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Untitled Document

THE CUSTOMS LAW OF THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF KOREA


Adopted by Resolution No. 7 of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People’s Assembly on October 14, 1983,
amended by Resolution No. 1 of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People’s Assembly on February 26, l987,
amended by Resolution No. 24 of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People’s Assembly on May 17, 1990,
amended by Resolution No.41 of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People’s Assembly on November 17, 1993,
amended by Decree No. 382 of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly on January 28, l999, and
amended by Decree No. 2468 of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly on July 26, 2001


Chapter 1. Fundamentals

Article 1. The Customs Law of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is intended to ensure a strict order and discipline in customs clearance and inspection and imposition of customs duty to contribute to strengthening customs inspection and implementing correctly the policy of customs duty.
Article 2.
The customs formalities are compulsory to institutions, enterprises, associations and citizens to whom this law is applied. The State shall, in line with the development of the actual situation, set specific customs procedures to be followed and ensure their proper implementation.
Article 3. The State shall improve the methods of customs inspection and modernize the means of inspection so as to strengthen the inspection on cargoes, international postal matter, personal effects and transport means which move across the border.
Article 4.
The State shall apply either zero or low tariff on materials whose import and export are encouraged and high tariffs on materials whose import and export are discouraged.
Article 5.
In the DPRK guidance on the customs affairs shall be given in a unified way by the central customs guidance organ.
Article 6. The State shall promote exchange and cooperation with other countries and international organizations in the area of customs work.
Article 7.
This law shall be applied to institutions, enterprises, associations and citizens that are in charge of cargoes, commodities and transport means moving cross the border of the DPRK.
This law shall also be applied to the permanent representative offices of foreign countries and international organizations accredited to the DPRK as well as to citizens of foreign countries who travel across the border of the DPRK.
The procedure of customs work in a special economic zone shall be defined separately.

Chapter 2. Customs Formalities

Article 8. The customs formalities shall be applicable to institutions, enterprises, associations and citizens that bring cargoes, commodities and transport means into or take them out of the DPRK.
The institutions, enterprises, associations and citizens in question shall submit to the customs documents needed for procedures.
Article 9.
A citizen who enters or leaves the DPRK shall, on arrival at a border route, a trade port or an international airport, declare to the customs his personal effects, currencies, securities and luggage.
Article 10. The completion of customs formalities on transit cargoes which pass border stations and trade ports of the DPRK shall be performed by the institution which is responsible for the transshipment of the cargoes.
In order to transship cargoes which are not allowed to enter the DPRK, approval shall be obtained from the Cabinet.
Article 11. Customs procedures for the cargoes on a foreign ship which transits a trade port of the DPRK shall be completed by its master.
In this case, the master shall produce the list of cargoes aboard to the customs.
Article 12.
Cargoes, commodities and transport means moving across the border of the DPRK shall be brought in or taken out only through the places where a customs is located.
In case, for unavoidable reasons, the movement is to be conducted at a place where the customs is not located or when materials are to be exchanged with a foreign country within the territorial waters of the DPRK, approval shall be obtained from the relevant institution before the customs procedures are completed.

