Goods priced at no more than a specific value (USD 150), such as goods sent by the families in foreign countries to their relatives in Korea, are exempted from customs duties and tax.
When a postal item is exempted from taxes by a customs officer on the spot, it is transferred to the post office in the jurisdiction over the area of the addressee. For dutiable postal items, the addressee should pay the duties to have them cleared, and some goods can be released only when import requirements (e.g. certificate of quarantine) are met.
Types of Import Declaration of Postal Items
Simplified Import Declaration
Simplified import declaration may apply for postal items except for those subject to general import declaration. Even when the consignee does not declare the import duties to customs, the amounts of customs duties or duty-free are determined based on the details of the goods in the customs declaration form attached to the parcel.
Whether it is duty-free or dutiable is decided based on the value, quantity, and the purposes for receiving goods. After determining whether it is dutiable, and the amounts of duties, the postal items are delivered from the post office to the consignee. The consignee may claim the goods after paying the duties.
General Import Declaration
The following goods are subject to the general import declaration, and their import declaration would be made through a customs broker. For the import-restricted goods, evidential documents, such as a recommendation, permission, or approval, should be attached as prescribed by laws relevant to the items.
Goods Subject to General Import Declaration
1 Goods their import or export is restricted or prohibited according to the applicable laws
2 Goods that need confirmation from the head of a customs office according to Article 226 of the Customs Act
3 Goods being taken in for the purpose of sale
4 Goods with a value exceeding USD 1,000
5 Gifts with a dutiable value exceeding 5 million Korean won
6 Goods for which the recipient applies for general import declaration