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Check the import clearance inspection

Overview

Overview Image

Import Clearance

Import clearance refers to a series of procedures for the release of imported goods. The importer declares the goods to be imported to the head of a customs, who would accept the declaration if it is legitimate and justified according to the Customs Act and relevant laws, and then issue the certificate of import declaration to the declarant to ensure that the imported goods are legitimately declared. All these procedures are dealt in the KCS internet based electronic clearance system, so called UNIPASS.

How and When to Declare

  • How : transmit the data to the KCS through UNIPASS

    Use the Korea Customs Service's UNI-PASS (http://unipass.customs.go.kr) for online applications and declarations, including import declarations, and contact the UNI-PASS technical support center (☎1544-1285) for more information on how to use the system.

  • Declarant : a customs broker, a cargo owner or a goods owner
  • When : in principle, the importer should declare import after the goods arrive at the port, however even import declaration is allowed before the goods arrive at the port to ensure expedite clearance.
Required Documents
  1. 1 Basic document : an import declaration form (through the EDI, or Internet)
  2. 2 Additional documents : an invoice, a packing list, a B/L, a C/O, a certificate of inspection (Quarantine), etc.

Inspection for Import Goods Methods and Disciplinary Measures

  • Selectivity of goods subject to inspection : Select among import declarations, based on risk management technique and cargo data analysis.
  • Purpose of inspection: To ensure the accuracy of import declaration, including description of goods, quantity, country of origin, and trademark
  • Inspection costs : Borne by the cargo owner
  • Inspection methods : Inspection of entire cargo, partial cargo inspection, or component analysis by customs laboratory, Inspection by scientific equipment
  • Disciplinary measures against import declarations with errors : Correction of errors, fines and indictment for criminal penalty

Acceptance of Declaration

  • The head of a customs accepts an import declaration if it is found to have no errors in the import inspection and documentary checking.
  • However, a correction may be requested, or the customs clearance may be suspended in the following cases
Cases for Corrective Requests
  1. 1 When requested information is missing in the declaration form and
  2. 2 When the check of the declaration form finds that a document to be attached is missing, or evidential documents needs to be supplemented.
  3. 3 If P/L declaration is to be changed into declaration by submission of documents
Cases for Clearance Suspension
  1. 1 If it is necessary to complement the matters stated in the report on import, export, or return according to Article 241 or 244 of the Customs Act
  2. 2 If it is necessary to submit the required documents according to Article 245 of the Customs Act
  3. 3 If the obligations in the Customs Act are violated, or there are concerns of harm to public health
  4. 4 If it is necessary to conduct safety inspection according to Paragraph 1, Article 246-3 of the Customs Act
  5. 5 If the importer is a tax delinquent who is to be sanctioned for arrears of taxes by the head of the customs office according to Article 30-2 of the National Tax Collection Act
  6. 6 If the importer has been accused of or is being investigated for violating tariff-related laws
  7. 7 If the quality, etc. is falsely labeled in an illegal manner according to Article 230-2 of the Customs Act
  8. 8 If it will take a long time to prepare the requirement for acceptance of declaration according to customs screening

After the declaration is accepted, the importer is required to pay taxes, including customs duties.

In principle, high compliance businesses can enjoy tax payment incentive of the exemption of submitting customs bond security.

After the acceptance of import declaration, a certificate of import declaration is issued.

The certificate of import declaration is equipped with various tools to prevent it from being counterfeited or falsified: the customs special seal, a watermark (the logo of the Korea Customs Service), issuance serial numbers, a 2-D bar code, and a "copy" mark.

Release of the Goods

  • After the import declaration acceptance is confirmed, the goods are released from the bonded warehouse/area.

    Goods urgently needed, such as raw materials for production, may be released before the acceptance of the import declaration.

Goods Subject to Customs Confirmation about Clearance Requirements

  • For goods subject to customs confirmation about clearance requirements, the head of the customs checks whether they meet permission and approval requirements, and other conditions, for import goods under relevant laws

    specified in the directive on the designation of goods subject to customs confirmation of clearance requirements and confirmation methods under the Article 226 of the Customs Act.

Review the Types of tariff rate and priority in advance.

Listed below are the types of the current tariff rates.

Listed below are the kinds of the current tariff rate.
Type Details and Legal Grounds
National tariff rate Basic tariff rate Basic tariff rate stated in the Tariff Rate Table attached to the Customs Act
Provisional tariff rate Provisionally applied tariff rate different from the basic tariff rate
Flexible tariff rate Anti-dumping duty, Countervailing duty, Seasonal duty, Adjustment duty, etc. Based on Articles 51 through 75 of the Customs Act (excluding Article 73)
Conventional tariff rate Tariff rate decided by a treaty or an administrative agreement with a foreign country

Note the priority of application of tariff rates.

Note the priority of application of tariff rates.
Priority Applicable tariff rate Remarks
1 Anti-dumping duty (Article 51), Countervailing duty (Article 57), Retaliatory duty (Article 63), Emergency duty (Article 65), Emergency duty on the goods of specific countries (Article 67-2), Special emergency duty on agricultural and livestock products (Article 68), Adjustment duty (Article 69-2) To be applied with priority regardless of the levels of tariff rate
2 International cooperation duty (Article 73), Beneficial duty (Article 74) To be applied with priority only if it is lower than the tariff rate of 3, 4, 5, and 6
3 Adjustment duty (Paragraphs 1, 3, and 4 of Article 69), Quota duty and Seasonal duty (Articles 71 and 72) Note, however, that the Quota duty is to be applied with priority only if it is lower than the tariff rate of 4.
4 General preferential duty (Article 76)
5 Provisional duty (Article 50)
6 Basic duty (Article 50)

Some cases are covered by particular tariff rates.

Simplified tariff rate

Applying one tax rate combining tariff, internal tax, etc.

  1. 1 Goods subject to the simplified tariff rate
    • ① Belongings of travelers or crew members
    • ② Postal items (excluding objects of import declaration)
    • ③ Consignment or separate shipment
  2. 2 Goods excluded from the application of simplified tariff rate

    Goods specified in Subparagraphs 1 to 4, and 6 of Article 96-2 of the Enforcement Decree of the Customs Act

    • (1). Goods with no tariff and with tax exemption
    • (2). Raw materials for export
    • (3). Goods related to the act of violating the regulations in Chapter 11 of the Customs Act
    • (4). Goods subject to specific duties
    • (5). Goods designated by the Commissioner of the Korea Customs Service among the items below
      • A. Goods recognized as commercial volume
      • B. High value goods
      • C. Importation of the goods may damage the domestic industry
      • D. Application of the simplified tariff rate according to Article 81-4 of the Customs Act may damage taxation equity
    • (6). Goods to which the non-application of the simplified tariff rate for the total quantity of taxable goods was requested by the cargo owner when the import declaration was made
      • ② Goods whose taxable price exceeds 5 million won per unit or per set
      • ③ Goods recognized as commercial volume
      • ④ Goods to which a tariff rate higher than the basic tariff rate is applied among the goods to which tariff is applied according to Subparagraph of Article 49 of the Customs Act

Tariff rates under agreement

Applying the highest tax rate following the application of the declarant for the goods declared for import collectively, with the tax rate differing from item to item

Specific use duty rate

Applying a lower tax rate with the approval of the head of the customs office when goods with different tax rates (basic, provisional, tariff rate under agreement, flexible, etc.) when the goods are going to be used for the use of lower tax rate

Flow of Import Clearance Processing

Flow of Import Clearance Processing Image