Thailand and South Korea have a significant trade relationship, with bilateral trade reaching billions of dollars annually. Both countries engage in the exchange of various goods and commodities through freight services.

Thailand mainly exports products such as automobiles, electronics, machinery, chemicals, and food products to South Korea. Conversely, South Korea exports goods like electrical machinery, automobiles, steel, and petrochemical products to Thailand.

Freight between Thailand and South Korea primarily relies on maritime shipping routes. Large container ships transport goods across the East China Sea, passing through the Strait of Malacca or the South China Sea, depending on the specific route chosen.

This comprehensive guide aims to assist you in navigating the process of exporting goods from Thailand to South Korea. It provides valuable insights on selecting the appropriate mode of transportation, gaining a clear understanding of customs clearance procedures, and accessing expert advice from our team of professionals at Siam Shipping.

Table of Contents

What is the most suitable method of transport between Thailand and South Korea?

There are four modes of transport available for shipping goods between Thailand and South Korea: air freight, sea freight, road freight, and rail freight. However, it's important to note that the railway modality is currently not available for transport between these two countries. Additionally, road freight is not recommended due to the considerable distance separating them.

Consequently, the two primary options for transporting containers between Thailand and South Korea are either sea freight or air freight. These modes of transport offer reliable and efficient means to facilitate trade and ensure the timely delivery of goods.

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Sea freight from Thailand to South Korea


TOP 5 – Shipping line


Overview – Ocean cargo from Thailand to South Korea

Several ports serve as crucial hubs for freight shipments between Thailand and South Korea. In Thailand, the major ports involved in this trade include Laem Chabang Port and Bangkok Port. In South Korea, Busan Port, the country's largest port, handles a significant portion of the freight traffic.

Thailand and South Korea are both parties to the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement (AKFTA), which has helped boost trade between the two countries by reducing or eliminating tariffs on many goods. This agreement has further facilitated the flow of freight between Thailand and South Korea.

The freight trade between Thailand and South Korea contributes significantly to the economies of both countries. It fosters economic growth, creates employment opportunities, and promotes industrial development by facilitating the movement of goods and fostering international trade relations.

The freight trade between Thailand and South Korea is expected to continue growing in the coming years, driven by the expansion of bilateral trade and increasing demand for various goods. Efforts to improve transportation infrastructure, streamline customs procedures, and enhance logistics capabilities will further enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of this trade route.

Main ports in South Korea

  1. Port of Busan: Located in the southeastern part of the country, the Port of Busan is the largest and busiest port in South Korea. It serves as a major gateway for international trade and handles a significant portion of the country's containerized cargo.sea freight port
  2. Port of Incheon: Situated on the west coast of South Korea, the Port of Incheon is the country's second-largest port. It is strategically positioned near the capital city of Seoul and serves as a vital transportation hub for both domestic and international trade.
  3. Port of Gwangyang: Located in the southwestern part of the country, the Port of Gwangyang is the third-largest port in South Korea. It specializes in handling bulk cargo, such as iron ore, coal, and oil, and has extensive facilities for steel production and export.
  4. Port of Ulsan: Situated in the southeastern region of South Korea, the Port of Ulsan is known for its significance in the shipbuilding and automotive industries. It serves as a major export hub for automobiles, petrochemicals, and other industrial goods.
  5. Port of Pohang: Located on the east coast of South Korea, the Port of Pohang is a key port for handling steel products, machinery, and bulk cargo. It plays a vital role in supporting the region's heavy industries, including steel manufacturing.
  6. Port of Masan: Situated near Busan, the Port of Masan is a major container port that primarily handles domestic and transshipment cargo. It serves as an important link in the supply chain for both import and export trade.

Main ports in Thailand 

Bangkok Port logoThe Port of Bangkok: The Port of Bangkok is the largest port in Thailand, situated on the Chao Phraya River in the capital city of Bangkok. It serves as a vital trade gateway, equipped with multiple docks for efficient container loading and unloading. Additionally, the port is conveniently connected to the national railway system, facilitating seamless transportation of goods.

