Importing your car to Seoul is possible, but it is a long process that will take up to two months or more to complete. If you really love your car and want it to come to Korea, though, it is entirely doable – albeit complicated and expensive!
While you are able to ship the car to Korea on your own, it is recommended to use a reputable shipping company to take care of the finer details involved with international shipping and importation. You can find reputable freight forwarders at this website: http://korea-south.shipping-international.com/freight-forwarders/.
In Korea, your car will be examined by a branch of the Ministry of the Environment and you will be required to pay some hefty customs fees (about 30 to 40% of the value of your car). This applies to you regardless of your car’s status (new or used). Here are some other fees/taxes you will be expected to pay in order to import your car:
- Registration tax: The cost of this tax is 5% of the current value of the vehicle.
- Education tax: This will cost 1% of current value of the vehicle.
- Acquisition tax: This will cost 2% of current value of the vehicle.
- Bond fees: These will cost 20% of current value of the vehicle.
These fees and taxes are not included in the shipping fees you will face when you want to ship your car to Korea.
Here is an outline of the vehicle importation process to Korea:
First, if you’re planning on using a freight forwarder, you need to give them information about your car, the port where you want the car to depart from, and the port in Korea (the closest port in Korea to Seoul is called Incheon). You will have to pay the shipping fees and the freight forwarder’s fees. The fees will depend on your method of shipping – meaning, whether or not you will want to put your car into a container before it gets shipped, which is more expensive than shipping it without a container. Also, the soil and underbelly of your car should be cleaned before entering Korea.
Make sure your paperwork is in order! This includes all of the original paperwork for your car and the emissions application form, as well as whatever the shipping company requires you to fill out. You need to apply for an emission test once the car is in Korea. Once the emission test is finished (which will take up to forty days) you will be presented with a certificate stating that your car is fit to drive according to Korean law. The emission test will take place directly at the port (which is usually Incheon). When your car arrives in Korea, the government keeps it while they perform these tests and they will contact you when you can pick up your car.
The customs agents are always fluent in English and will be able to answer any questions you have. Also, any shipping company you choose to do business with will be well versed in the process of shipping your car to Korea – they are there to help you with all the complex customs requirements you may not know about.
For vehicle and emissions inspection information visit http://www.kotsa.or.kr, telephone : 82-02-1577-0990.
Here is a very helpful website on the whole process start to finish and also covers buying a car in Korea: http://english.seoul.go.kr/lh/residence/driving.php?pidx=2.
You can speak to a Korean Customs agent by calling this phone number: 82-2-3460-7561