As many of our customers have no knowledge about the change, we will do our best to explain the new regulations.
Korea Customs Service uses two methods when clearing items – general clearance and list-based clearance.
1) General clearance (complicated method)
General clearance applies to items that fall under
HS Code 01-31 / 33 / 41 / 43-47 / 77 / 93. Google HS Code for more information.
Major items include
edibles, food ingredients, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, etc.
Alien registration number (ARN) or passport number must be submitted to customs for the aforementioned items to be cleared.
The price of these items + the US shipping fee must not exceed $150 to be eligible for duty-free allowance.
2) List-based clearance (simplified method)
List-based clearance applies to items that are not mentioned above
(i.e. items other than edibles, food ingredients, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, etc.).
Major items include clothing, shoes, hats, toys, soap, shampoo, books, dishes, furniture, watches, musical instruments, etc.
However, duties must be paid for products such as alcohol, cigarettes and perfume.
If you have questions about shipping these items, please feel free to contact us.
The price of these items + the US shipping fee must not exceed $200 to be eligible for duty-free allowance.
Please note that the international shipping fee (to Korea) is excluded from the $200 limit.
ARN or passport number does not have to be submitted.
If items subject to general clearance and those subject to list-based clearance are shipped together in the same package,
then all items would be subject to general clearance (i.e. duty-free allowance limited to $150).
Here are a few examples to give you an idea.
1) If $5 worth of chocolate and $190 worth of clothing are shipped to Korea together in the same package,
then both items would be subject to general clearance because of the chocolate.
And as the items (worth $195) exceed the $150 limit for general clearance, you would have to pay around 20% tax.
2) If $5 worth of chocolate and $100 worth of clothing are shipped to Korea together in the same package,
then both items (worth below $150 limit for general clearance) would be eligible for duty-free allowance
but ARN or passport number must be submitted.
Please keep in mind that when you are shipping the two different types of items, the duty-free allowance will be limited to $150