Laem Chabang Port: Located approximately 130 kilometers southeast of Bangkok in Chonburi province, Laem Chabang Port is the second-largest port in Thailand. It boasts excellent connectivity to the national railway network, enabling the smooth movement of goods into the country's interior. The port plays a crucial role in facilitating trade activities and accommodating a significant volume of container traffic.

Laem Chabang Port logoMap Ta Phut Port: Situated on the east coast of Thailand in Rayong province, Map Ta Phut Port serves as a prominent hub for the country's petrochemical industry. It is equipped with a rail yard and seamlessly connected to the national rail network, ensuring efficient transportation of goods to and from the port. The port's strategic location enhances its role as a vital center for petrochemical trade.

Chiang Saen Port: Chiang Saen Port is situated on the Mekong River in Chiang Rai province, close to the border with Laos. It serves as a crucial transportation point for goods between Thailand and neighboring countries, particularly Laos and China. The port plays a significant role in facilitating cross-border trade, contributing to regional economic integration and connectivity.

How much time does it take to ship between South Korean ports and Thailand ports?

Here is a summary table of the average transit times, in days, between the largest South Korean and Thai ports.

  Busan Incheon Gwangyang Ulsan Pohang Masan
Bangkok 4-6 6-8 7-9 8-10 8-10 8-10
Laem Chabang 3-5 5-7 6-8 7-9 7-9 7-9
Map Ta Phut 6-8 7-9 8-10 9-11 9-11 9-11
Chiang Saen 7-9 8-10 9-11 10-12 10-12 10-12


Should I ship by groupage or full container between Souh Korea and Thailand?


There are three main categories of standard container sizes commonly used in shipping:

  1. The 40-foot HQ (High Cube) container: This container has a length of 40 feet, a width of 8 feet, and a height that is slightly taller than standard containers. It has a capacity of approximately 76 cubic meters. The extra height allows for more vertical space, making it suitable for transporting larger or taller cargo.
  2. The 40-foot container: This container also has a length of 40 feet and a width of 8 feet, but it has a standard height. It has a capacity of around 67 cubic meters. This type of container is widely used for shipping various types of cargo, including both general goods and specialized items.
  3. The 20-foot container: This container is smaller in size, with a length of 20 feet, a width of 8 feet, and a standard height. It has a capacity of approximately 33 cubic meters. The 20-foot container is commonly used for shipping smaller quantities of cargo or when space is limited.Each of these container sizes can be shipped using two different transportation methods:
    1. Ocean freight: Containers are loaded onto cargo ships and transported across the sea. This method is commonly used for long-distance shipping, especially for international trade. Ocean freight offers cost-effectiveness and the ability to transport large volumes of cargo.
    2. Intermodal transportation: Containers can be transported using a combination of different modes of transportation, such as trucks, trains, and ships. This method provides flexibility and efficiency, allowing containers to be seamlessly transferred between different modes of transport during their journey.

    These container sizes and transportation methods play a crucial role in global trade, enabling the efficient movement of goods across vast distances.


Less than Container Load (LCL) is a shipping option that allows multiple individuals or businesses who have smaller quantities of goods to share a single container. Instead of needing to fill an entire container, each shipper's goods are consolidated with others to utilize the available container space efficiently.

LCL shipments are typically chosen when the total volume of goods does not exceed 15 cubic meters (m³). This option is particularly cost-effective for smaller shipments that do not justify the expense of booking an entire container. By sharing container space with other shippers, the costs are distributed among the participants, making it a more affordable choice.



Full Container Load (FCL) is a shipping option where an individual or business utilizes the entire capacity of a container for their shipment. Unlike Less than Container Load (LCL), where multiple shippers share a container, FCL allows a single shipper to occupy the entire container space.

The primary advantage of FCL is that the shipper has exclusive control over the entire container, minimizing the risk of damage or loss that could potentially occur when sharing the container with other goods. By having full control, the shipper can properly secure and organize their goods within the container, ensuring their safety during transportation.


Siam Shipping Alert: There are several risks involved in LCL loading. When shipping goods by sea, there is a possibility of damage to your purchases. Additionally, if your container partner experiences challenges with customs during the clearance process, it can cause delays in your customs clearance procedure as well. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us.