Chapter 3. Customs Inspection

Article 13. The customs shall inspect cargoes, international postal matter, personal effects and transport means which are brought into or taken out of the DPRK.
Cargoes, international postal matter, personal effects and transport means which have not been inspected by the customs shall not be allowed to enter or leave the DPRK.
Article 14. Customs inspection shall be done at border routes, trade ports, international airports, international post offices and other specified places. Customs inspection on personal effects of citizens may be done in a train or on a ship.
The customs may, as stipulated, provide mobile inspection service or inspect cargoes of a foreign country which pass the territory of the DPRK.
Article 15. The customs may request the relevant institution at the place of destination to inspect large-sized equipment and containers that are imported. In this case the owner of the said cargoes shall declare them in time to the relevant institution upon their arrival.
The institution which has been requested to perform customs inspection shall inspect in a responsible way the cargoes declared and report the result to the customs.
Cargoes whose customs inspection has been requested shall not be unloaded in the middle of their transportation nor their destination be changed.
Article 16.The customs may inspect cargo compartments, passenger compartments, crew’s quarters and other places in the transport means, which need to be inspected.
If articles which are not allowed to enter the DPRK and controlled articles are found during inspection, the customs may put them in a cargo compartment and seal it.
The seal shall not be broken without the consent of the customs.
Article 17. The customs shall strictly supervise and control the transportation of materials to ensure that such contraband goods as weapons, ammunition, explosives, poison and drugs, controlled goods not approved by relevant institutions, and materials which are not included in the State foreign trade plan or for which license of import or export and license of taking into or out of the country have not been obtained are not brought into or taken out of the DPRK.
Article 18. The customs shall strengthen links with relevant specialized inspection institutions including foreign goods supervision institutions and quarantine institutions located at border routes, trade ports and international airports.
The customs may, if necessary, ask relevant specialized inspection institutions for an expert opinion.
Article 19. The customs shall constantly check the cargoes in the custody of the border stations, trade ports and bonded or duty-free warehouses to ensure that they are not damaged or lost.
Any cargo which has not been collected within the specified time limit or for which no claim has been made may be disposed of by the customs according to relevant procedures.
Article 20. Cargoes of a foreign country which have arrived at border stations, trade ports and international airports without any agreement reached with a foreign trade agency of the DPRK shall not be discharged without the consent of the customs.
Article 21. Cargoes of a foreign country and international postal matter which have been brought into the DPRK as a result of a wrong delivery and articles whose owner cannot be identified and extra goods can be disposed of only with the consent of the customs.
Article 22. Institutions, enterprises, associations and citizens that are subject to the customs inspections shall provide necessary conditions and be present at the place of inspection.
Article 23.
In order to move or take to another place cargoes and transportation means in the custody of the customs, institutions, enterprises, associations and citizens shall obtain approval from the customs.
Approval of the customs is also required in case of unpacking or repacking.
Article 24.
In case cargoes in the custody of the customs happen to be unpacked or any other accidents occur, the cargo carrier or keeper shall immediately inform the customs of the accidents.
Article 25.
Institutions, enterprises, associations and citizens shall not enclose currencies, securities or goods in letters and publications, letters or currencies in parcels that come in or go out of the DPRK.
Article 26.
Citizens who travel across the border of the DPRK may take with them articles needed for business and life, and souvenirs.
A citizen who makes business trips across the border of the DPRK may take with him only office articles and daily necessaries.
Article 27.
Household goods and property inherited may be brought into or taken out of the DPRK without permission.
In case any items of the household goods or property inherited fall under the category of controlled articles, these items shall be allowed to bring in or take out only with the consent of the relevant institution.
Article 28.
It is not allowed to bring in or take out materials through international mail for the purpose of sale.
Article 29.
Customs inspection shall not be done on personal effects and hand luggage of members of Party, State and government delegations, members of international organizations and officials who are specially designated as well as on diplomatic postal matter and correspondence.
Notwithstanding the previous provision, customs inspection may be performed on those items when there is evidence to believe that they contain controlled and contraband articles.
Article 30.
The customs may unpack the cargoes, international postal matter, and personal effects of citizens passing across the border for inspection.
Transportation means, the sites where cargoes are placed in custody and citizens suspected to be used for smuggling may be searched.

