Moving to South Korea from the USA

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If you are moving to South Korea from the USA in 2022 or searching for more information about shipping to South Korea, then you have come to the right place. 

On this page, you will learn about our services, the international removal process, car shipping regulations in South Korea, and much more. 

SDC International Shipping has assisted hundreds of American families, returning Korean citizens, and students to professionally move the contents of their household items. 

We also undertake full vehicle removals as well as fragile and delicate artwork pieces and bulky items like pianos all across South Korea. These are popular destinations, including Seoul, Busan, Jeju City, Incheon, Daegu, Daejeon, Gwangju, and everywhere in between. 


Why Are People Moving to South Korea from the USA?

Americans are attracted to South Korea because of its economic achievements. For example, did you know that the county boasts the fourth-largest economy in the world? Plus, it outpaces some European countries like Germany and Sweden in terms of innovation.

According to 2021 data, there were around 150,000 American expats who worked in finance, academic environment, engineering, education, etc. South Korea also has stunning nature. Known as the “Land of the Morning Calm,” it offers beautiful landscapes and parks where you can reboot your mind and soul after a busy week. 

Markedly, South Korea has a robust international presence. When Americans first arrive here, they are surprised that many locals fluently converse in English. It embraced many foreign cultural trends evident in music, fashion, and pop culture. With that said, authentic traditions and culture have not been compromised at all. This is why South Korea is such an interesting and truly exotic place to live. On the one hand, you will be living in a highly progressive society with all the modern amenities. On the other, you will enjoy the local indestructible foundations passed through centuries, not without their charm. 


What to Know About Moving to South Korea 

Whether you are an expat or a returning citizen moving to South Korea from the USA, you will want to move your belongings. However, as with other countries, the shipping process involves a lot of paperwork and duties/taxes payment. 

Some of the requirements are: 

  • Your passport;
  • PR card or work permit to prove you will stay in the country at least 12 months;
  • All shipping items must be declared, and you should have an inventory with a detailed description of each item, including its value; 
  • Insurance certificate;
  • Your new address in South Korea and a phone number;
  • Duties levy is applied to items that are less than six months; 
  • Old or new items whose value is over $1,500 are dutiable too; 
  • You will have to pay duties on electronic equipment and cars and vehicles;
  • 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 250 grams of tobacco, 1 liter of alcohol, 2 ounces of perfume are duty-free;
  • Banned items are narcotics and drugs without prescription, guns, porno materials, meat and fish; 
  • Rifles require a special permit.

Our removal team handles international shipping expertly. You don’t need to spend time sorting out all these requirements. Instead, we can pull together all the documents and help you fill them out.  

Our Removal Services to South Korea

We provide a complete range of services for overseas shipping with different service packages based on your situation. So whether you need to move a one-bedroom or a three-bedroom apartment to South Korea, we can accommodate every need. When it comes to transportation modes, you can send your items via ocean freight or air in a Full Load Container (FCL) or Less Container Load (LCL). 

If you are unsure about the shipping method and container size, you can always consult our removal specialists. In the meanwhile, check out the list of our services.

  • Door-to-door solution; 
  • Port-to-port services;
  • Shipping to any destination in South Korea; 
  • House call to survey belonging; 
  • Help with inventory list;
  • Assistance with documentation; 
  • Up-to-date customs forms and requirements; 
  • FCL and LCL container service; 
  • International moving insurance; 
  • Storage in the USA or South Korea if required; 
  • Tailored services for shipping artwork items and pianos; 
  • Professional crating and packing service for any items;

If you have the capacity to arrange transport from your premises to the port in the USA, you may favor the port-to-port option. It’s the most affordable as you only pay for the shipping process. 

On the flip side, although door-to-door delivery is more expensive, it comes with lots of conveniences. With this type of service, you can free yourself from planning your own transport service. 

Shipping Motor Vehicles to South Korea 

If you are moving to South Korea from the USA, you can import your auto. However, there are a few conditions to meet. These are: 

  • You should intend to stay in the country for at least 12 months; 
  • Car registration on your name should be done three months before shipping;
  • You won’t be able to ship a Japanese vehicle;
  • Only small and medium cars are allowed, up to 10 seats.

We can ship vehicles in the same container you are shipping your household goods. It can also be shipped separately or on a RoRo vessel. 

You will have to present the following documents: 

  • At least a one-year work permit
  • Original copy of registration; 
  • Proof of purchase (e.g., invoice);
  • Passport; 
  • Insurance; 
  • Customs declaration. 

Please keep in mind that vehicle import is very pricy and we advise that you talk to our removal specialist before making any decision. 

The Total Cost to Ship to South Korea

Many variables are affecting the total cost. To give you some orientation, be ready to pay around $500 for every 50 kg if you book a door-to-door service. You may consider air freight for loads under 100 kg.; it is still a cost-efficient mode for small shipments.  

However, the total cost of moving to South Korea from the USA may vary drastically. Let’s start with the shipping method. Moving your items in an FCL container will cost more than an LCL unit. Similarly, door-to-door delivery will be more expensive than a port-to-port service. Furthermore, are you planning to send your cargo via ocean or air? As you can guess, air freight can seriously hit your wallet, but it is the fastest option. 

We recommend filling out an online quote form to get a starting estimate. 

Shipment Time to South Korea from the USA

While transit by ocean takes 8 to 10 weeks (including customs clearance), airfreight is much shorter – 2-5 days. In addition, you should add the same factors mentioned above. For example, sending your personal effects in a solo container is faster than in a shared unit. Besides, the time varies depending on whether we are shipping from the east or west coast. Then, the schedule of the ship will also affect the delivery time. 


To Insure or Not to Insure? 

Indeed, the question sounds like Shakespeare’s “To be, or not to be, that’s the question.” What are the odds that my shipment will encounter unforeseen perils like ship sinks, and I lose everything, you may ask? Well, the chances are not so big, but worse things still happen in the sea. Even if there are slight chances your cargo goes overbroad, the risk of physical damage is still great. Then why am I paying for professional packing, you may ask? Shouldn’t it protect my things from any possible damage? The answer is yes, and it will significantly reduce these risks, but it isn’t a panacea. 

We are pros at SDC International shipping, and we know how to pack professionally and plan container stowage. So even if your cargo drops, rolls, knocks during transit, etc., your items will be protected. Yet no matter how well a cargo is packed, it is not immune against wet or contamination damage caused by external forces. So the solution is international moving insurance protecting shipments from these kinds of dangers. 

It’s highly recommended to obtain marine insurance before moving your container to South Korea. 

We provide different coverage plans which may apply to the entire shipment or only its part. 


Another Page in Your Life with SDC International 

For seven years, SDC International has been shipping to South Korea. As a result, we have extensive experience with overseas removal services to popular destinations.

Whether you are shipping your household goods to Korea or another country, we can manage every aspect of your move based on your budget and other requirements.  

Call us, write to us, or ask any questions via our chat. Request a free quote today. 

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