Special transports by sea between Thailand and South Korea

Reefer Container: A reefer container, short for refrigerated container, is specifically designed to transport goods that require controlled temperatures, such as perishable products or chemicals. These containers are equipped with a cooling system that allows for precise temperature regulation throughout the transportation process. They play a vital role in maintaining the freshness and quality of temperature-sensitive cargo.

RoRo (Roll On/Roll Off) Vessel: RoRo vessels are specialized ships used primarily for transporting vehicles, including cars, trucks, vans, semi-trailers, and even rail cars. The unique feature of RoRo vessels is their efficient loading and unloading process. Vehicles can be rolled onto the vessel through specially designed ramps, eliminating the need for cranes or other lifting equipment. RoRo vessels are considered the safest and most efficient option for transporting heavy or special cargo in large quantities.

Bulk Carrier: Bulk carriers are specifically designed to transport large quantities of bulk cargo, such as solid materials (minerals, grains, coal) or liquids (crude oil, gas, chemicals). These vessels have spacious cargo holds that allow for the efficient loading and unloading of bulk cargo. Bulk carriers are often characterized by their large size and distinctive features, including multiple cargo hatches and specialized equipment for handling different types of bulk cargo.

OOG (Out of Gauge) Cargo: OOG cargo refers to goods that exceed the dimensions of a standard container. To accommodate such cargo, two types of containers are commonly used:

  1. Open Top Container: Open top containers lack a fixed roof, allowing for the loading of cargo that exceeds the height of standard containers. These containers are typically covered with a removable tarpaulin to protect the cargo from the elements.
  2. Flat Rack Container: Flat rack containers are designed without side walls or roofs, providing a flat platform for loading oversized or irregularly shaped cargo. They are often used for goods that cannot be accommodated within the confines of a standard container.

How much does the sea freight cost between Thailand and South Korea ?

The cost of sea freight between Thailand and South Korea can vary depending on several factors, including the volume of goods, the type of cargo, the shipping route, the distance, the shipping carrier, and the current market conditions. Additionally, specific charges such as port handling fees, customs duties, insurance, and additional services can also affect the overall cost.

The price range for sea freight between Thailand and South Korea can vary based on several factors, as mentioned before. However, to provide a general idea, the cost of sea freight for this route can range from approximately $500 to $2,000 or more for a standard 20-foot container (FCL) shipment. Please note that these figures are rough estimates and can fluctuate depending on the factors mentioned earlier, such as the specific ports, cargo volume, shipping method, and additional services required.

To estimate the cost of sea freight accurately, you can follow these three steps:

  1. Determine the Paying Unit (PU): Compare the weight and volume of your cargo using the theory of sea freight, where one ton is considered equal to one cubic meter. Take the higher value between the volume and weight as the Paying Unit. For example, if your cargo has a volume of 20 cubic meters and a weight of 25 tons, the Paying Unit will be 25 tons.
  2. Calculate the Basic Freight: Multiply the cost of the Paying Unit by the number of Paying Units. This will give you the basic cost of your sea freight.
  3. Calculate the Net Freight: Use the following formula to calculate the net freight: Basic Freight + BAF (Bunker Adjustment Factor) + CSP (Currency Adjustment Factor) - Rebate. The result will provide you with the estimated cost of your sea freight, taking into account additional factors such as fuel surcharges (BAF), currency fluctuations (CSP), and any applicable rebates.

