Market Reports/Tariffs
Textiles, Apparel, Footwear and Travel Goods


Import Tariffs
Market Information

Last updated on 12/12/2012

If you have any questions about the following information, please contact Maria D'Andrea-Yothers at the U.S. Department of Commerce- Office of Textiles and Apparel at 202-482-4058 or click here for e-mail access.

**The following information is provided only as a guide and should be confirmed with the proper authorities before embarking on any export activities.**

Import Tariffs - Korea-South
On March 15, 2012, the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) entered into force. The agreement will eliminate tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade in goods and services, promote economic growth, and enhance trade between the two countries. The Agreement will provide reciprocal duty-free access immediately for most U.S. textile and apparel goods that meet the rules of origin requirements. See the OTEXA web page on the KORUS FTA.

Most Korean tariffs are assessed on an ad valorem basis on the c.i.f. (cost, insurance and freight) value of the imported goods. Specific rates apply to some goods, while both ad valorem and specific rates apply to a few others. Korean ad valorem tariffs on textile and apparel products are shown in the table below.

Korea: Ad valorem tariffs on Textiles, Apparel, Footwear and Travel Goods
HS Chapter/Subheading
Tariff Rate Range (%)
2 - 8
0 - 8
1 - 8
-other vegetable fiber
-man-made fiber
1 - 8
Woven Fabric
-other vegetable fiber
2 - 8
-man-made fiber
8 - 10
Knit Fabric
Non Woven Fabric
Industrial Fabric
8 - 10
8 - 13
Home Furnishings
including: bed, bath, kitchen linens, etc.
8 - 13


Travel Goods



8 - 13


For more information on Korean tariffs, see the Current Situation of Schedules of WTO Members page on the World Trade Organization website or the Korean Customs Service - KCS website.

To obtain information about tariffs on individual U.S.-origin products exported to FTA member countries, you may use the FTA Tariff Tool.

Additional Import Taxes and Fees--Korea has a flat 10 percent VAT (value added tax) on all imports and domestically manufactured goods. The VAT is applied to the c.i.f. value plus all the other duties and taxes. A special excise tax of 1-20 percent is also levied on the import of certain luxury items and durable consumer goods.

Samples/Temporary Entry--Korea allows the temporary importation of commercial samples, professional equipment and certain advertising materials by a nonresident individual. Korea accepts the ATA Carnet, an international Customs document used to temporarily to import certain goods into a country without having to engage in the usual Customs formalities or paying duties or value-added taxes on the goods. For more detailed information about guidelines for temporary entry of items into Korea, visit the Korea Customs Service website.

ATA Carnet--An ATA Carnet or "Merchandise Passport" is a document that facilitates the temporary importation of products into foreign countries by eliminating tariffs and other import taxes or charges normally required at the time of importation. For more information or to apply for an ATA Carnet, see the United States Council for International Business website.

If your product is primarily made in the U.S. of U.S. originating components it may qualify for duty-free entry into countries with which the U.S. has a free trade agreement (FTA). The U.S. currently has FTAs with the following countries: Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, Peru, Singapore and South Korea. See the FTA Tariff Tool, to determine the duty-free status or reduced duties that apply to products eligible under these free trade agreements.

Additional resources for tariff information:

Return to Top

Import Documentation/Procedures (Korea-South)

An importer may claim preferential treatment under the KORUS FTA in order to receive the lower tariff by providing written or electronic certification to Korean Customs from the manufacturer, the exporter, or the importer. The manufacturer, exporter or importer is required to retain all documents (i.e., bill of materials, manufacturing process documentation, etc.) demonstrating that the good qualifies as a U.S.-origin good, for five years. A certification may be made for a single shipment or for multiple shipments of identical goods, for up to twelve months, by specifying this in the certification. The importer submits the certification to Korean Customs, in writing or electronically

Please note that the U.S. exporter may be required to authenticate the Certificate of Origin at some later date by Korean Customs. Penalties will be incurred if documents are not provided to Korean Customs. To learn about what is required, please refer to Chapter 6 (Rules of Origin) of the KORUS FTA text (

For more information on local customs rules and regulations:
Korea Customs Service - KCS

For information on common export documents, such as transportation documents, export compliance documents, certificates of origin, certificates for shipments of specific goods, temporary shipment documents, and other export-related documents, see the webpage on Common Export Documents.

For country-specific information on import procedures and documentation requirements, see the
Country Commercial Guides (CCG) on the website.

Return to Top

Import Restrictions (Korea-South)

Imports for retail sale are banned in the case of spun silk and silk yarn. Fabrics with a content of silk less than 85 percent may be imported but only with a bank approval and with the approval of the Korean Export Import Association of Textiles, which has been delegated control of trade in silk products. See the Korea Post for a list of prohibited imports.

