Prohibited & Restricted Items

Travelers entering or leaving Korea should be aware of certain restricted items that are not to be carried into or out of the country. Prohibited items carried into the country will be confiscated. In addition, any passenger found to be carrying a prohibited or restricted item during the Customs investigation is subject to punishment in accordance with the Korean laws regarding customs.

Prohibited Items

  • Books, photos, films, and other items of similar nature that are in violation of constitutional orders, or may be harmful to public peace and customs.
  • Items that contain confidential information on government or intelligence activities.
  • Counterfeit, forged, or fake money, bank notes, bonds, and other securities.

Restricted Items

The items listed below are restricted from entry to Korea.

  • All weapons (including replicas & decorations) such as guns & swords, as well as gunpowder, explosives, toxins, etc.
  • Illegal drugs such as opium, marijuana/cannabis, cocaine, etc.
  • Wildlife protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and products made from these animals
  • Means of payment in foreign currency (excluding promissory notes, bills of exchange, and letters of credit), domestic currency (KRW) or won-denominated travelers checks exceeding $10,000 USD (Must be declared to Customs upon arrival and departure)
  • Cashier’s checks, overdraft checks, postal money orders, etc.
  • Precious metals (gold rings or necklaces used daily not included) and securities (Restricted import/export)
  • Cultural properties (Restricted export)
  • Goods subject to the Fisheries Act and the Rules on Migration and Approval of Marine Animals and Plants (Restricted export)
  • Goods that may threaten the quality of water resources and the growth of saplings for culturing.
  • Designated natural assets
  • Goods subject to the laws on the treatment and movement of waste matter between countries (Restricted import/export)
  • Plants, fruits & vegetables, and agricultural & forestry products (Restricted import/export)
  • Animal products (including meat, skin, fur), livestock, and animal fodder (Restricted import)

Prohibited & Restricted Items Aboard Aircrafts

Following Article 44 of the Aviation Safety and Security Act of Korea, certain items are prohibited and/or restricted from being carried on the flight. Passengers found to be carrying any of the prohibited or restricted items listed below are subject to punishment in accordance with the law.

∙ Prohibited items onboard

  • Explosive, flammable, or toxic items (hand grenades, butane gas, etc.)
  • Explosives and toxic items are also prohibited from checked-in baggage.
  • Items which can be used as weapons (knifes, firearms, sporting goods, construction tools, etc.)
  • Dangerous items are prohibited from being carried on, but may be allowed in checked-in baggage. Note that firearms can be checked-in only after confirming the necessary documents (ownership confirmation, holders permit, etc.) and storing the firearm separately from the ammunition. Self-protection sprays are limited to one bottle (less than 100ml) per passenger.

∙ Restricted items onboard (Permitted within the approved limits)

As of March 1, 2007, restrictions are imposed on the carry-on of liquids, gels, and aerosols into the cabin on all international flights (including transfers)

  • Liquids, gels, and aerosols (cosmetics, perfume, shampoo, hair gel, spray deodorant, etc.)
    • • Carry-on allowance: Less than 100ml per container / One transparent plastic bag of all containers with a total of less than 1 liter per passenger
    • • Conditions of carry-on:
      * All containers must be placed in a transparent 1-liter, 20cm × 20cm zip-top plastic bag.
      (Bags are available for purchase at convenience stores, drug stores and book stores located inside of the airport.
    • * Only completely sealed bags will be allowed as carry-on.

* Liquids, gels, and aerosols must be separated from other carry-on baggage when going through security inspection.

* Duty free items (including liquid and gel forms) are allowed to be carried on regardless of the item’s volume. All products will be placed in tamper-evident bags and can be collected at the pick-up counters in the designated area of the airport. The bags should not be opened before boarding, and all products should remain in the bag until the plane arrives at the destination country. For more detailed information, please contact the airline service you are traveling with as the rules may differ by airline and destination.

Detailed information about prohibited & restricted items

- Korea Customs Service website: www.customs.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish)
- Incheon International Airport website: www.airport.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Information courtesy of Korea Customs Service & Incheon International Airport

This page was last updated on September 11, 2017, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here.