Tariff surcharges

Tariff surcharges between Thailand and South Korea can vary based on several factors, including the shipping route, carrier, market conditions, and specific services required. Here are some common tariff surcharges that may be applicable:

  1. Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF): BAF is a surcharge that accounts for fluctuations in fuel prices. As fuel costs can vary over time, carriers may apply this surcharge to cover the difference in fuel expenses during the transportation of goods.
  2. Currency Adjustment Factor (CAF): CAF is a surcharge that reflects currency exchange rate fluctuations. It accounts for potential changes in exchange rates between the currencies of the shipping route. This surcharge helps offset the impact of currency fluctuations on shipping costs.
  3. Peak Season Surcharge (PSS): PSS is a temporary surcharge imposed during peak shipping seasons or periods of high demand. It is often applied to manage capacity and balance supply and demand in the shipping industry.
  4. Emergency Risk Surcharge (ERS): ERS is a surcharge imposed in response to unforeseen events or risks that may impact shipping operations. This surcharge helps carriers manage and mitigate potential risks, such as political instability, natural disasters, or security concerns.
  5. Equipment Imbalance Surcharge (EIS): EIS is a surcharge applied when there is a shortage of equipment (containers) in a specific location or imbalance in equipment supply and demand. It helps offset the costs associated with repositioning containers to address the equipment imbalance.

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Air freight from Thailand to South Korea


Classic or Express air freight 

There are two main types of air freight services available:

  1. Classic Air Freight: This option utilizes the available space on commercial flights operated by major airlines such as Air France, Thai Airways, China Southern Airlines, or Qatar Airways, among others. It takes advantage of the unused capacity in the cargo holds of these passenger aircraft. Classic air freight offers a cost-effective solution for transporting goods by utilizing the existing flight routes and schedules of these airlines.
  2. Express Air Freight: This option involves dedicated aircraft solely used for air freight purposes. Courier companies like FedEx, DHL, UPS, and TNT offer express air freight services with door-to-door solutions. These companies operate their own fleet of cargo planes, enabling them to provide faster transit times and greater flexibility for time-sensitive shipments. Express air freight is ideal for urgent or time-critical deliveries, as it offers expedited transportation services with enhanced tracking and security measures.

Both classic air freight and express air freight have their respective advantages and considerations. Shippers can choose the most suitable option based on their specific requirements, including budget, delivery timeline, shipment size, and destination

Classic or express air freight

Main airports in South Korea

  • Incheon International Airport (ICN): Located in Incheon, near Seoul, Incheon International Airport is the largest and busiest airport in South Korea. It serves as a major gateway for international flights and offers a wide range of domestic and international connections.air freight
  • Gimpo International Airport (GMP): Situated in Seoul, Gimpo International Airport primarily handles domestic flights within South Korea. It also serves as a secondary airport for some international flights to neighboring countries.
  • Gimhae International Airport (PUS): Located in Busan, Gimhae International Airport is the second-largest airport in South Korea. It serves as a major gateway to the southeastern region of the country and offers domestic and international flights.
  • Jeju International Airport (CJU): Situated on Jeju Island, Jeju International Airport is one of the busiest airports in South Korea. It primarily serves domestic flights, connecting Jeju Island with other cities in South Korea. However, it also operates some international flights to neighboring countries.

Main airports in Thailand

Suvarnabhumi Airport:located in Bangkok, Thailand, is a significant cargo hub for the Asia-Pacific region, facilitating direct air connections to numerous international destinations. Suvarnabhumi Airport logo

Additional information:

  • Suvarnabhumi Airport boasts the world's tallest control tower, offering efficient air traffic control services.
  • The airport's terminal is the third largest globally, covering an extensive area of 56.3 hectares.
  • There are plans for substantial growth in cargo and aviation capacity at Suvarnabhumi Airport to meet increasing demands.

Don Mueang Airport: Don Mueang Airport, also situated in Bangkok, holds the distinction of being one of the oldest international airports globally, with commercial flights commencing as early as 1924. This makes it one of the world's earliest commercial airports.Don Mueang Airport logo

Additional information:

  • Don Mueang Airport handles around 700,000 tons of cargo annually, serving as a crucial hub for cargo operations.
  • The airport collaborates with approximately 80 airlines, providing a wide range of flight connections.

Chiang Mai Airport: While Chiang Mai Airport may not be as extensive as Bangkok's airports, it plays a vital role in facilitating logistics in northern Thailand, offering direct connections to major domestic and international destinations.

Additional information:

  • Chiang Mai Airport handles approximately 16,000 tons of cargo annually, contributing to the region's logistics operations.
  • The airport serves over 15,000 flights and accommodates approximately 2 million passengers each year.logo-chiang-mai-airport

How much does it cost to transport cargo by air from Thailand to South Korea?

