Import Clearance

In order to export, import, or return goods, the name, standard, quantity, and price of such goods and other matters prescribed by the relevant regulations must be reported to the head of a customs office. The declaration of imports can only be made after the vessel (aircraft) loaded with the goods has arrived, but the import declaration can be made before arrival when the goods to be imported need to be cleared promptly. Goods that have been declared for import before arrival are deemed to have arrived in Korea.

* Import declaration period: Before the vessel departs, enters the port, and after the vessel enters the port and before the goods arrive at the bonded area, and after they arrive at the bonded area, an import declaration is made to the head of the customs office.

Documents for Import Declaration

The importer shall request an import declaration by submitting the invoices, bills of lading, packing lists, certificates of origin, and documents confirming other import requirements. The requested declarant shall submit the documents when customs require the submission of documents for customs clearance, but otherwise, they shall be kept on their own.※ The Korea Customs Service is building a system that allows to submission of import declaration documents to the customs office in the form of electronic documents or electronic images of documents.

Import Declaration

Import declaration is undertaken according to the method of screening, document screening, and inspection of goods, etc. When the import declaration is made legally, the report is immediately accepted. If the items listed in the declaration are not sufficient, a supplemental import declaration or customs clearance may be requested.

Inspection of Imported Goods

This inspection refers to whether the goods declared for import conform to the import declaration and whether they violate any regulations set by relevant laws and regulations through in-kind inspection. The inspection ratio may be applied differentially in consideration of compliance with regulations of importing companies, records of inspection performance, country of origin, etc., while the inspection method may be extractive inspection, total inspection, or via analysis depending on the inspection objects. The importers bear the costs of inspecting imported goods.

Issuance of Certificate of Import Declaration

When the customs officer accepts the import declaration, a declaration certificate electronically stamped by the Customs Special Officer is issued to the declarant.

Internet Portal for Customs Clearance (UNI-PASS)

UNI-PASS is an online system that handles all customs clearance procedures such as customs declaration, payment of taxes, and application requirements needed by individuals and businesses when exporting or importing.



The primary services of UNI-PASS include an electronic declaration, electronic payment, information check, and providing a unique personal customs code.

Electronic DeclarationReports for import and export declaration or applying for a refund can be done online and checked afterward. Customs documents can also be printed out.
Electronic PaymentFollowing the import declaration, customs duties can be paid and processing details can be checked.
Information CheckDeclarants may check customs information, regulatory compliance, customs codes, etc. required for administrative tasks related to customs.
Unique Personal Customs CodeA unique customs clearance code used to report imports of personal goods is issued and declarants may check the code.

Application Procedure

To use the UNI-PASS system, it is necessary to receive the approval of customs. The applicant must apply for and obtain a certificate from an accredited certification body and then join the system via the user registration menu. Then the officer in charge will approve the use of UNI-PASS after the confirmation of the application.

※ Related law: Notification of the Use and Operation of Customs UNI-PASS (Public Notice No. 2018-25 of the Korea Customs Service, July 18th, 2018)

How to Use

UNI-PASS provides two types of services regarding the declaration method: application via a website; or application by PC and submitting to UNI-PASS all documents using the software to transmit multiple cases. The latter is useful when processing a large amount of data or when there are many applications.