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About investigation duties

In order to protect the health and safety of the people and secure national fiscal revenues, the Korea Customs Service is cracking down on customs duty-related crimes such as smuggling, customs duty evasion and illegal imports; drug crimes which occur at airports and harbors; foreign trade crimes such as law violations regarding the places of origin for exported or imported goods and illegal export and/or import of strategic items; intellectual property right infringement crimes such as export and/or import-related or transshipment-related counterfeit goods, etc.; and export and/or import-related foreign exchange crimes.
About 510 investigation personnel at 34 customs offices nationwide are arresting people involved in about 4,100 crimes worth KRW 8 to 9 trillion by utilizing state-of-the-art equipment such as forensic equipment and container detectors, drug detection dogs, etc.

History of investigation duties

  • Customs duty-related crimes such as smuggling, customs duty evasion, illegal imports, etc. (since 1949)
  • Foreign trade crimes such as law violations regarding the places of origin, illegal export and/or import of strategic items, price manipulation, etc. (since 1995)
  • Intellectual property right infringement crimes such as export and/or import-related or transshipment-related counterfeit goods, etc. (since 1995)
  • Illegal export and/or import crimes involving the means of payment of foreign currencies, etc. (since 1995)
  • Foreign exchange crimes such as illegal export and import transactions and related service and capital transactions, etc. (since 1997)
  • Crimes of illegally moving property to a foreign country which are equivalent to the above-mentioned crimes (since 2008)
  • Crimes of the laundering of funds which are equivalent to the above-mentioned crimes (since 2001)
  • Drug crimes which occur at airports, at harbors, and in bonded areas (since 1990)

Crackdown statistics

(Unit: crime, KRW 100 million)

Crackdown statisticsUnit: crime, KRW 100 million
Classification 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Number
of crimes
Amount Number
of crimes
Amount Number
of crimes
Amount Number
of crimes
Amount Number
of crimes
Amount
Customs duty-related crime 1,810 8,801 2,044 12,214 1,838 11,527 2,174 12,442 2,185 15,859
Foreign trade crime 114 2,873 78 3,416 67 6,936 64 5,085 73 1,852
Intellectural property crime 587 9,332 373 5,749 262 5,162 192 4,653 177 3,323
Drug crime 232 636 254 930 308 1,504 325 2,140 382 887
Foreign exchange crime 1,607 43,602 2,017 65,066 1,640 67,299 1,245 47,141 728 41,127

Scope of crime investigation

  • Crime of violating the “Customs Act” which occurs in the jurisdiction area of the relevant customs office
    • Crime of violating the “Licensed Customs Broker Act”
    • Crime of violating the “Act on Special Cases concerning the Refund of Customs Duties, etc. Levied on Raw Materials for Export”
    • Crime of violating the “Act on Special Cases of the Customs Act for the Implementation of Free Trade Agreements”
    • Crime of violating the “Act on Designation and Management of Free Trade Zones”
    • Crime of violating the “Provisional Act on Special Cases concerning the Customs Act, etc. Following the Implementation of Agreement Under Article Ⅳ of the Mutual Defense Treaty between the Republic of Korea and the United States of America, regarding Facilities and Areas and the Status of United States Armed Forces in the Republic of Korea”
    • Crime of violating the “Foreign Trade Act”
    • Intellectual property right infringement crimes related to the customs clearance and transshipment of export and import goods involved in violating Subparagraph 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the “Act on the Investigation of Unfair International Trade Practices and Remedy against Injury to Industry”
    • Crime of illegally expatriating or bringing in means of payment or securities under the “Foreign Exchange Transactions Act”
    • Crime of violating the provisions of the “Foreign Exchange Transactions Act” concerning service and capital transactions in paying or receiving money in the manner mentioned in Subparagraphs 3 and 4 of Article 16 of said Act for the purpose of carrying out export and import transactions or in relation thereto or for the purpose of making alternative remittance
  • Crime of illegally moving property to a foreign country prescribed in Article 4 of the “Act on the Aggravated Punishment, etc. of Specific Economic Crimes” with respect to the crime prescribed in 1 above, which occurs in the jurisdiction area of the relevant customs office
  • Crime of violating the “Act on Regulation of Punishment of Criminal Preceeds Concealment” with respect to the crimes prescribed in 1 and 2 above, which occur in the jurisdiction area of the relevant customs office
  • Narcotic or psychotropic drug crimes or marijuana crimes which occur at airports / harbors which airplanes or ships traveling between Korea and foreign countries arrive at and depart from or in bonded areas in the jurisdiction area of the relevant customs office
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