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Sending a parcel from Singapore to South Korea? Follow these steps!

Sending a parcel from Singapore to South Korea? Follow these steps!

Both Singapore and the Republic of Korea enjoy close, longstanding ties with each other when it comes to trade and diplomatic relations. They entered into a Republic of Korea-Singapore Free Trade Agreement in March 2006, and have since engaged in high levels of exchange and investment interests in each other’s markets. 

Not only that, but both these countries have also initiated their interest and cooperation to create smart cities, Fintech, strong cybersecurity, start-ups, and advanced manufacturing amongst other economic initiatives in recent years. In fact, in the year 2019, Korea ranked as the 8th largest trading partner of Singapore.

So, if you are looking to ship your parcel from Singapore to South Korea, here is a complete guide at your disposal.

Customs guidelines for South Korea

Things to know about shipping documents 

The Korea Customs Service requires strict compliance and accuracy on customs entry to detect illegal goods concealed into DOX. Thus, to prevent clearance delays or potential penalties, ensure that the origins comply with the following or have it coded as Worldwide Parcel Express (WPX).

  • Consignee’s full name, phone number, and full address in the waybill and data entry.
  • Products to be correctly coded.
  • DOX shipments should not have a customs value. These include:

Technical plans and drawings

  • Artwork including drawing is WPX. If proof or layout is included in the artwork, the product will be considered as DOX.

Magazines, periodicals, and journals

  • If these items are free of charge and not for resale purposes, they can be sent as DOX.

Cheques, cancelled (NI)

  • If the value of a cheque is over USD10,00, then it should be coded as WPX. As an exchange transaction of cheques is possible only after formal clearance, the description must be written as cheques.

These items will still go through a formal clearance, which will require an invoice and could result in additional delays. 

Things to know about shipping parcels

To prevent clearance delays or potential penalties, the origins must comply with the following:

  1. Non-compliance for erroneous or generic goods description, undervalue, etc., will be subject to a physical inspection and penalty.

  2. Ensure that the consignee's name, phone number, and full address are present on the waybill and entry information system.

  3. Any original documents required for customs clearance must accompany the physical shipment, for example, the Country of Origin, ATA Carnet, etc.

Alcohol

  • For formal import, the consignee must have an import license, which is subjected to a quarantine test at the quarantine office with a minimum delay of seven days.
     
  • For importing samples for private consumption, only one bottle is permitted from a licensed company and won’t require any quarantine test. However, a formal clearance is required for the same. Plus, the consignee must pay the liquor tax regardless of the invoice value.

Animal skins

  • Animal quarantine by QIA (Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency) is required, along with an original certificate of quarantine from the country of origin.

  • In case of CITES, a CITES export permit must be provided from the shipper, as the consignee is required to submit a CITES export and import permit to South Korea’s customs.

Animal products

  • Similar to animal skins, animal quarantine by QIA (Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency) and an original certificate of quarantine from the country of origin are required.

  • For unprocessed animal products, a quarantine test must be run at the quarantine office. Expect a minimum delay of six days.

  • For cow products, the consignee must provide a certificate of non-BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) from the Korea Food & Drug Administration, stating that the shipment or product is free from mad cow disease.

Photographs or photos as a part of business reports

  • All photos are considered Worldwide Parcel Express (WPX) regardless of use or purpose.

Foodstuff (including grain)

  • Unprocessed grain-related foodstuffs are subject to plant quarantine and require an original phytosanitary certificate from origin. If you are shipping meat products, they will be subject to animal quarantine and will require an original certificate of quarantine from origin.

  • Additionally, food quarantine by MFDS (Ministry of Food and Drug Safety) is needed and the consignee is required to be a licensed food importer.

  • Only a small quantity of foodstuff is permitted for non-commercial purposes or personal consumption depending on South Korea’s customs decision and could be exempted from certification for related authority from, for example, radio waves act or food quarantine.

Perishables (fruit/flower/vegetables)

  • Perishable items are subject to plant quarantine and will require an original phytosanitary certificate from origin. For edible fruits and vegetables, food quarantine would also be required. Also, only a small quantity for non-commercial purposes or personal consumption could be exempted from the certification for related authority (e.g radio waves act or food quarantine) depending on Korea Customs decision.

X-ray machines

  • Contact the destination prior to accepting the shipment for any licenses or permit requirements.

Cosmetics

  • An Entry Notice of imported products from KPTA (Korea Pharmaceutical Traders Association) is required. If applicable, TSE (BSE) Free certificate from the manufacturer is also required to issue the Entry Notice of imported products.

  • However, only a small quantity for non-commercial or personal use is permitted for import without the certificate, depending on Korea’s customs decision.

Drugs in pharmacy with or without prescription

  • An Entry Notice of imported products from KPTA (Korea Pharmaceutical Traders Association) is required. In case they are for private individuals, health products and vitamins are limited to a total of six bottles per person, per day based on the item category. Other drugs could be acceptable after submitting a South Korean doctor’s prescription.

  • However, only a small quantity for non-commercial or personal consumption is permitted for import without the certificate, depending on South Korea’s customs decision.

Plastic & articles thereof

  • No additional restrictions are required if “Plastic and articles thereof” are not related to electronic, food, and children’s products.

Electronic, telecommunication, mobile phones, radio equipment, or parts

  • To import any electrical goods, either a Conformity Assessment Certificate by RRA (Radio Research Agency) or Electrical Equipment Safety Certificate by KTC (Korea Testing Certification) / KTL (Korea Testing Laboratory) / KTR (Korea Testing & Research Institute) or both are required.

  • Private individuals can only receive one piece of each model per person without related certificates.

