South Korea - Country Commercial Guide
Import Tariffs
Last published date:

The United States–Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) entered into force on March 15, 2012. Korea immediately eliminated duties on nearly 80 percent of bilateral trade in industrial and consumer goods. Duties on most other such goods were phased out in stages over 10 years and have been eliminated as of January 1, 2021. The United States and Korea reached agreement in 2018 to modifications and amendments to KORUS and a related letter exchange. The United States and Korea meet regularly to review the implementation and operation of KORUS and to address outstanding issues.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s FTA Tariff Tool can help U.S. exporters identify the harmonized system number for their products and the associated tariff rates. Exporters can also contact the U.S. Agricultural Trade Office, affiliated with the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, for specific information on agricultural tariff rates.

Korea also maintains a tariff quota system designed to stabilize domestic commodity markets. Customs duties can be adjusted every six months, within the limit of the basic rate, plus or minus 40 percent.

Customs Valuation

Korea has a flat 10 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on all imports and domestically manufactured goods. A special excise tax of 10-20 percent is also levied on the importation of certain luxury items and durable consumer goods. Tariffs and taxes must be paid in Korean Won within 15 days after goods have cleared Customs. 

Customs Valuation

Duties are assessed on a Cost-Insurance-Freight (CIF) basis. The main mode of customs evaluation is the transaction value method. Other methods under the WTO appraisement hierarchy may be used if there are doubts about Korean Customs valuation methods on the stated value.

A Value Added Tax rate of 10 percent is applied on imports based on customs value plus duties.

To look up duties and tariffs use  Customs Info Database tariff look-up tool, available on (free registration required), to estimate duties and taxes.