Regulatory Update: Investigational Medicines Imported Into Korea Are Now Subject To Duty & Tax

Recent revisions to Korea’s Customs act may now require importers of investigational medicines into Korea to pay duties and taxes on their import shipments. The Korean Customs Act, Article 911 provides for duty and tax exemptions on certain types of imported goods. Until recently, included in this list were investigational medicines imported for clinical testing.

In a series of revisions to the Korean Customs act in December 2015 the provision which exempted investigational medicines from duties and taxes was deleted. It is unclear why the provision was removed but until further guidance is received by Korean Customs, importers of investigational medicines should expect to pay duties and taxes on their import shipment. 

Korea’s current duty rate for medicinal products is 8% and the tax rate is 10% of the declared Customs value.

For additional information on this matter or questions related to import compliance, please contact Marken’s Trade Compliance team at

Daniel J Bell

VP Regulatory Compliance & Technical Affairs                                                                                     07 JAN 2016

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