Diplomatic material

  • Only shipments with a description on the waybill as Diplomatic Pouch, Diplomatic Mail, and Diplomatic Bag can be released by South Korea’s customs within one working day with a Proof of Address (POA) from the embassy.

  • If the description on the waybill is not included in these three above-stated types, it could lead to UD (Uncontrollable Clearance Delay).

Medical samples

  • For blood samples, it must be packed within a cooling device.

  • Medical samples are acceptable only in small quantities without commercial purpose, unless they contain prohibited, restricted, or dangerous ingredients under South Korea’s customs decision.

Lithium batteries

  • There are no requirements for the import of lithium batteries in the customs clearance. In case of lithium-ion or polymer accumulators, an Electrical Equipment Safety Certificate by KTC (Korea Testing Certification) / KTL (Korea Testing Laboratory) / KTR (Korea Testing & Research Institute) is required.

  • Private individuals can only receive one piece of each model per person without related certificates.

Chemicals, liquids, other non-hazardous substances, oil products, and bunker oil sample (for analysis)

  • Shipment must fulfill IATA's Dangerous Goods Regulations. MSDS is also recommended and should be imaged.

Computer components & parts

  • Depending on Korea’s customs decision, only a small quantity for non-commercial purposes or personal consumption may be exempted from the certification for related authority (e.g. radio waves act or food quarantine).

  • Most computer components and parts have no special requirements for Customs clearance.

Passports

  • They are considered as DOX if the consignee is an embassy or a visa application center.

Plant and plant products

  • Unprocessed plants (products) are subject to in-plant quarantine by QIA (Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency) and require an original phytosanitary certificate from the country of origin. The soil must be completely removed, otherwise could be destroyed or return to origin (RTO).

Seeds

  • Seeds are subject to in-plant quarantine by QIA (Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency) and require an original phytosanitary certificate from the country of origin. Recommendation from related organisations may also be required for some seeds with cultivation purposes.

Tea

  • Food quarantine by MFDS (Ministry of Food and Drug Safety) is required and the consignee should be a licensed food importer.

  • Unprocessed tea leaves are additionally subject to plant quarantine and require an original phytosanitary certificate from the country of origin.

  • Depending on Korea’s Customs decision, only a small quantity for non-commercial purposes or personal consumption may be exempted from the certification for related authority (e.g. radio waves act or food quarantine).

Biological Substance Cat B, UN3373

  • No additional restrictions are required if IATA DGR instructions/restrictions are adhered to.

Military equipment

  • Import license from the DAPA (Defense Acquisition Program Administration) may be required.

Ship, parts of (gib, bearing)

  • Description, quantity, value, and name of the vessel for ship spares in transit should be precisely written on the invoice. 

Toys

  • Electrical Equipment Safety Certificate and Safety Certification may be required. Plus, Customs clearance is very strictly and limitedly approved.

  • Depending on Korea’s Customs decision, only a small quantity for non-commercial or personal consumption can be imported without the certificate.

Shipping rules for business-to-customer (B2C)

Effective from 1st Dec 2020, Korea Customs reinforced the submission of PCCC (Personal Customs Clearance Code) for de-minimis B2C shipments. The Consignee’s DOB (date of birth) is only applied to C2C and is no longer required for B2C. The shipper only needs to input the consignee’s PCCC, which is alphabet P and 12 numbers into the Receiver/Consignee VAT field of DHL Express’s electronic shipping solution to prevent delay in Customs clearance.

The Korea Customs Service requires strict compliance and accuracy on Customs entry. The non-compliance is subject to a physical inspection or penalty. Incomplete and missing consignee’s telephone number or incomplete consignee’s address including DOX is not acceptable and can be delayed. Ensure full and accurate information for declaration on waybill, invoice, and data entry to avoid any delays.

Shipping process from Singapore to South Korea

When shipping to South Korea, the right paperwork will help DHL customs services to clear your shipment from customs without any delays. Therefore, make sure your airway bill (AWB) and invoice are accurately filled with details of the shipment.

Once the paperwork is complete, pack your own parcel. Then, schedule for shipment collection as per your convenience. You can do that by calling DHL’s customer service and informing them about the date and time of pickup, or by booking a pickup date at MyDHL+ or self-lodging it at any DHL retail store.

Please note:

  1. Shipments for private individuals must have the full name and contact number. Those shipments for the military base must have a full name and class, telephone number, base name and building number, and TCN number.

  2. All WPX shipments into South Korea must state the purpose of export/import on the AWB and invoice, otherwise incorrect duty and tax may be imposed, especially for shipments subject to reduction of and exemption from taxation.

  3. Taxation is based on CIF. Make sure to specify the correct Terms of Trade on the invoice - CIF, FOB, DDU, DDP, etc. for accurate taxation.

  4. All wooden packing material should have a proper mark approved by the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measure.

  5. Trademark/brand name should be stated on the invoice for all consumable finished goods, especially footwear, clothes, and bags exceeding USD 100 per HAWB for customs declaration.

  6. P.O. Box acceptable only with full consignee contact name and phone number.

Benefits of using DHL Express

  • It provides door-to-door shipping service to any country across the globe
  • The shipping process is super easy thanks to its MyDHL+, MyBill, and ODD (On-Demand Delivery) services
  • Its flexible delivery options allow customers to choose the time and place of shipment delivery
  • Its wide range of networks and services pan across 220 territories around the globe
  • Customers can track their shipment’s status through real-time updates
  • The time of shipment collection remains at the discretion of the customer.

So, there you go with a handy list of items you can now ship from Singapore to South Korea without any hassle. For more information about other goods and services, you can also directly contact our customer service team.

Talk to us!
 

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