The cost of transporting cargo by air from Thailand to South Korea can vary widely depending on various factors. Generally, air freight rates are calculated based on the chargeable weight (actual weight or volumetric weight, whichever is higher), the type of goods, the departure and arrival airports, and any additional services required.

As a rough estimate, air freight rates for this route can range from approximately $3 to $8 per kilogram. However, please note that these rates are subject to change and can vary based on market conditions, seasonality, fuel prices, and other factors.


Siam Shipping Advice: It can be difficult to estimate the exact price of your airfreight shipment yourself. Contact us to receive a free quote within 24 hours.

How to calculate the volumetric weight of your shipment?

The volumetric weight of a package is an important consideration in air freight pricing. It is calculated based on the package's dimensions and gross weight to determine the space it occupies in the aircraft. To determine the volumetric weight, follow these steps:

  1. Measure the dimensions of the package: Take the length, width, and height of the package in centimeters.
  2. Convert the dimensions to cubic meters: Multiply the length, width, and height measurements together and divide the result by 5,000.Volumetric weight = (length x width x height) / 5000The result will be in cubic meters.
  3. Compare the volumetric weight to the actual weight: The higher value between the volumetric weight and the actual weight of the package will be used to calculate the air freight charges.

By calculating the volumetric weight, you can accurately assess the space occupied by your package and ensure proper pricing for air freight services. This calculation helps account for lightweight, bulky packages that may occupy more space in the aircraft.



Time of transit between Thailand Airports and South Korea Airports

The average transit time between Thai and South Korean airports is 5 to 6 hours.

Siam Shipping Advice: We recommend using air freight for fragile, valuable, or perishable goods to increase security and protect your merchandise. You can get in touch with our specialists for further details if you want to learn more about transporting fragile merchandise.

Door-to-door delivery between Thailand and South Korea

Door-to-door delivery between Thailand and South Korea refers to a service that allows individuals or businesses to have their packages, documents, or goods transported directly from their location in Thailand to the recipient's doorstep in South Korea. It provides a convenient and hassle-free solution for international shipping, ensuring that the sender's items are picked up, transported, and delivered seamlessly without requiring them to handle multiple stages of the logistics process.

The door-to-door delivery service typically includes the following steps:

  1. Pickup: The shipping provider collects the items from the sender's specified location in Thailand. This can be a residential address, office, or any other designated pickup point.
  2. Transportation: The shipping provider arranges for the transportation of the items from Thailand to South Korea. Depending on the service and shipping provider chosen, this can involve air freight, sea freight, or a combination of different modes of transportation.
  3. Customs Clearance: International shipments are subject to customs regulations and clearance procedures. The shipping provider assists in handling the necessary customs documentation and ensures compliance with the applicable rules and regulations.
  4. Delivery: Once the items have cleared customs in South Korea, the shipping provider takes care of the final leg of the journey, delivering the package directly to the recipient's doorstep or preferred delivery address in South Korea.

Throughout the entire process, the shipping provider provides tracking information, allowing the sender and recipient to monitor the progress of the delivery. This helps ensure transparency and enables both parties to stay updated on the whereabouts of the package.

Door-to-door delivery services between Thailand and South Korea are typically offered by international couriers and logistics companies. It is advisable to choose a reputable provider that has experience in handling international shipments and offers reliable and secure delivery options.

At Siam Shipping, we are thrilled to offer our exceptional door-to-door delivery service between Thailand and South Korea. Our goal is to provide you with a seamless and hassle-free shipping experience, ensuring that your goods reach their destination safely and efficiently.

