The Korea Customs Service is pursuing a plan to expand the duty-free limit (2 bottles + 2 liters + $400 or less) for alcohol purchased and brought in by overseas travelers. In addition, a system will be established where customs duties on low-value items such as overseas direct purchases can be paid through simple payments such as Kakao Pay.
On the 13th, the Korea Customs Service announced the ‘2024 Main Business Promotion Plan of the Korea Customs Service’ containing these contents. The Korea Customs Service first decided to push for a duty-free limit on alcoholic beverages to increase the convenience of travelers entering and exiting the country. Currently, duty exemption applies to alcoholic beverages priced under $400 and up to 2 bottles or 2 liters. The Korea Customs Service is said to be considering a plan to exclude miniatures, which are received additionally when purchasing liquor, etc., from the duty-free quantity limit. From January 1 this year, the Korea Customs Service also raised the duty-free limit for perfume from 60mℓ to 100mℓ.
The Korea Customs Service also plans to establish a system that will allow payment through simple payments such as Kakao Pay if the tariff on goods brought into the country through overseas direct purchase (direct purchase) or overseas travel is less than 2 million won. We also provide a service to issue a ‘tasty payment certificate’ that proves that there is no customs duty delinquency through government 24 or private apps.
Refunds will be expanded immediately to encourage domestic consumption by foreign tourists. The existing ‘one-time transaction price less than 500,000 won, total amount less than 2.5 million won’ will be changed to ‘one-time transaction price less than 1 million won, total amount less than 5 million won.’
A tight enforcement network will also be established to restore the country’s status as a drug-free country. The Korea Customs Service decided to strengthen joint crackdowns on the global drug supply chain with Thailand, Vietnam, the Netherlands, and drug-prone countries (including 10 ASEAN countries), and to dispatch drug intelligence officers to Thailand and Vietnam. Additionally, this year, joint crackdowns with ASEAN and Germany will be pursued. In addition, 16 millimeter wave scanners that can scan the entire body of each person in 3 seconds will be installed at airports and ports across the country, while universal screening of travelers on high-traffic flights will also be expanded.
In addition, the Korea Customs Service is also strengthening measures to eradicate identity theft of personal customs clearance codes. The system will be changed so that customs clearance is only possible if the code, name, and phone number all match, and an identity verification process will also be introduced when making overseas direct purchases. In addition, we decided to establish a high-traffic transaction screening system that compares transaction information obtained from major e-commerce platforms (Coupang, 11th Street, etc.) with import declaration information.
The Korea Customs Service plans to require importers to report imported goods information to the head of the customs office in the same way as express goods for health functional foods and medicines that are being brought in without an import declaration through international mail. In addition, the Korea Customs Service said it plans to improve the hit rate of the AI selection process by expanding the artificial intelligence (AI)-based classification model from general cargo to express cargo.
It also supports the growth of import and export companies. It helps companies reduce costs by improving the way they report and pay customs duties each time they import. It was decided to allow only honest companies to report and pay a month’s worth of income on a monthly basis, and to extend the payment deadline to 60 days after the date of import. Ko Gwang-hyo, Commissioner of the Korea Customs Service, said, “Centered on the ‘Smart Innovation Promotion Team’ launched in October last year, we will expand freedom of economic activity by comprehensively reforming unreasonable or unnecessary regulations from the public’s perspective, and improve the efficiency of customs administration by utilizing new technologies such as AI and big data. “We will improve customs administration and accuracy,” he said. “We will support the development of customs administration in developing countries and take the lead in international standardization of K-customs administration, including expanding the overseas distribution of Unipass.”
Sejong = Reporter Lee Hee-kyung [email protected]
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