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  • cspauld
  • Waygookin

    • 13

    • March 02, 2010, 09:17:21 am
    • south korea
Re: 2 Laptops stuck in customs.
« Reply #40 on: May 19, 2011, 07:19:51 am »
I had this same problem a couple months ago. I would suggest calling the courier company. They will have someone who can speak English. I ended up speaking with a man at the Customs office, though his English ability was not great.

What ended up happening for me, was I informed him that I was on a one year contract and would be leaving Korea once my contract was up. I ended up having to send him a lot of information and a customs import declaration. After about a week and a half I ended up paying the tax but will get it all back when I leave, as long as I send them my export declaration.


  • goulash
  • Veteran

    • 160

    • September 19, 2006, 01:41:40 pm
    • Yeosu
Re: 2 Laptops stuck in customs.
« Reply #41 on: May 19, 2011, 07:54:40 am »
I'm not trying to stir the pot but I strongly believe people have no right to argue when fees, fines, etc are applied to situations people find themselves in. Therefore I have no sympathy when people complain. Part of our responsibility living abroad is learning the laws and customs of our host countries and abiding by them.

Who's complaining or arguing? Every poster has been informative and at most has said it was a hassle, but no big problem. The OP has shown a reasonable amount of surprise at how much they have to pay, but I wouldn't really call it a complaint.

Yes, we should learn the laws of our host country... but I don't think many of us studied international law, so I doubt if we'll know all the laws about everything until we encounter a situation in which we need to be informed.

To the OP, yes, it does suck a bit when you have to pay for a gift, but as someone has stated, if you keep all your documentation, you should be able to get the tax back when you depart Korea. Just make sure you keep copies of all the forms and paperwork they ask for.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 07:57:03 am by goulash »
Goulash
walkabout.wombat@gmail.com


Re: 2 Laptops stuck in customs.
« Reply #42 on: May 19, 2011, 07:59:37 am »
In order to get your package out of customs you need to email this guy minwon9@customs.go.kr
with a list of what is in the box. I had an ipad on the way over and it got stuck in customs I told him it was a gift in the email. I did not specify what was in the box and I was sent an email back with saying, " your ipad will be delivered in 2 days." I had to pay 70,000 won upon delivery. I hope that helps. And the 70k was far less than I expected to pay.


Re: 2 Laptops stuck in customs.
« Reply #43 on: May 19, 2011, 08:07:53 am »
Damn.  So 10% of roughly $1000 is $100.  Plus some random fee?  so like 150ish maybe 200... What an awesome gift!

If you don't want to pay the $150 to get the computers through customs, I'd happily take them off your hands.


  • flips
  • Veteran

    • 137

    • August 07, 2010, 09:28:04 am
Re: 2 Laptops stuck in customs.
« Reply #44 on: May 19, 2011, 08:22:55 am »
I'm not trying to stir the pot but I stronly believe people have no right to argue when fees, fines, etc are applied to situations people find themselves in. Therefore I have no sympathy when people complain. Part of our responsibility living abroad is learning the laws and customs of our host countries and abiding by them.

agreed. however it's also the responsibility of the korean customs office to make information about the rules and regulations readily available for foreigners. the duty and tax calculator for individual items on the website has been broken for more than six months now, and more than a few of the numbers, for different customs offices are either non-existent, out-dated, or simply wrong. in fact, when my co-teacher called the number for the daejeon customs office she ended up speaking to a hospital receptionist.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 08:37:33 am by flips »


  • heyitslep
  • Super Waygook

    • 253

    • April 08, 2011, 04:51:52 pm
    • Near Cheongju
Re: 2 Laptops stuck in customs.
« Reply #45 on: May 19, 2011, 08:48:55 am »
Yeah their website is poorly designed and rather inaccessible in English. They wouldn't have to necessarily change too much, they could just even insert javascript popups into links with English text so you can understand what you're doing.

I recently got my laptop here from the states as I had talked about in other threads. I ended up paying $170 for it in customs fees, but it's not like I had a choice in the matter. Do I feel those fees suck? You betcha! But it's not like customs fees aren't universal, it's just the first time we're experiencing them as foreigners.


  • pyeager
  • Fanatical Supporter!

