How to import to South Korea, step by step process

Complete Procedures to import goods to South Korea

 

Import Licence process required in South Korea

 

This post explains about import registration procedures to be obtained from South Korea government authority for importation to South Korea.

 

If you need to import goods or services, a onetime registration procedure is being completed in most of the countries.  Such import export licence may be obtained from concerned government department of South Korea if required.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), concerned with regulating some economic policy, development of commerce, investment, industry, and energy in South Korea.

Usually, import of goods to South Korea requires three categories of procedures wherever required.  One-time registration procedures to act as an Importer in South Korea, Specific import licence to import goods to South Korea if applicable, and certain certification from concerned government agencies of South Korea related to each import wherever applicable.

There is separate government agency who handles and regulate such specific products who issue import license or import permit.  However, specific licence to import goods is required only for certain specific goods restricted.  Based on trade policy of each country categories of products classified under freely importable, restricted to import.  Prohibited list of goods are not permitted to import in to the country.  The list of restricted goods to import and prohibited list of goods are notified time to time by government of such importing country which may be referred the official website of respective department of importing country.

 

Import licence or Import permit to import certain products to South Korea

Import Licence or import permit has to be obtained from South Korea government for importation of certain commodities to South Korea.  There are separate South Korea government agencies to issue such import permit or import licence. 

Prohibited goods notified by South Korea are not allowed to import, hence no permit or licence is granted to import such goods to South Korea.

 

Import to South Korea by courier

Goods can be imported to South Korea by courier.  However, there is limit of amount or quantity prescribed by South Korea Government time to time.  If value or quantity is more than the prescribed limit, necessary procedures have to be completed in South Korea to customs clear the imported goods by courier.

 

Import of personal effects to South Korea

The goods for personal use can be imported to South Korea as per rules and regulations of South Korea Government amending time to time.   The import duty is fixed based on the nature of consignment, imposed by South Korea Customs department modified time to time. 

 

This information is about import licensing procedures to import goods to South Korea.  If you have to add more information about import permit and registration required to import goods to South Korea, share below your thoughts.

 

 

Import Customs procedures in South Korea, step by step

 

The information provided here details on how to import goods to South Korea especially import customs clearance procedures in South Korea.

The Korean Customs Service’s (KCS) is the official customs department of South Korea which works under the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.

As we have discussed in other post, import of goods to South Korea requires three categories of procedures wherever required.  One-time registration procedures to act as an Importer in South Korea, Specific import licence to import goods to South Korea if applicable, and certain certification from concerned government agencies of South Korea related to each import wherever applicable.

Now let us discuss about the process of import customs clearance procedures in South Korea.

Once after arrival of import cargo at sea port or airport of South Korea, such goods are unloaded by carrier at South Korea customs bonded area.   Necessary customs import process has to be completed to take delivery out of customs area of South Korea. 

 

There are mainly three categories of permissions required to take import clearance cargo delivery from South Korea customs bonded area.  They are Permission from South Korea Customs authorities, Permission from Carrier of goods, permission from custodian of cargo handling at particular import customs port in South Korea.

 

How to get permission from South Korea customs to take import delivery of cargo arrived in South Korea?

 

Either you (importer) or your customs broker can file the necessary documents for Import customs clearance procedures in South Korea import clearance procedures.  The carrier of imported goods in South Korea files IGMS (Import General Manifest) with South Korea destination port customs authorities.   Before arrival of your goods, you can keep ready of all pertaining documents required for import clearance. The major documents required to import customs clear in South Korea are Bill of Lading or Airway bill, commercial invoice, packing list, Cargo Arrival Notice, Freight certificate, purchase order or LC and other specific documents for your goods.

Importers can make an import declaration online using the Korean Customs Service’s (KCS) Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system for paperless import clearance.

You need to track the import shipment of arrival in South Korea port properly as you need to customs clear the cargo as early as possible on arrival of shipment. Otherwise, you may be imposed demurrage by South Korea import handling authorities. Normally, a limited number of days of one, two or three are allowed by import handling authorities as free of cost time duration to take import delivery. You can complete South Korea customs formalities within this time normally, subjected to produce of all required documents with customs.   If you are unable to customs clear the imported shipment in South Korea port within the prescribed free days on arrival, you may have to pay storage charges to custodian of cargo at such South Korea port of arrival of imported cargo.  Apart from storage charges by handling custodian of imported goods, you may have to pay charges to customs authorities of South Korea also if applicable.

 

 The South Korea customs entry filing is being done either by a customs broker or consignee against import shipment to be cleared out of South Korea Customs.  The import entry information is filed based on the requirements of South Korea customs updating time to time.

 

Once after arrival of goods in South Korea Customs port, delivery order has to be obtained from transporter or carrier of goods at import customs area of South Korea.  This is applicable for both Sea import clearance and air import clearance. The import Delivery Order is only a consent from Carrier of merchandise to take delivery of import cargo in South Korea.  The carrier checks whether any due amount payable to them under the said import shipment arrived in South Korea.  If freight payable at destination, essential air freight is collected from consignee before discharging Delivery Order.  If freight already paid at load port, Delivery order is issued by carrier at destination port of South Korea by collecting nominal destination service charges.

You need to enter IGM number in the specified column of import entry form electronically as specified by South Korea Customs authorities. This number will be automatically linked with your document while filing uploading the import bill of entry details with South Korea customs web software. The Bill of Entry number is generated at one place for all over the ports of South Korea as per software queue automatically. If your goods are under green channel clearance, you can directly take delivery of cargo with simple procedures at South Korea port.  Certain category of imported goods can be customs cleared freely from South Korea customs authorities. 

