South Korea routinely conducts military training exercises and civil defense drills. North Korea often issues strongly-worded and threatening messages, frequently in connection with these exercises. Please see our Fact Sheet on North Korea. Heavy rains and flooding may occur during the June - August monsoon season or the May - November typhoon season.
See general information about natural disaster preparedness at the U. To receive security messages by email and make it easier to locate you in an emergency, register in STEP. If the Embassy becomes aware of any specific and credible threat to the safety and security of U. For most visitors, South Korea remains a very safe country. Common crimes occur more frequently in major metropolitan areas, tourist sites, and crowded markets. Call for emergency assistance or to report a crime to local authorities.
Call to contact the U. In , the Embassy received 19 reports of sexual assault from U. Most cases involved young women assaulted by acquaintances after drinking alcohol socially. Specialized hospital units and police are available in South Korea to assist victims. Victims may contact the Embassy, tel. Lost or Stolen Passports: If your passport is stolen, file a report at the nearest police station. Don't buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if widely available.
It is against South Korean law to purchase these goods and against U. Department of Justice has more information. Avoid fraud and scams: While in Korea, you are subject to local laws. If you violate Korean laws, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Be aware that some crimes are prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. If you are arrested or detained, ask officials to notify the Embassy. Dual Nationality and Military Conscription: Dual national males including U. If you have family ties to South Korea, consult the nearest Korean Embassy or Consulate or the Korean Military Manpower Administration regarding potential citizenship obligations before entering South Korea.
Passport Seizures and Exit Bans: While we may reissue a passport, we cannot lift an exit ban. Exit permits are not generally required. See our website for information related to the prevention of international child abduction.
Prospective teachers must submit a criminal records check only FBI checks accepted and a health certificate. The Embassy does not provide criminal records checks or fingerprinting services and does not authenticate criminal records checks or health certificates. Have these documents prepared before coming to Korea. Working in South Korea: If working, including teaching or modeling, you must enter with the appropriate work visa.
It is not possible to change your visa status without leaving the country. If you are working without a valid work permit and get into a contractual dispute with your employer, you have little legal recourse.
See our travel tips for Women Travelers. There is strict enforcement of regulations on importing and exporting items such as firearms, narcotics and prescription drugs, non-prescription health supplements, radio equipment, and gold.
Importation of materials deemed to be obscene, subversive, or harmful to the public peace is also restricted. See the Korean Customs Regulations website for complete information. Consensual same-sex sexual activity is not criminalized. The ROK National Human Rights Commission Act prohibits discrimination against individuals because of their sexual orientation, but there are no laws specifying punishment for persons found to have discriminated on this basis.
Same-sex marriages are not recognized. Korean citizens can legally change their gender identity. Korean law mandates access to transportation, communication, and public buildings. Cross walks typically have audio and visual signals. Foreign embassies generally have no authority to intervene for their nationals Korean customs cases or Korean domestic regulations regarding important items.
Because something may be allowed in your country does not mean it is in Korea. Before setting out for Korea, it's a good idea to consult the Korea Customs website , especially if you are planning on bringing medicines, food items or a pet with you.
The Korean Customs website also provides a list of items that have importation restrictions or prohibitions: For further details on specific regulations, you may contact the Main Customs office within Korea at telephone: Other contact numbers for offices throughout Korea are listed on the English website www. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. One Click, Practical Law. Try cutting and pasting: No need to put in area code, even from a cell phone.
What's Going On View All. Bracelet Making Class, Fri 14 Sept , Latin American Festival, Sat 15 Sept Eye Care, glasses, testing, lasik surgery The three types of bonded areas are: Duties are payable only when goods are cleared through Customs.
To learn more about the various bonded areas, click here. The period for which goods may be stored in a designated bonded warehouse is six months and a patent bonded warehouse is one year. Storage fees are relatively high, and the availability of a bonded warehouse to maintain inventories is limited. The storage period does not apply to the storage of live animals or plants, perishable merchandise, or other commodities that may cause damage to other merchandise or to the warehouse.
The Collector of Customs bears no responsibility for goods while they are stored in Customs facilities. Comprehensive bonded areas have no time limit for storage. Hence, storage, manufacturing, processing, building, sales and exhibition can be comprehensively carried out. Korea's customs laws specify that any person who wishes to establish a bonded warehouse shall obtain a license from the director of each Customs Zone.