    • 221

    • January 19, 2010, 08:19:14 am
    • Korea
Re: 2 Laptops stuck in customs.
« Reply #46 on: May 19, 2011, 09:39:53 am »
agreed. however it's also the responsibility of the korean customs office to make information about the rules and regulations readily available for foreigners. the duty and tax calculator for individual items on the website has been broken for more than six months now, and more than a few of the numbers, for different customs offices are either non-existent, out-dated, or simply wrong. in fact, when my co-teacher called the number for the daejeon customs office she ended up speaking to a hospital receptionist.
I agree that it would be nice if everything were available in English, but I think saying that they have a responsibility to do it goes too far. (I'm not really sure you were saying that rules and regulations should be readily available in English or not, but from your tone that's what I'm guessing.) I'm American, and the US only provides customs info in English and Spanish. Would it be nice if they translated it into more languages? Yes, but I don't think it's really their duty.

Also, the fee calculator seems to working fine, at least for me. Notebooks are 10%.


Re: 2 Laptops stuck in customs.
« Reply #47 on: May 19, 2011, 09:47:58 am »
Damn.  So 10% of roughly $1000 is $100.  Plus some random fee?  so like 150ish maybe 200... What an awesome gift!

If you don't want to pay the $150 to get the computers through customs, I'd happily take them off your hands.

Ditto!

Do the customs fees only apply to new items? Or do they apply to used electronics as well?


  • w4z
  • Veteran

    • 205

    • November 30, 2010, 10:12:55 am
    • USA
Re: 2 Laptops stuck in customs.
« Reply #48 on: May 19, 2011, 10:05:37 am »
Most informative thread ive read so far. Does anyone think they would hold brand new xbox360/ps3 games if there were over 6 games in the one package?

The only international shipping experience I have is shipping stuff from America to foreign countries.  In order for expensive items to fly under the customs RADAR, you have to lie about the value of the item.  I don't recommend this since it's illegal.  With that said, many people do this.  I sold something on Ebay once and the guy was in the UK.  The item was worth over 500$.  He wanted me to label it as a gift and under 100$.  I didn't do that.  He gave me a negative review and tried to get his money back.


Re: 2 Laptops stuck in customs.
« Reply #49 on: May 19, 2011, 10:08:18 am »
Yeah, it stinks getting gifts from over seas. If it is anything electronic over $150, just get the cash. It might sound kind of "cheap," but you will save more in the long run. My family just deposit the money into my US account or give it to my Mother to deposit. It works out for me, because I have to transfer money back to the states for student loans. This saves me a step. All of my family got together and sent me some nice packages with small things in it and then deposited money into my bank account.


  • w4z
  • Veteran

    • 205

    • November 30, 2010, 10:12:55 am
    • USA
Re: 2 Laptops stuck in customs.
« Reply #50 on: May 19, 2011, 10:09:44 am »
So my coteacher helped me fill out some kind of form and she faxed it yesterday.  I had to put my ARC number, the contents of the package, and if it was a gift or not.  I'll keep you guys updated on the process and price.


  • cspauld
  • Waygookin

    • 13

    • March 02, 2010, 09:17:21 am
    • south korea
Re: 2 Laptops stuck in customs.
« Reply #51 on: May 19, 2011, 10:40:57 am »
I agree that it would be nice if everything were available in English, but I think saying that they have a responsibility to do it goes too far. (I'm not really sure you were saying that rules and regulations should be readily available in English or not, but from your tone that's what I'm guessing.) I'm American, and the US only provides customs info in English and Spanish. Would it be nice if they translated it into more languages? Yes, but I don't think it's really their duty.



Here's the Korean Customs Law in English.
http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/apcity/unpan011497.pdf

I believe articles 98 & 99 to be the relevant ones.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 10:43:03 am by cspauld »


Re: 2 Laptops stuck in customs.
« Reply #52 on: May 19, 2011, 10:51:25 am »
Well, I never had electronics shipped over, but I did have a sort of similar situation when I shipped my skateboard over here.

Overall, the deck and parts were around $180 USD so I think that's why it got flagged at customs. Basically what ended up happening was they called me at my school (how they got the number I have no idea) and asked if I ordered the skateboard. I said yes, and then they said that I had to pay 33,000 for the customs. They sent me a text on my phone with the account # to transfer it to.

I did the transfer the next day and my skateboard was delivered to my school a few days later!


  • flips
  • Veteran

    • 137

    • August 07, 2010, 09:28:04 am
Re: 2 Laptops stuck in customs.
« Reply #53 on: May 19, 2011, 11:16:24 am »

I agree that it would be nice if everything were available in English, but I think saying that they have a responsibility to do it goes too far. (I'm not really sure you were saying that rules and regulations should be readily available in English or not, but from your tone that's what I'm guessing.) I'm American, and the US only provides customs info in English and Spanish. Would it be nice if they translated it into more languages? Yes, but I don't think it's really their duty.

