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Moving to South Korea

South Korea

Capital: Seoul
Population: 50,219,669 (2013)
Area: 38,691 sq. mi
Top 5 Largest Cities: 1. Seoul 2. Busan 3. Incheon 4. Daegu 5. Daejeon
Climate: Humid continental and subtropical

Looking for a reputable international household goods mover to help you to South Korea? You’ve come to the right place. Nationwide Van Lines take pride in moving your important items into South Korea. Allow our helpful and professional staff to prepare and move you in a stress-free fashion!

Required Documents for Import

Assuring all of your documents are correctly filled and turned in may be one of the most challenging part of your household overseas move. We’ve made the process easier by providing you with the most common documents needed to clear Customs. Please take a look below to help prepare yourself for your upcoming paperwork.

Import Declaration – A document stating the household goods being shipped.

Certificate of Origin – Gives verification of which country your household goods are manufactured in.

Import Requirements and Documentation

Customs are very particular with their clearance procedures. The correct documents at hand will keep your processing through Customs as smooth as possible. Below are some articles of documents you may need to help identify you and your shipment.

  • A copy of your Passport with an identification and entry stamp
  • Your Inventory List in detail
  • A Certificate of Entry and Departure for retuning Koreans
  • A Certificate of Alien Registration from the Korean Immigration Office
  • An Application for Duty Exemption that’s issued by the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Korea for Diplomats
  • A Residence Card from the Korean Immigration Office
  • A Work Visa that’s been valid for a year or more
  • Your Original Bill of Lading

Additional detailed document requirements

  • To assist clearing your household goods (HHGS) and personal effects must arrive to the port of entry no later than 6 months of your arrival in Korea.
  • If you are a returning Korean, you must show evidence of being abroad for over a year within your Passport.
  • Customs cannot clear your personal effects until you’ve arrived in Korea.
  • Your clearance location will be at a bonded warehouse.

The Examination of Household Goods and Entry Documents

Once your household goods have arrived in South Korea along with your documents, both are subjected to examination by Customs. A CBP officer will examine your household goods to determine the value, correct markings, proper invoicing, existence of prohibited items, damages, deterioration and illegal narcotics. It’s important to assure all items are properly described and accounted for to avoid any delays or seizure of items. Once your items are approved for release, they are safeguarded by the proper officers.

Duty and Taxes

Duties and taxes are one of the most important part of your overseas move. Duties averages 7.9%, Valued-added Taxes (VAT) will amount to 10% and Excise Tax for luxury and electric goods ranging 15 to 100%.

Duty-free Items

There are a degree of HHGS one can import Duty-free. You must be 19 years of age or older to apply. Below you will find some duty-free items along with its restrictions.

  • 200 cigarettes
  • 50 cigars
  • 250 grams of tobacco
  • 1 liter of alcohol
  • 2 ounces of perfume

Labeling and Marking Requirements

The correct labeling and markings are very important for Customs. Each mark and label should be in the English language. Please take a look below to discover the marking and labeling requirements.

  • The name and address of the importer
  • The country of Origin
  • Clearly numbered in reflection of the inventory list
  • The quantity

Prohibited Items

Customs will not accept each and every item you plan to import. Below are a number of items that are prohibited by Customs.

  • Foodstuff
  • Narcotics
  • Toy guns or gun replica’s
  • Obscene articles, publications, videos and/or software’s
  • Counterfeit items or production materials
  • Illegal drugs
  • Traveler’s check
  • Weapons
  • Negotiable bonds or drafts
  • Kitchen waste disposer
  • Non-domesticated animal skins
  • Subversive materials
  • Treasonous materials
  • Endangered species
  • Psychotropic drugs
  • Products of Iran

Restricted Items

There are a number of items with restrictions as they pass through Customs. Please take a look below at some of the restrictions of certain items.

  • Ammunition must have permission from the Korean authorities.
  • Firearms must have permission from the Korean authorities.
  • Explosive materials must have permission from the Korean authorities.
  • Knives must have permission from the South Korean police department.
  • Used personal effects must be used for at least 6 months and for personal use only. Must have the estimated value of each item on your Inventory List.
  • Plants and its products will be quarantined and requires approval from the Korean authorities.

Receiving your Household Goods

The liability for duties are paid once Customs has cleared your shipment for release. There are no options of prepaid duties or taxes prior to exportation from a foreign country. Once your shipment is filed with CBP, the party and only the party listed as the receiver can pick up the shipment. If household goods are warehoused, the party of liability can be changed to another party, most whom purchased the goods. The Customs broker cannot pay duties, but can accept a check written out to the Customs and Border Protection to forward. Once items are received, all articles are deemed owned by the receiver and no longer in ownership of the CBP.

For more information regarding moving to South Korea, please feel free to explore the links below.

South Korean Customs

Seoul Korea
Telephone: +82234381114
Website:htt p://

All information featured above is for viewing purposes only. To obtain up-to-date information about overseas shipment, please notify your nearest Consulate.