Prohibited & Restricted Items

Travelers entering or leaving Korea are to take note of certain restricted items that are not to be carried into or out of the country.

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 strictly prohibited in all places and at all times.

  • All weapons (and their replicas/decorations), including guns, swords, gunpowder, explosives, toxins, etc.
  • Drugs regulated by laws such as marijuana/cannabis, and other narcotic substances.
  • Wildlife protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES); products made from endangered/protected wildlife.
  • Means of payment (promissory notes, bills of exchange, and L/Cs not included), domestic currency (Korean won), and won-denominated travelers checks in amounts of over US $10,000 must be declared to Customs upon arrival and departure.
  • Cashier’s checks, overdraft checks, postal money orders, etc.
  • Jewelry (gold rings or necklaces used daily not included), and securities. (Restricted imports/exports)
  • Cultural properties. (Restricted exports)
  • 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 marine resources and the growth of saplings for culturing.
  • Goods designated as Natural Assets, local specialties and rare goods.
  • Goods subject to the laws on the movement and treatment of wastes between countries. (Restricted imports/exports)
  • Plants, fruits & vegetables, and agricultural & forestry products. (Restricted imports/exports)
  • Animals (meat, skin, and fur) and livestock. (Restricted imports)

Items Prohibited Aboard Airlines

For the safety of aircraft operations and protection of passengers, any person who has carried or loaded prohibited and/or restricted items onto aircraft will be legally punished by imprisonment or grave penalty according to the Article 44 of 「Aviation Safety and Security Act」. However, please be reminded to check with your airlines, appointed international carriers, or agencies whether there are additional changes made in advance of your travel.

<Prohibited Items Onboard>

  • Explosive, flammable, and toxic items (hand grenades, butane gas, etc.)
  • ※ Explosives and toxic items are also prohibited from checked-in baggage.
  • Dangerous 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>

  • Liquids, Gels, and Aerosols (cosmetics, perfume, shampoo, hair gel, spray deodorant, etc.)
  • 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)

Allowable Liquid Amount: Less than 100ml per container / One transparent plastic bag containing less than 1 liter per passenger

<Conditions for Carry-on of Liquids:>

  • Containers should be placed in a transparent 1-liter, 20cm × 20cm sealing plastic bag. (Bags are available for purchase at convenience stores, drug stores and book stores located inside of the airport.)
  • Carry-on is prohibited if the bag is not completely sealed.
  • Before security inspection, passengers must separate these bags from other baggage and present them to the inspectors.

※ 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 at the designated area of the airport. The bags should not be torn before boarding in order to carry them on board, and all products should remain in the bag until the plane arrives at the destination country. For more detailed information, please visit the carrier service you are taking as the rules may differ when traveling to or via another country.

Information provided by Korea Customs Service and Incheon International Airport

Korea Customs Service: (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish)
Incheon International Airport: (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

☞ 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

This page was last updated on May 26, 2016, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here.