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Guide to Customs Administration

Security Hazard Articles

컨텐츠서비스메뉴

The importance of security hazard articles?

Amid the importance of international security emerging noticeably after the September 11 terrorist attacks, Korea has been making best efforts to prevent the entry of any weapons of mass destruction and protect people’s lives and property against various kinds of terrorist threats by participating in the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), holding the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit, etc. In accordance with this trend both at home and abroad, the Korea Customs Service has designated security hazard articles and is devoting all its energy to blocking the entry of such articles.

How many kinds of security hazard articles?

There are various kinds of security hazard articles from missiles and artillery shells to guns, explosives, chemical weapons, and swords. The articles whose shipment into or out of Korea is subject to strict restrictions are mentioned below. In most cases, these articles are capable of inflicting heavy casualties.

Firearms (Guns)

Pistols, rifles, machine guns, shotguns, air guns, gas guns, firing guns, fishing guns, anesthetizing guns, butcher guns, industrial guns (staple guns, etc.), rescue and lifesaving guns (line-throwing guns, etc.), gas dischargers, other charging guns using the principle of detonating cap devices, simulated guns, artillery (mortars, small-caliber artillery, etc.), and their parts (gun barrels, machine sections, mufflers, telescopic sights).

Ball cartridges

Ball cartridges, blank cartridges, lead bullets (shots), etc.

Swords

Swords are knives, swords, spears, stilettos, daggers, etc., whose blade is not less than 15cm long and which can be used by nature as lethal weapons, and which might be used obviously as such weapons even though the blade is less than 15cm long. However, swords which have no danger of being used as lethal weapons because their blades are round and dull or kitchen knives which are clearly intended for use in kitchens are excluded from this category. Swords also include falchions, long swords, poniards, swords, spears, stilettos, daggers, jackknives (limited to ones with a blade longer than 6cm), switchblades (limited to ones with a blade longer than 5.5cm and an automatic system of unfolding over an angle of 45 degrees), and other swords with a blade longer than 6cm which have the clear danger of being able to be used as lethal weapons (for example, fishing knives).

Kinds of gunpowder

Gunpowder, explosives and fire-processed articles (objects made using gunpowder and explosives).

Fire-processed articles

Detonating caps, fuses, powder trains, detonating fuses, signal fire-processed articles, toy fireworks, etc.

Gas sprayers

Gas sprayers are any machines or tools able to spray tear or asphyxiating agents which make human activities temporarily difficult through the force of compressed air. However, germicidal, insecticidal, and industrial sprayers are excluded from this category. Gas sprayers include shooting-type, stick-type, fountain pen-type and other portable sprayers.

Electronic shock machines

Electronic shock machines are any machines or tools able to discharge electricity which makes human activities temporarily difficult and include shooting-type, stick-type, and other portable electronic shock machines. However, industrial and medical electronic shock machines are excluded from this category.

Crossbows

Crossbows are any machines or tools made by applying the principle of a bow (thrust) and the principle of a gun (sighting and firing) and include general crossbows, pistol-type crossbows and pulley-type crossbows (referring to ones that apply the principle of leverage). However, Korean and western-style bows are excluded from this category.

※ Guns, swords or gunpowder may cause a hazard or disaster or may be detrimental to public safety if mishandled during possession or use. Therefore, you cannot carry any gun, sword or gunpowder into or out of Korea through customs clearance without obtaining a permit to export, import or possess it from the Commissioner General of the Korean National Police Agency.

How about if some goods are categorized as security hazard articles but they need to be carried into or out of Korea?

Even the goods designated as security hazard articles may be carried into or out of Korea after obtaining permission thereof from the relevant authorities if they are intended for use for the holding of a sports competition or the protection of a person by his/her bodyguards.

Carrying goods into Korea

Any person who intends to carry goods registered as security hazard articles into Korea must voluntarily declare them to a customs office by filling out a customs declaration form when entering the country, and in this case, the declarant needs only to present an import permit issued by the Commissioner General of the Korean National Police Agency (or the commissioner of a provincial police agency).

Carrying or shipping goods out of Korea

Any person who intends to carry goods registered as security hazard articles out of Korea can declare them to a customs office in writing or verbally during a departure inspection, and in this case, the declarant needs only to present an export permit issued by the Commissioner General of the Korean National Police Agency (or the commissioner of a provincial police agency).

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