Feb 17, 2011

**Shipping stuff** Korea to South Africa

There are two ways that this can be done; by air or by surface mail.

Airmail takes between 1 and 2 weeks and costs about W244 000 to send a 30 kg box. *it is cheaper to send lighter things as the cost is measured by weight*

Surface mail, which is by ship, takes between 2& 3 months, and the biggest box you can send can hold a maximum of 20 kg's and costs about W50 000.

here is a picture of the biggest size box (max. weight allowance = 20kg's)

Farmboy and I have already shipped 2 boxes home, and will be sending another one soon. So we cannot say for sure that it is 100% reliable until the box arrives. But I have been assured by friends that it *will* get home!

Other than that, I have also sent 2 small packages home, each weighing about 1 kg.

I sent them airmail, which only cost W25 000 each. And they arrived safe and sound no problem in about 2 weeks.

Each time, I have been issued with a tracking number, and the people at the Post Office here in Korea have been super super helpful!

With sending bigger items, you have to buy the boxes from the Post Office (they are very cheap, the biggest costing W2 400, pictured above) and then once the have been filled, bring it back to the Post Office where they will tape it up for you : Cool hey.

Then there is a green form to fill in, which will be given to you by the Post Office... very easy and in English...fill in your address, the receivers address,  a box to check what kind of stuff is in the box (merchandise, gift etc) , a place to write what's in it and give the value of each item.


  1. Also a tip I heard from a few people, use a big black marker and write "used personal items" on the box itself. That way, the customs in SA won't keep it back and charge any import tax on it ;)

  2. I second Mari's USED ITEMS. Never write GIFT even if it is as they then charge import duty. Also BEWARE...many smaller POs don't understand this process and you can be over charged. It happened to my cousin. Rather go to a larger PO...we found the one closest to the City Hall was the safest. :-)

  3. Hi there! Followed a link to this page from the "South Africans in Korea" FB group :) I'm in SA now and was just wondering if anyone knows how exactly to track the parcels once they've been shipped from Korea? Wanna see if my boxes are on the ship yet or not... Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!

  4. Hi Tarryn! Well one of my boxes arrived last week (one sent by ship) so that took about 3 months on the dot. You can track your boxes at www.epost.go.kr then click on the second block of info that has "english" written on the left side. It will direct you to a page where you can track your box. You just need to enter the tracking number that you would have been issued with when you went to the post office (it looks something like this KR0973628 bla bla bla). When I checked last I could't track the box in SA but at least I could see whether it was in South Africa or not. Once it was in Durban, it took about 2 weeks to get to Joburg. And then I had to pay R118 duty tax :)
    Hope that helped a bit. Il do a post on it soon!

  5. Hi

    I have posted boxes from SA to S Korea and am trying to find out what ship they were sent on. The SA PO can only give me a number 000787. Does anybody know what that means? What shipping line do they use? And...how do you track the parcels once they reach Korea?

  6. Hi Priscilla :) I'm afraid I'm not sure what to do about sending boxes to Korea, as we just sent stuff from there. But I would assume they send everything through the usual PostOffice. I would try using that tracking number on this website: http://www.sapo.co.za/
    Hope that helps! We received another 2 boxes from Korea today, so thats now 5 out of 6 and they have now taken 4 months. So I would trust the system, it hasn't let us down yet (holding thumbs for the last box!) :)

  7. Hello, I'm still in Korea and due to leave in a couple of months. I have found your website very helpful. I have however bought a cupboard (intelligent, i know:-( in my defense though, it IS made from mother-of-pearl and i would like to ship it home,can i go through the post office still or is it a whole other can of worms? If the post office is not an option, do you know any other option?

    Thank you for your help


  8. Hi Ica!
    Wowee, that sounds a bit on the complicated side. I'm not sure whether I would trust the post office if it is very delicate. But if you can wrap it really well (and I mean REALLY well) with lots of bubble wrap etc and then very clearly mark on the box fragile (in Korean and English) I don't see why there should be any problem! Good luck! Let us know if you have success! :)

  9. Does anyone have any advise or experience with shipping a TV back to SA? Would it be stopped at customs? Looking for any advise thanks!

  10. Is it really that simple about the import tax? I know that sometimes paying import tax can cost more than the actual package cost to send! Is this true? Also, if I send my stuff via air mail will it just go to the airport in SA and I must fetch it from there?

  11. dear..any comment i need to send cosmetic from soul(korea) tosuth africa...how much u charge me per kg?pls let me know.. nong_vava@hotmail.com thank you so much;)

  12. hi guys, thanks for the info!! i'm about to send some things home (will be leaving here in less than a month) and i heard from more than one person that i can only use no.4 boxes to send things. using the biggest box (no.5) would be much easier but now i'm confused after seeing your pics and reading your posts.

  13. Hi City Girl

    I need to ship (airfreight) boxes of safety film from Korea to JHB (about 1.5 tonnes) what would the estimate cost be


  14. Can you please tell me what size box you have in the picture. I just came from the post office and they refuse to sell me anything bigger than a 4 box, because they say it is now policy for South Africa. I have things that are bigger than a 4 a lot lighter than 20kg. I was always able to send a size 5 or 6 box for bigger things. Do you have the same problem at your post offices or is it just mine and if so do you have any solutions for slightly bigger things. Thank you!

  15. HI Natalie! Import tax depends on what you are declaring as well as the contents of your package. Sending things via airmail will still go to the delivery address you put on the package. Hope this helps!

  16. Hi there,
    Sorry for my late response. We were in Korea back in 2010, and that that time there weren't any restrictions on box size, so I can't really be more help with your question. I hope you managed to get it sorted out! x

  17. Hi Lisa! Farmboy and I were in Korea in 2010 and didn't have any restrictions on box sizes, just weight. Sorry I cant be of any more help, did you eventually sort something out?