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S. Korea seeks to raise duty-free allowance limit for alcoholBy Yonhap
Published : Feb. 13, 2024 - 11:25
The customs agency said Tuesday it will push to raise the limit of the duty-free allowance for alcohol to boost travelers' convenience.
It is part of the Korea Customs Service's comprehensive plan for 2024, which also includes measures to strengthen the crackdown on drug smuggling and to better support exporters.
Under the plan, the agency will review the possible adjustment of the cap on duty-free liquors, which is currently set at 2 liters valued at $400 or less.
The government in 2022 doubled the limit from 1 liter, while the value cap remained unchanged at $400. It was the first adjustment in nearly 30 years.
The agency vowed to strengthen checks of personal customs clearance codes and strengthen punishment for violators in an effort to prevent identity theft over the course of customs clearance for tax exemption.
The simple payment system will be available for those paying 2 million won ($1,505) or less in customs duties, according to the plan.
"We will develop a new app on the customs information and set up a task force for taxpayers to boost the public convenience," an agency official said.
"Our focus for this year will also be on how to ensure economic security and fair trade rules," he added.
In response to growing drug smuggling, the agency plans to boost cooperation with Thailand, Vietnam, the Netherlands, Germany and other nations on the crackdown on drug smuggling and expand inspections into travelers from major drug smuggling nations.
It also vowed to set up more drug detectors at airports nationwide.
The amount of drugs seized before being smuggled into South Korea jumped 23 percent on-year to 769 kilograms last year in line with growing demand for narcotics here and the subsequent price increase.
By origin, Thailand topped the list, accounting for 24 percent of the total volume last year, followed by the United States with 20 percent, Germany with 12 percent and Laos with 9 percent.
The agency also presented a set of supportive measures for exporters to help spur the country's economic growth.
It will push to sign a mutual recognition arrangement, or MRA, of the authorized economic operator program, with Vietnam in 2024 to facilitate trade and create favorable trade environments for businesses.
South Korea had such agreements with 23 nations, including the US and Japan.
The KCS pledged to provide consulting services and financial support for exporters and ease regulations regarding customs procedures. (Yonhap)
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