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International Moving Company to South Korea

Published on Jul 28, 2021 by Kfir Cohen

SDC International Shipping is an international moving company to South Korea, sending commercial and residential shipments from locations throughout the United States to destinations everywhere in South Korea. 

As South Korea’s economic miracle continues, it has become a location where international businesses must represent. Each year we send dozens of Americans moving to South Korea to work for a few years or to return South Korean citizens who have been working or studying in the United States for several years.

What’s on this page?

01 | International Household Moving to South Korea
02 | International Car Shipping to South Korea
03 | South Korea Customs and Regulations
04 | Moving to South Korea Checklist
05 | International Shipping Options to Korea

South Korea is a relatively densely populated country. While there are a few single-family homes, most Koreans live in apartments or condos of about 1000 sq. foot size. While this is not far different from the size of many American apartments, it will be smaller than what they are living in now for many of our clients. For them, they’ll have to choose carefully what furniture they bring and what they leave behind.

International Household Moving to Korea

One thing that you will not want to leave behind is your bedroom furniture. The mattresses in South Korea will be quite different from what you are used to, slightly smaller and much harder. Also, bring along extra sheets to fit your bed sizes.

It gets cold in South Korea, so pack your warm clothes, outerwear, and blankets. You should, of course, bring all of your clothes with you, but stock up on cold-weather clothes. If you are tall or extra sized, you might find it difficult to find clothes in South Korea, so bring extra. AS many Americans will not find their shoe sizes readily stocked in Korean stores, you should put several spare pairs of shoes into your shipment. If you are a skier, you will want to bring your skis with you, but you send your ski boots. Just like shoes, you might find it hard to get ski boots in your size.

Many things available in the United States are superior in quality to those you will find in South Korea, and you will want to bring those along. In addition to clothes, consider bringing towels, both for the bath and the kitchen, toiletries, cosmetics, etc.

Your pets are a part of the family. Of course, they will come with you on the plane and be sent in your shipping container, but don’t forget to send necessary pet supplies. You should NOT send pet food.

Remember that the weather in South Korea changes drastically throughout the year. You will need a humidifier in the winter. Many apartments will have one, if not, get one right away.

International Car Shipping to South Korea

If you are moving to South Korea from the United States, you can bring your automobile with you. To send it, the shipper of the car must be the registered owner. You will need to send the original title and registration to SDC (they will be returned to you). You will also need to show your insurance policy and the original purchase contract, including automobile details.

Cars can be sent within sea shipping containers. At times they are also sent separately from your cargo in dedicated automobile transport containers. Larger cars will be sent using the RO-RO (roll on roll off) method. Particular methods will vary on the pickup location. Your logistics coordinator will work with you to make sure that everything will be done on time.

Your car will have to pass the South Korean environmental tests for noise and emissions levels.

Other Popular Destination Countries in Asia:

Korea Customs and Regulations

Only used goods can be imported to South Korea without paying taxes. If you are bringing new items, they are subject to South Korean VAT of 10%. There is an excise tax between 10-20% on several luxury items. Check the South Korean Customs Service for the most accurate information in English.

To enter South Korea, you are not required by law to be immunized. The American CDC, however, highly recommends that anyone going to South Korea and has not previously received the MMR vaccine get it before traveling. Other necessary vaccinations that American probably doesn’t already have to include Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, DTP, typhoid and Japanese encephalitis.

Moving to Korea Checklist

Before you move, there are a few things that you need to get in order well before the moving van arrives:

  • Update your American passports before leaving. If you can renew your driver’s licenses, it is recommended.
  • Make sure that your employer has enrolled you and your family in South Korea’s National Health Insurance. While this works differently than the American health insurance model, it is still paid through work. If you are being employed as independent contractors, it will be paid similar to taxes.
  • If you have children who need to be in school, you should check out the education options early. In South Korea, there are International Schools and Foreign Schools both of which will offer instruction in English. Do this early, as there are options that will affect your choice of place to live, etc.
  • You will need your children’s school records and immunization proof.
  • If you are a Costco member, bring your card, it will work throughout South Korea.
  • When you bring your pet to South Korea, you will need to show that they have been vaccinated. The APHIS form will contain this information. The last rabies vaccination should be at least 30 days prior to import or they will be quarantined. All pets should have microchips. This will also be stated on the APHIS form, have it filled in by a vet no more than 10 days before your departure.

Read more: The Ultimate International Relocation Checklist

International Shipping Options to Korea

South Korea, with its export based economy, has several major seaports. Most shipments go through the major port of Ulsan, with some shipments going through Incheon near Seoul. We can send 20’ containers and 40’ containers, and occasionally also 40’ “high cube” containers when necessary.

If you send a car in the shipment, it will be the last thing placed in the container. Please note that even full container load shipments with door-to-door delivery are usually opened and transferred to moving vans in South Korea upon customs clearance. Even if there is no automobile in your shipment, do not expect to receive a sealed container at your destination.

You can also send smaller shipments. SDC International Shipping sends less than full container load shipments (LCL) to South Korea starting from 100 cubic feet cargo size.

Sea shipping from the United States to South Korea takes 5-8 weeks door to door, depending upon the exact location. Air cargo can be sent to most locations in South Korea in a few days. While far quicker than sea cargo, air cargo is expensive, and it is billed upon weight rather than volume. Typically our business clients choose this method, but it is impractical for our residential clients.

If you are moving to South Korea temporarily, you might want to store a portion of your things and send a portion across the Pacific. SDC International Shipping is well equipped to do this for you. We can pick up all of your things, sending a portion to South Korea, and store the remainder until your return. We offer our relocation clients for the first month of storage complimentary. Speak with your relocation specialist about affordable long term storage rates.

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