There’s a lot to negotiate when you move to a new country. Between language barriers, cultural contrasts, new cuisines, currency exchanges, finding a new place to live, fitting in, and making friends, there’s a lot to think about. And that doesn’t even take into account everything involved with moving your household possessions to your new home. Start by downloading our International Move Checklist.
When you’re making an international move, it pays to have an experienced partner. Here at DeWitt Guam, we have many years of experience in handling all the paperwork, rules, and procedures for importing household goods to a foreign country. Because Guam is a U.S. territory, moves to the U.S. mainland are treated as international moves. As a result, we’ve navigated the process many times over for moves all over the U.S. mainland—and the world.
One of the more popular international locations we’ve worked with is South Korea. If you’re leaving Guam for the Republic of Korea, as it’s officially known, we’ll walk you through all the must-knows for a seamless transition. Or, if you’re headed to Guam from South Korea, we’ll show you exactly what you need to know to join us here in Guam. We’ll start by discussing moves to South Korea.
Must-Knows for Moving to South Korea from Guam
If you’re transitioning from the island of Guam to South Korea, first and foremost, you’ll be trading your 212 mi² island for a vast 38,623 mi² country.
Whereas you might be used to spending your days with 167,294 of your fellow island citizens, South Korea counts 51,709,098 among its population.i South Korea is also the world’s seventh-largest exporter, and the home of several large companies, including Samsung, Hyundai, Kia, and LG.ii Finally, if you choose to live in and around Seoul, the country’s capital, you can be sure your life will feel a lot busier than it did on Guam.
Your move to South Korea will offer you a big change in atmosphere and lifestyle. As you’re preparing to make a smooth transition, here’s what you need to know:
You Need to Be Present to Clear Customs – Before your household goods can clear Customs, you must be physically present in South Korea. (By the way, this isn’t true if you’re moving to Guam. More on that in the next section!)
Bringing Your Pet with You – Because Guam is a rabies-free area, you’ll have a relatively easier time bringing your pet to South Korea. However, there are still a few requirements you’ll need to meet. See below for details.
Documents Needed for Moving Your Household Goods to South Korea:
- Copy of passport, including the photo, entry stamp, and long-term visa pages
- Detailed inventory / packing list (in English)
- Copy of bill of lading (OBL) or sea waybill / air waybill (AWB)
- Alien registration card (ARC) from the Korean Immigration Office
- Certificate of entry and exit (for returning citizens and accompanying family members only)
- For diplomats, you’ll need the application for duty exemption issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Korea
- Customs declaration form
- Power of attorney
South Korea Customs Fees – Your household goods which have been used for more than three months and are generally recognized as personal effects will be exempt from duties, except the items that are subject to mandatory taxation, which are listed below.
- Motor vehicles, excluding vehicles exported from Korea
- Jewelry, pearls, tortoiseshell, corals, pumpkins, ivory, and goods made thereof with taxable prices of KRW 5 million or more per unit
- Alcohol: 1 liter
- Tobacco: 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, and 250 grams of tobacco
- Perfume: 2 ounces
- Personal items: Gifts, new items, etc. up to $400