With our door-to-door delivery service, we take care of the entire shipping process from start to finish. Here's how it works:

  1. Convenient Pickup: Our professional team will arrange a convenient pickup directly from your location in Thailand. You don't have to worry about transporting your goods to a warehouse or shipping terminal. We come to you!
  2. Expert Packaging: Our experienced team understands the importance of proper packaging to protect your valuable cargo. We will ensure that your goods are securely packed using high-quality materials, minimizing the risk of damage during transit.
  3. Efficient Transportation: We partner with trusted carriers who specialize in international shipping between Thailand and South Korea. Whether it's by air, sea, or a combination of both, we will select the most efficient and cost-effective mode of transportation for your specific requirements.
  4. Customs Clearance: Navigating the complexities of customs regulations can be daunting. Our dedicated team will handle all the necessary documentation and customs clearance processes, ensuring a smooth and timely clearance of your goods.
  5. Tracking and Updates: We understand the importance of staying informed about the status of your shipment. With our advanced tracking system, you can easily monitor the progress of your cargo, giving you peace of mind throughout the entire journey.
  6. Timely Delivery: Our commitment to on-time delivery is unwavering. We strive to deliver your goods to the designated address in South Korea within the agreed-upon timeframe. Our network of reliable partners and our expertise in logistics management allow us to achieve this consistently.
  7. Exceptional Customer Service: At Siam Shipping, our dedicated customer service team is always ready to assist you. We provide personalized support, promptly addressing any questions or concerns you may have during the shipping process.Door To Door

By choosing our door-to-door delivery service, you can enjoy the convenience of a comprehensive shipping solution, saving you time, effort, and unnecessary complications. Our commitment to reliability, efficiency, and customer satisfaction sets us apart as your trusted shipping partner for Thailand-South Korea shipments.

Contact us today to experience the convenience and efficiency of our door-to-door delivery service. Let us take care of your shipping needs while you focus on what matters most to your business. Siam Shipping, your reliable shipping partner!


Customs clearance in South Korea for goods imported from ThailandCustoms Clearance

When importing goods from Thailand to South Korea, there are customs clearance procedures that need to be followed. Here are some key points regarding customs clearance in South Korea for goods imported from Thailand:

  1. Customs Documentation: Proper documentation is essential for customs clearance. You will need to prepare and submit the required paperwork, which typically includes a commercial invoice, packing list, bill of lading or airway bill, and any other relevant certificates or permits.
  2. Customs Valuation: The customs authorities in South Korea will assess the value of the imported goods to determine applicable duties and taxes. The declared value should be accurate and supported by the necessary documentation.
  3. Tariffs and Duties: South Korea has a specific tariff schedule based on the Harmonized System (HS) codes. Each product is assigned an HS code, and the corresponding tariff rate is applied during customs clearance. It's important to be aware of the tariff rates that apply to your goods to understand the potential duty costs.
  4. Customs Declaration: The customs declaration is typically completed electronically through the Korea Customs Service (KCS) system. You or your customs broker will need to submit the required information accurately, including details about the goods, their value, quantity, and other relevant specifics.
  5. Customs Inspections: South Korean customs authorities may conduct inspections on imported goods to verify compliance with regulations and to ensure accurate declaration. Random or targeted inspections can delay the clearance process, although most shipments are cleared without physical inspections.
  6. Import Restrictions and Prohibited Items: Certain goods may be subject to import restrictions, regulations, or prohibitions in South Korea. It's important to check the South Korean customs regulations, as well as any specific restrictions or requirements related to the type of goods you are importing.
  7. Additional Fees and Taxes: In addition to customs duties, other fees and taxes may apply during the customs clearance process. These can include value-added tax (VAT), special consumption tax (SCT), customs service fees, and other administrative charges.
  8. Customs Brokerage: Utilizing the services of a licensed customs broker can facilitate the customs clearance process. Customs brokers have expertise in navigating customs procedures, ensuring compliance, and expediting the clearance of goods.

Customs valuation

Customs valuation between Thailand and South Korea refers to the process of determining the value of imported goods for the purpose of calculating customs duties and taxes. It involves assessing the price actually paid or payable for the goods at the time of importation.