Applications must include the name of the bonded warehouse, location, structure, numbers and sizes of buildings, storage capacity and types of products to be stored. In addition, articles of incorporation and corporate registration must be submitted, when applicable. Goods entering Korea for exhibition purposes must be stored in a bonded area.
For example, the Korea Exhibition Center http: Exhibition goods will be held without charge at COEX during the exhibition period, after which they must be either: Goods stored in a bonded warehouse may incur storage costs, customs brokerage charges, local transportation costs and moving equipment fees.
Korean Customs has simplified clearance procedures for goods with particular purposes samples, goods for warranty and non-warranty repair. The ATA Carnet is an international customs document that a traveler may use to temporarily import certain goods into a country without having to engage in the customs formalities usually required for the importation of goods, and without having to pay duty or value-added taxes on the goods.
Korea allows for the temporary importation of commercial samples, professional equipment and certain advertising materials by a non-resident individual. By definition, a temporary import is for six months or less. Therefore, a carnet is valid for a maximum of six months in Korea.
For more detailed information about guidelines for temporary entry of items into Korea, please visit the Korea Customs website http: Korea has specific labeling and marking requirements for certain products, such as pharmaceuticals, as well as for organic and functional food and food produced through biotechnology.
Details regarding these and other general labeling and marking requirements can be found on the Foreign Agricultural Service website pertaining to food and agriculture import requirements at FAIRS Country Report https: Country of origin labeling is required for commercial shipments entering Korea.
To learn more about country of origin labeling requirements, please visit http: The Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy MOTIE issues the KC Mark for items that fall under its jurisdiction, formerly comprised of mandatory certification marks for 13 categories, many of which overlapped in testing procedures and functions.
The consolidation of these marks into the KC Mark ensures that companies, both Korean and foreign, will save time and costs due to reduced redundancies introduced into the new system.
To learn more, follow this link http: Further labeling and marking requirements for specific products, such as pharmaceutical and food products, are covered by specific regulations from Korean Government agencies responsible for these items.
Korean language labels, except for country of origin markings that must be shown at the time of Customs clearance, can be attached locally on products in the bonded area, either before or after clearance.
Guns, narcotics, pornography, subversive material, treasonous material, and counterfeit goods or materials are prohibited entry into Korea. Please visit the Bureau of Industry and Security website at: The Korean Customs Service http: Korea maintains an import declaration system that allows for the immediate release of goods upon acceptance of an import declaration filed without defect. With the exception of high-risk items related to public health and sanitation, national security, and the environment, which often require additional documentation and technical tests, goods imported by companies with no record of trade law violations are released upon the acceptance of the import declaration without Customs inspection.
Import declarations may be filed at the Customs House before a vessel enters a port or before the goods are unloaded into bonded areas. In both cases, goods are released directly from the port without being stored in a bonded area, if the import declaration is accepted.
Exporters can file an export notice to Korean Customs by computer-based shipping documents at the time of export clearance.
Includes customs regulations and contact information for this country's customs office. Last Published: 9/6/ Korea maintains an import declaration system that allows for the immediate release of goods upon acceptance of an import declaration filed without defect.
Korean customs do not allow port-to-door delivery of a loose load container. It must be unloaded at the customs bonded warehouse and inspected. After customs clearance, the goods will be transported to the residence by truck.
Arms and Ammunition regulations: Import of weaponry, arms and ammunition requires police permission obtained prior to travel. Export regulations: All baggage will be inspected against verbal declaration. Prohibited: Korean antiques and curiosities, unless a certificate is . [email protected] This email address ([email protected]) is an Official Contact Point for WTO ONLY. If you have any questions to Korea Customs Service, please contact us by using the Q&A Menu on our website.
For all the details of applicable customs duty and tax rates in English, you can refer to the Duties and Taxes in Korea on the Korea Customs website. Besides customs duties and taxes, some items require licensing and approval procedures with other Korean Government agencies. Korea's customs laws specify that any person who wishes to establish a bonded warehouse shall obtain a license from the director of each Customs Zone. Applications must include the name of the bonded warehouse, location, structure, numbers and sizes of buildings, storage capacity and types of .