 

The inspection if required is carried out under the supervision of necessary South Korea customs officials and enters examination report in the system for the imported shipments wherever applicable.   Necessary other import customs clearance is completed with South Korea customs authorities.  Final permission to move import cargo out of South Korea customs bonded area is allowed, once South Korea customs satisfies with their rules and regulations.

 

How does carrier of goods release import cargo arrived in South Korea?

 

Once after arrival of goods in South Korea Customs port, delivery order has to be obtained from carrier of goods at import customs location of South Korea.  This is applicable for both Sea import clearance and air import clearance.  The import Delivery Order is nothing but a permission from Carrier of goods to take delivery of import cargo in South Korea.  The carrier checks whether any due amount payable to them under the said import shipment arrived in South Korea.  If freight payable at destination, necessary air freight is collected from consignee before releasing Delivery Order.  If freight already paid at load port, Delivery order is issued by carrier at destination port of South Korea by collecting a nominal destination service charges. 

 

When does custodian of cargo release import cargo to consignee in South Korea?

 

Custodian of cargo keeps custody of cargo at import customs location in South Korea.  The custodian of cargo could be a government authority or private party who follows the norms of South Korea government related to imports.  The custodian of imported cargo is responsible to safeguard the imported cargo arrived in South Korea destination customs location by handling properly. 

 

Once after completion of import customs clearance procedures at destination port in South Korea and collected Delivery Order from carrier of imported goods, the custodian releases imported shipment to consignee after collecting their charges if any. 

 

The information provided here details on how to import goods to South Korea especially import customs clearance procedures in South Korea.

 

Import documents required in South Korea

 

Information provided here describes about documents required by each import in South Korea which need to be submitted with customs officials for the clearance process.

 

The documents required for import to South Korea to take delivery of import cargo is based on the product importing, multilateral, bilateral or unilateral trade agreements, and other trade policies of South Korea government.  The import documents required in South Korea also depends up on the nature of goods importing (General goods, Personal effects, Dangerous goods, Livestock etc.), regular trade policy of South Korea Government,   specific goods importing to South Korea (Arms and ammunition, health products, food products, chemicals etc.)

 

However, the following documents required to import goods to South Korea:

 

Import Customs clearance documents required in South Korea

 

Customs Entry document: (specified by South Korea customs) prepared by importer’s customs broker or Importer

Customs bond if applicable for specific goods importing to South Korea or to claim import benefits from South Korea government

Legal Undertaking (LUT) if applicable to claim import benefits from South Korea government or to import specific products

Customs declarations wherever applicable:  South Korea import customs clearance declarations as per specified format of South Korea government.

Import Licence if applicable to be obtained from government agency of South Korea.

Purchase order or Letter of Credit between South Korea importer and overseas supplier of goods.

Commercial Invoice cum packing list issued by seller of goods

Certificate of Origin issued by competent authority of origin country of goods.

Insurance Certificate issued by the government authorized insurance service provider

Certificates of Inspection if applicable:  Some of the importers demands exporter (seller) through LC or Purchase order to inspect export goods to South Korea by an internationally recognized inspection agency like SGS, BVQI, or other Quality inspecting agency. etc.

ATA CARNET/Temporary shipment certificate if applicable

Certificate of Analysis if applicable.  The buyer may insist the seller to enclose certificate of analysis about the goods.  The same certificate helps South Korea customs authorities to confirm the product imported to South Korea.

Certificate of Free Sale if applicable.  If goods are not commercially involved, a certificate of sale is attached by exporter along with goods dispatched.

Weight Certificate if applicable.   Weight certificate issued by exporter is required at various circumstances like satiability of flight, satiability of vessel, International road safety rules, import or export duty calculation, claiming export/import benefits from government etc.

Consular Invoice if applicable:  Some of the importing countries insists embassy attested documents which is mandatory at importing country to customs clear goods.

 

Documents required for customs in South Korea for specific products

Electronic Export Information if applicable

Certificate of Health or Sanitation if applicable

Generic Certificate of Origin if applicable

Dangerous Goods Certificate if applicable

Fisheries Certificate if applicable

Fumigation Certificate if applicable

Halal Certificate if applicable

Health Certificate if applicable

Ingredients Certificate if applicable

Inspection Certificate if applicable

Pre-Shipment Inspection certificate if applicable

Phytosanitary Certificate/quarantine certificate if applicable

Radiation Certificate if applicable

Dock Receipt and Warehouse Receipt if applicable

ISPM 15 (Wood Packaging) Marking certificate if applicable

Product manual or Product catalogue if applicable

Certified Engineer's Report if applicable

Chartered engineer’s certificate if applicable

Product specification certificate

Other specified documents if applicable

 

Bank Import documents in South Korea

Purchase order or Letter of Credit

Commercial Invoice cum packing list

Pro forma Invoice

Bill of Exchange

Certificate of Origin

Insurance Certificate

Certificates of Inspection if applicable

Electronic Export Information if applicable

Certificate of Health or Sanitation if applicable

Other specified documents if applicable

 

This post explains about various documents at different levels that required by every importer need to be submitted with the South Korea Customs Authority in order to obtain clearance of the consignment and subsequently move it out of the port of South Korea Customs.

 


Discussion Forum

You can also share your thoughts about this article.
Any one can answer on question posted by Readers