The customs valuation process between Thailand and South Korea follows the guidelines set forth by the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Customs Valuation (ACV). Here are some key points related to customs valuation between Thailand and South Korea:

  1. Transaction Value Method: The preferred method for customs valuation is the transaction value method. This method considers the actual price paid or payable for the goods when sold for export to South Korea. It includes the cost of the goods, transportation, insurance, and any other expenses related to the importation.
  2. Identical or Similar Goods: The transaction value method requires that the goods being valued are identical or similar to those being sold in the highest quantity at the same time or nearly the same time of importation.
  3. Related Parties: If the buyer and seller have a relationship that influences the price, the transaction value may still be acceptable if the customs authorities are satisfied that the relationship did not affect the price.
  4. Deductive Value Method: If the transaction value method is not applicable, the deductive value method may be used. This method involves deducting certain costs incurred after the goods arrive in South Korea from the selling price in the country of importation.
  5. Computed Value Method: If neither the transaction value nor the deductive value method can be used, the computed value method may be applied. This method involves determining the customs value based on the cost of production, including materials, labor, overhead, and a reasonable profit margin.
  6. Supporting Documentation: Importers are required to provide proper documentation to support the declared customs value. This includes commercial invoices, purchase orders, contracts, shipping documents, and any other relevant records that demonstrate the price paid or payable for the goods.
  7. Customs Audits and Verifications: Customs authorities may conduct audits or verifications to ensure the accuracy of declared customs values. They may request additional documentation or perform on-site inspections to verify the declared values.

What are the customs duties and taxes in South Korea ?

  • In South Korea, customs duties and taxes are imposed on imported goods. These charges are levied to protect domestic industries, regulate trade, and generate revenue for the government. Here are the key customs duties and taxes applied in South Korea:
    1. Customs Duties: Customs duties, also known as import duties, are tariffs imposed on imported goods. The duty rates vary depending on the classification of the goods and are determined by the Harmonized System (HS) codes. The rates can range from zero to several percentage points, depending on the product category.
    2. Value-Added Tax (VAT): Value-Added Tax is a consumption tax levied on most goods and services in South Korea. For imported goods, VAT is calculated based on the customs value (which includes the cost, insurance, and freight) plus customs duties and other applicable taxes. The standard VAT rate in South Korea is 10%, but there are reduced rates for certain essential goods.
    3. Special Consumption Tax (SCT): Special Consumption Tax is applied to specific goods that are considered luxury or non-essential items, such as automobiles, tobacco, alcohol, and petroleum products. The tax rates for these goods vary depending on the category and are typically calculated based on quantity, volume, or value.
    4. Education Tax: Education Tax is an additional tax imposed on certain imported goods to support the development of education in South Korea. The tax rate is generally 20% of the customs value, including customs duties, VAT, and other applicable taxes.
    5. Customs Service Fee: A Customs Service Fee is charged for the processing and administration of customs formalities. The fee is typically calculated based on the customs value of the imported goods and is subject to a minimum charge.

How to calculate customs duties and taxes?

  1. Identify the correct HS code for your goods. The HS code is an internationally standardized system that classifies products based on their nature, composition, and intended use. It helps determine the applicable tariff rates.
  2. Consult the South Korean Customs Tariff Schedule: Access the South Korean Customs Tariff Schedule to find the specific tariff rates associated with the HS code for your goods. The tariff schedule provides detailed information on the rates, including any preferential trade agreements or specific conditions.
  3. Calculate Customs Duties: Multiply the customs value by the applicable tariff rate (expressed as a percentage) to determine the customs duty amount. For example, if the customs value is $10,000 and the tariff rate is 5%, the customs duty would be $500.
  4. Determine Additional Taxes and Fees: In South Korea, imported goods may be subject to Value-Added Tax (VAT), Special Consumption Tax (SCT), Education Tax, and Customs Service Fees. Check the rates and regulations for each tax or fee and calculate the amounts based on the customs value, including customs duties.
  5. Calculate the Total Customs Duties and Taxes: Add up the customs duties, VAT, SCT, Education Tax, and any other applicable fees to determine the total amount of customs duties and taxes payable.

For example, here is the applicable tariff for apples in South Korea:

tax and import duties in south korea

What is the HS code?

