate items, are subject to duty fees and taxes. In addition, any item that you ship (new or used) that is estimated to be valued at more than $1,500 is subject to duty fees.
You may also be expected to pay duty fees on the following:
Please note, any alcohol or tobacco products are also dutiable.
If you do not meet the criteria described above, the items that you ship will likely be subject to certain duty fees.
Clearance in South Korea is most typically obtained in Busan, Inchon or Seoul.
Restricted and Prohibited Items when Shipping to South Korea
If you are shipping cargo to South Korea, there are restrictions on some goods and you are not allowed to ship a number of items to the country.
Here is a list of items that are prohibited or restricted from shipment:
International Car and Vehicle Shipping to South Korea
If you are interested in international ocean shipping for a car or some other type of vehicle, it is important to note that you will likely be expected to pay some type of duty fee, regardless of whether your vehicle is new or used.
Cars that are not manufactured in the country may not be sold or transferred for at least three years after entering the country.
If you want to ship a boat or motorcycle, you will also likely be expected to pay duty fees on those.
Please note, you are not allowed to import cars made in Japan to South Korea.
Before shipping a car to South Korea, you should know about some of the paperwork that is required. Plan to have the following documents before shipping a car to South Korea:
If you are interested in international vehicle shipping, your vehicle must be listed on your detailed inventory with full technical specifications (vehicle make, model, plate number and year).
Moving Overseas and Bringing a Pet
If you are moving to South Korea, and are interested in bringing a pet with you to the country, you will need to provide a passport as the owner of your pet.
You should also make sure that your pet has all the appropriate health and rabies inoculation certificates. Plan to show proof that the vaccination was administered at least thirty days before travel.
Your pet may have to be quarantined upon entry into the country, unless your pet comes from a rabies free country. If your animal is arriving from a rabies free country, then it is likely that it will only be required to undergo a one day quarantine period.
Whether you are shipping overseas to South Korea or to some other country, there are a lot of details involved in international shipping. An experienced sea shipping agency can provide you with detailed information about country-specific rules and regulations to help simplify your international cargo shipping experience.