Notes on customs clearance

Customs Clearance

1. Concept
  • 「Basic Act on Electronic Transactions」Transactions conducted through electronic transaction methods pursuant to Article 2, Item 5 (Article 2 of the Consumer Protection Act in Electronic Commerce, Etc.)
  • In general, e-commerce is a transaction method that is made by ordering and receiving parcels from internet shopping malls.
2. Transaction type
  • Direct delivery: Cusomer pays for an order directly from an overseas shopping mall and receives item directly to the customer's destination
  • 3rd party shipping only: Customer pays for an order at an overseas shopping mall and relays shipping information to a 3rd party company, and the company ships the item internationally to the customer's destination after receiving the order from the seller
  • 3rd party purchasing and shipping: Customer pays for item cost, shipping and service fee to a 3rd party company and delegates all procedures from purchase to overseas delivery.
3. Import customs clearance processes
  • E-commerce goods take different clearance processes according to the transportation methods.
  • When the goods are brought in by an express cargo company, those goods take express cargo clearance process.
  • When the goods are brought in by the post office, those goods take postal cargo clearance process.
  • When the goods are brought in by a regular company, those goods take general cargo clearance process.
4. Precautions for importing clearance in Korea
  1. When a domestic resident imports with the intention of self-use.
  2. Tax-exempt business samples (For cargo of USD200.00 or less value exported from USA, and $150 or less from elsewhere.)
  3. Goods not subject to confirmation by the head of customs under the Customs Act
  4. Goods applicable to list clearance process
  5. Medicines (Herbal) – Wild animal related products – Items subject to quarantine such as agricultural, forestry and livestock products
  6. Health supplements, food, snacks, and items suspected of violating intellectual property rights
  7. Cosmetics limited to have placenta, steroids, and unknown harmful ingredients or funtional substances
  8. Electronic commerce that is not designated as a company subject to special customs clearance pursuant to Article 3-3 (3) of the Notice on Special Customs Procedures for Electronic Commercial Products, etc.
USA Outside USA
List clearance USD 200.00 USD 150.00
List-exclusion clearance USD 150.00
General clearance USD 150.00
  • List clearance is applicable to cargo of USD200.00 or less value exported from USA, and $150 or less from elsewhere.
    (If the said cargo is from outside USA, USD150.00 or less for the list clearance.)
  • For cargo of USD 150.00 or more, the customs department proceeds with formal import clearance and the said cargo is released (in case of tax occurrence at the time of declaration, it is released after relevent tax is paid) In the case of health supplement, food, etc., list clearance is not applicable, and customs clearance is processed only after reporting it to customs.
    ex) 6 bottles of health supplement for an individual and foods that failed to pass quarantine will be discarded.
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