The HS code (Harmonized System) is a classification system widely used in international trade to categorize products based on their nature and intended use. It helps facilitate the customs clearance process and enables the collection of statistical data. With over 5,000 different products, each item is assigned a unique eight-digit number within the HS system. This classification system simplifies the identification and organization of goods, streamlining international trade procedures.

hs code ananas

You can consult these websites to know the HS code of the Thailand products and the South Korean products

How to find the HS code?

  1. Determine the nature and intended use of the product you want to import or export.
  2. Visit the website of the World Customs Organization (WCO) using the provided link.
  3. Use the search bar on the WCO website and enter the name or description of your product.
  4. The search results will display the corresponding HS code for your product, along with any additional information or classifications.

Calculating customs duties with the HS Code France

Customs Tariffs

Customs tariffs are imposed by South Korea on certain imported products, although the country has signed several free trade agreements (FTAs) that have considerably reduced customs tariffs between member countries. The specific customs tariffs in South Korea can vary based on the type of product and the country from which it is imported.

For instance, imported cars may be subject to customs tariffs of up to 8%, while agricultural products may face higher customs tariffs, reaching up to 513%. These tariff rates are applied to protect domestic industries, regulate trade, and generate revenue for the government.

However, it's important to note that through free trade agreements, South Korea has established preferential tariff rates or even eliminated tariffs altogether with partner countries. These FTAs aim to promote international trade and create a more favorable environment for business and commerce.

The exact customs tariffs are applicable to a specific product and its origin can be determined by referencing the South Korean Customs Tariff Schedule or by consulting with the customs authorities in South Korea. It's advisable for importers to stay updated on the tariff rates and take advantage of any preferential rates offered through free trade agreements to reduce costs and promote trade between countries.

Does Siam Shipping charge customs duties?

Siam Shipping does not charge any commission fees. They will provide you with all the official documents required by the South Korea customs for your shipment. The only fees collected by Siam Shipping will be related to customs clearance services, as they handle the declaration of your goods to the customs on your behalf.

It's important to note that the customs duties and taxes associated with your shipment will be collected by the government. Siam Shipping is responsible for assisting you with the customs clearance process, ensuring that your goods are properly declared and facilitating a smooth customs clearance experience.

Customs procedures and contact

customs procedure

Siam Shipping Info: Customs clearance can be a complex aspect of the transportation process that should not be overlooked. Failing to complete it properly can result in additional fees or delays. We strongly recommend reaching out to us so that we can handle your customs clearance on your behalf. This will ensure a smoother and more efficient process for you.

Required documents

  1. Bill of Lading (B/L): This document serves as a contract between the shipper and the carrier, detailing the terms and conditions of the shipment. It includes information such as the type of goods, quantity, weight, and destination.
  2. Commercial Invoice: The commercial invoice provides a detailed description of the goods being shipped, including their value, quantity, and total cost. It is used for customs purposes and helps determine the applicable duties and taxes.
  3. Packing List: This document itemizes the contents of each package or container in the shipment. It includes information such as the number of units, dimensions, weight, and a description of the goods.
  4. Certificate of Origin: This document certifies the country of origin of the goods being shipped. It may be required for customs clearance and can impact the assessment of import duties and taxes.
  5. Import/Export Declaration: This document contains information about the goods being imported or exported, including their classification, value, and other relevant details. It is used for customs clearance and compliance purposes.
  6. Insurance Certificate: While not mandatory, it is advisable to have an insurance certificate to cover the goods during transit. This document provides evidence of insurance coverage and protects against loss or damage.
  7. Freight Booking Confirmation: This document confirms the booking of the freight with the shipping company. It includes details such as the vessel name, voyage number, and estimated departure and arrival dates.
  8. Customs Documents: Various customs documents may be required, such as import/export permits, customs declaration forms, and any additional documentation specific to the type of goods being shipped.

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SIAM Shipping | Procurement - Quality control - Logistics


Alibaba, Dhgate, made-in-china... Many know of websites to get supplies in Asia, but how many have come across a scam ?! It is very risky to pay an Asian supplier halfway around the world based only on promises! DocShipper offers you complete procurement services integrating logistics needs: purchasing, quality control, customization, licensing, transport...

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