Chapter 4. Customs Duty

Article 31. The customs shall properly impose the customs duty and supervise and control its payment.
The customs may, if necessary, check up documents and papers of institutions, enterprises and associations related to the payment of customs duty.
Article 32. The standard price on which customs duty is levied shall be the price of arrival at border in case of materials brought in by institutions, enterprises and associations, the price of delivery at border in case of materials taken out by them and retail price in case of international postal matter and materials which are brought in or taken out by citizens.
Tariff rate shall be set by the Cabinet.
Article 33. Calculation of customs duty shall be done in Korean won according to the tariff applied at the time when the relevant materials pass across the border.
Conversion of foreign currencies into Korean won shall be subject to the then exchange rate specified by the foreign exchange control organ.
Article 34. No customs duty shall be levied on the following items:
1. Gifts sent from a foreign country or an international organization to an organ concerned,
2. The traveler’s articles whose quantity does not exceed the specified limit,
3. Materials brought in by a foreign-invested business for the purpose of production and management and materials produced and exported by a foreign-invested business,
4. Materials brought in for the purpose of processing trade, entrepot trade and re-export,
5. Materials for which no customs duty is payable pursuant to a treaty concluded with a foreign country, and
6. Materials which are separately specified by the State.
Article 35. Article 34 of this law shall not be applied in the following cases;
1. In case a member of a relevant delegation, an official with a diplomatic passport or a permanent representative office of a foreign country or an international organization brings in or takes out materials in larger quantities than the specified limit,
2. In case a foreign-invested business sells its products in the territory of the DPRK,
3. In case materials which have been brought in for the purpose of processing trade, entrepot trade and re-export are sold inside the territory of the DPRK, and
4. In case bonded materials are not delivered within the specified time.
Article 36. Where materials have been degenerated, damaged or lost, the customs may exempt wholly or partly the relevant duty according to the extent of degeneration, damage or loss.
Article 37. In case a treaty concluded between the DPRK and a foreign country contains a provision for preferential treatment in terms of tariff, the preferential tariff shall be applied.
Where no preferential treatment has been provided for in terms of tariff, ordinary tariff shall be applied.
In case the treaty specifies a tariff separately, this tariff shall be applied.
Article 38.
For an article or item for which the tariff has not been set, the tariff for another article or item which is similar to the article or item in question shall be applied.
Article 39.
Institutions, enterprises, associations and citizens shall pay customs duty according to the notice of customs duty payment.
The notice of customs duty payment shall be issued by the relevant customs
Article 40. International postal matter and baggage of a citizen whose quantities exceed the specified limit shall be delivered only after customs duty has been paid.
In this case customs duty shall be paid within the set period of time.
Article 41. Institutions, enterprises, associations and citizens shall pay customs inspection fee, custody fee, commission and the like in time.
Customs fee and commission shall be decided by the relevant institution.
Article 42. Institutions, enterprise, associations and citizens that have paid the customs duty exceeding the amount payable by them may request the customs within 1 year from the day of payment to refund the surplus.
In this case, the customs shall settle the case within 15 days.
Article 43.
Where the amount of customs duty which has been levied is less than the amount payable or no customs duty has been levied as a result of miscalculation of the customs duty, the customs may impose the amount still outstanding within 1 year from the day when the material in question has been cleared.
Where the amount of customs duty which has been levied is less than the amount payable or no customs duty has been levied as a result of intentional miscalculation on the part of an institution, enterprise, association or citizen, the amount outstanding may be levied within 3 years from the day when the material in question has been cleared.
Article 44.
Institutions, enterprises, associations and citizens shall use the materials for which customs duty has been exempted only for specified purposes.
In case they are planning to sell materials for which customs duty has been exempted, they shall declare it to the customs and pay the relevant customs duty.
Materials for which customs duty has not been paid shall not be sold or purchased.
Article 45. No customs duty shall be levied during bonded period.
Bonded period shall be 2 years in case of a bonded factory and bonded warehouse and be set by the customs in case of a bonded fair.
Article 46.
The owner of a cargo who wishes to have the bonding period extended for unavoidable reasons shall submit to the customs a written application for the extension of the bonding period 10 days before the termination of the original period.
The customs may allow the bonding period to be extended by up to 6 months.
Article 47.Institutions, enterprises and associations wishing to take bonded materials out of a bonded area for the purpose of processing, packing and assembling shall put under the custody of the customs a security which is equivalent in value to the customs duty.
If the materials are brought in within the specified time limit, the customs shall return the security.
If the materials fail to be brought in within the specified time limit, the security entrusted to the customs may be used as a substitution for the payment of customs duty.

Chapter 5. Sanction and Petition

Article 48. In case customs duty has not been paid within 3 months after the issuance of the notice of customs duty payment, materials which are equivalent in value to the customs duty may be disposed of as a substitute for the payment of the customs duty.
In case no materials are available for disposal as a substitute for the payment of the customs duty, the customs duty may be withdrawn from the bank account of the institutions, enterprises, associations and citizens in question.
Article 49. Cargoes, international postal matter, personal effects of citizens and transportation means which are brought into or taken out of the DPRK in violation of the customs law and regulations may be detained or confiscated.
In case of severe offence, administrative or criminal proceedings shall be instituted against the responsible person.
Article 50. Any dispute arising in relation to the customs procedures, inspection and imposition of customs duty shall be settled through consultation.
In case it is impossible to settle the dispute through consultation, complaint may be laid with the customs office superior to the office in question.
The customs office which received the complaint shall settle the case within 20 days from its reception.
Article 51. A person who is not satisfied with the result of the settlement by the superior customs office may bring the case to a court within 10 days after the day of settlement.


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