Also, the fee calculator seems to working fine, at least for me. Notebooks are 10%.

http://english.customs.go.kr/kcsweb/user.tdf?a=user.customtariff.CustomTariffApp&c=1001&mc=ENGLISH_INFORMATION_KOREA this is the link to tariff database. unless i am doing something improperly, it still is not working. the korean customs service has recognized that there is a legitimate need for an english language version of their rules, regulations, fees, etc., otherwise they would not have created an english language korean customs service website in the first place. my issue is that they have done a shoddy job making the information available and accessible in english. my co-teacher and i had to go to the korean language version of the website to get the proper number to call them. in total, it really isn't that big of a deal, but it would be nice if they included simple things like working contact numbers.


  • flips
  • Veteran

    • 137

    • August 07, 2010, 09:28:04 am
Re: 2 Laptops stuck in customs.
« Reply #54 on: May 19, 2011, 11:21:46 am »
So the moral of the story is....lie.

Always underestimate the value of the packages that are sent here.

Take off the tags and packaging so they look used.

Add a lil dirt to stuff so it doesn't look so new.

I've had tons of stuff sent to me and have brought a bunch of new stuff from home. I haven't had any problems.

lol, this is your best option if you like to roll the dice and not pay money. i do this for everything except electronics and other irreplaceable valuables. korean customs seems to actually randomly inspect very few packages, and seem to "take your word for it" that a giant and heavy box holds a collection of items, valued at less than $50. however if you wish to have your package insured, which you should if it is something of value and/or importance to you, then you can't circumvent the customs fee.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 11:23:30 am by flips »


  • climber
  • Super Waygook

    • 270

    • January 02, 2011, 06:52:36 pm
    • Ilsan
Re: 2 Laptops stuck in customs.
« Reply #55 on: May 19, 2011, 11:33:17 am »
I had to fax my arc, passport photo page, and visa page to them. I had a 700,000 won laptop shipped here from the states. I told them it was a present that my parents gave me. Don't say it is brand new, but you can say it is a month old computer your parents are sending you. That is what I said and they did not make me pay taxes.


Re: 2 Laptops stuck in customs.
« Reply #56 on: May 19, 2011, 12:24:04 pm »
In order to get your package out of customs you need to email this guy minwon9@customs.go.kr
with a list of what is in the box. I had an ipad on the way over and it got stuck in customs I told him it was a gift in the email. I did not specify what was in the box and I was sent an email back with saying, " your ipad will be delivered in 2 days." I had to pay 70,000 won upon delivery. I hope that helps. And the 70k was far less than I expected to pay.

Does this person speak English? A package I have been expecting hasn't arrived. Today is the 16th day since it was sent. I'm still hoping it will come but I'm starting to worry now. I haven't received any mail to tell me that customs has it and short of it being stolen/lost this is the only other option I can think of. I just want to investigate to see if customs does indeed have my parcel.

Also would video games be considered electronics?


Re: 2 Laptops stuck in customs.
« Reply #57 on: May 20, 2011, 03:23:38 pm »
Bump  :blank:


  • heyitslep
  • Super Waygook

    • 253

    • April 08, 2011, 04:51:52 pm
    • Near Cheongju
Re: 2 Laptops stuck in customs.
« Reply #58 on: May 20, 2011, 09:19:55 pm »
In order to get your package out of customs you need to email this guy minwon9@customs.go.kr
with a list of what is in the box. I had an ipad on the way over and it got stuck in customs I told him it was a gift in the email. I did not specify what was in the box and I was sent an email back with saying, " your ipad will be delivered in 2 days." I had to pay 70,000 won upon delivery. I hope that helps. And the 70k was far less than I expected to pay.

Does this person speak English? A package I have been expecting hasn't arrived. Today is the 16th day since it was sent. I'm still hoping it will come but I'm starting to worry now. I haven't received any mail to tell me that customs has it and short of it being stolen/lost this is the only other option I can think of. I just want to investigate to see if customs does indeed have my parcel.

Also would video games be considered electronics?

Check your shipping tracking number. Where is it? USPS, FedEx, and DHL all have tracking numbers.


Re: 2 Laptops stuck in customs.
« Reply #59 on: May 20, 2011, 10:17:50 pm »
Find some way to prove they were "used" and you won't have to pay anything. If they were sent in the original boxes, unopened.. well.. ur stuck. You'll have to pay the taxes. 

Just friendly advice to anyone buying something from back home.. have it removed from the original box and placed in a different box. As soon as the item is touched outside the original box.. It's used. No taxes apply.
If you teach a class that has all special needs kids with only the physical ability to move their hands up and down, then you'll be fired because they all gave you checks instead of circles.