U.S. Export Restrictions:

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the U.S. Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, and international narcotics traffickers and their agents in accordance with U.S. foreign policy and national security goals. The OFAC website includes summaries of sanctions programs for various countries and the “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” (SDNs) list of entities and individuals with whom U.S. persons may not conduct business and whose property must be blocked if under the control of a U.S. person.

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in the U.S. Department of Commerce is responsible for implementing and enforcing the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), which regulate the export and re-export of most commercial items. BIS maintains the Denied Persons List, which consists of individuals, and companies that have been denied export and re-export privileges by BIS, and the Entity List, which consists of foreign end users who pose an unacceptable risk of diverting U.S. exports and the technology they contain to alternate destinations for the development of weapons of mass destruction

Return to Top

Standards - Korea-South
No specific information is available.

Local standards organization and other resources:

The National Center for Standards and Certification Information (NCSCI) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. Department of Commerce provides information on U.S. and foreign standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures for non-agricultural products. NCSCI staff responds to requests for information by identifying relevant standards and regulations, and by referral to the appropriate standards-developers or private-sector organizations. Under copyright restrictions, NCSCI cannot provide copies of standards, but NCSCI does provide sources for accessing standards.

Notify U.S. - Member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are required under the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) to report to the WTO all proposed technical regulations that could affect trade with other Member countries. Notify U.S. is a free, web-based e-mail subscription service that offers U.S. companies an opportunity to review and comment on proposed foreign technical regulations that may affect their access to international markets.

Additional resources:

Examples of voluntary formaldehyde labeling programs

American Apparel and Footwear Association's Restricted Substances List

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

ASTM International

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

Return to Top

Labeling - Korea-South

Textile products, apparel and apparel accessories, home textiles, leather goods, and shoes must be labeled with the required information to be cleared at the Customs. Country of origin should be marked in Korean or English as "Made in (country name)" or "Product of (country name)". All other requirements must be labeled in Korean.

Textile labeling requirements are covered in the Safety and Quality Labeling for Textile Products, Korean Agency for Technology Standards under Ministry of Knowledge Economy and include the following.
--Fiber content
--Country of manufacture
--Size (suggested)
--Manufactured date (suggested)
--Care instructions (see Korean symbol system in Korean Industrial Standard - KS K 0021)
--Name of manufacturer or importer
--Address and phone number of manufacturer or importer

See the Korean Customs Service webpage - Labeling System on Country of Origin. For imported fabrics, the country of origin marking must be affixed or permanently incorporated at both edges, or on the end of piece goods, or on the roller by weaving, leaf, printing, label or tag, or other permanent marking. Country of origin marking can alternatively be incorporated with other information sewn into the fabric edges. For wool or wool blend fabrics, the country or origin must be marked at least every two meters on the edges of the fabric bolt with fabric content and the name of the manufacturer or importer.

Korean language labels, except for country of origin markings that must be shown at the time of customs clearance, can be attached locally on products in the bonded area either before or after clearance. Country of origin labels may not be corrected in bonded areas; however, except for the country of origin marking, Korean-language labels may be attached after the goods have been imported.

Korea expanded mandatory biotechnology labeling requirements in 2007 for products that contain biotechnology cotton.

Return to Top

Market Information - Korea-South

No specific information is available.

U.S. companies may contact the U.S. Commercial Service for information and personalized counseling at every step of the exporting process. Find a U.S. Export Assistance Centers near you.

For information on protecting trademarks, designs, patents and copyrights, see the STOPFAKES.GOV website. STOPFAKES.GOV is dedicated to helping U.S. companies protect their innovations and safely market their products at home and overseas. Find guidance and resources on how to register your company's intellectual property and protect it from counterfeiting and piracy. Also find IPR toolkits for select countries, as well as other country-specific information.

For information on selling to foreign governments, see the Global Procurement Opportunities website.

Other sources for market information and data:

The U.S. Commercial Service Market Research Library contains more than 100,000 industry and country-specific market reports, authored by specialists working in overseas posts. Some market research reports are available only to U.S. companies and U.S. students/researchers that are registered with Available reports are listed below.

  • The U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement:
Opportunities for the U.S. Consumer Goods Sector (05/29/2012)
  • The U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement:
Opportunities for the U.S. Footwear and Travel Goods Sector (05/29/2012)
  • The U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement:
Opportunities for the U.S. Textiles and Apparel Sector (05/29/2012)

OTEXA Export Market Report (U.S. export data for textiles, apparel, footwear and travel goods)

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service

U.S. Department of State - U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions

U.S. Office of the Trade Representative

Local Industry and Trade Associations

Return to Top