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What is the customs clearance of international postal items?

According to the Customs Act and the relevant international convention (Universal Postal Union), all international postal items are subject to customs inspection. This requirement is implemented for the purposes of customs and border protection such as securing tax revenues through the imposition of customs duties and blocking particular items for the protection of people’s health and national security.

To achieve such goals, not all postal items are permitted to be carried into Korea but customs clearance of some postal items may be prohibited or restricted. In order to carry out tasks efficiently, customs offices intensively clear international postal items by designating customs clearance postal offices. Based on the customs inspection results, the goods are classified into duty-free goods, goods subject to import declaration and goods whose customs clearance is restricted.

Duty-free goods cleared through customs are automatically delivered to the residence of the recipient and the postal items subject to customs clearance must go through the customs procedures before they can be received.

For the clearance procedures for goods subject to import declaration and goods whose import is restricted, please refer to the Guide to Customs Clearance notified by the relevant customs office.

In addition, each relevant customs office is randomly selecting exported postal items for inspection, and exporting any goods whose export is restricted, such as counterfeit goods, may result in punishment under the relevant laws.

Flow chart for processing international postal items

Flow chart for processing international postal items

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