Mail in Korea

When I travel I usually pop by a post office just to send a postcard for my parents. Sending postcards are quick and easy but when you live somewhere for awhile there’s a good chance you’re going to need to mail things other than post cards. You may need boxes and tape and EMS forms. Or you may find yourself needing to send documents quickly. If you want to send a document quickly and with a tracking number ask for 빠른 등기. Your tracking number will be printed on the receipt.

One of the nice things about living somewhere rural is that after work I could pop over to the post office and there was a good chance there’d be no other customers. Due to this the staff were able to help me, but there was rarely a time where the whole process took less than an hour and at worst it took upwards of two hours. If you’re in a busier city the chance of them having an hour to spend helping you without getting frustrated is less likely.

Since I live near my work I would take everything I wanted to send and put it in my work bag, print out the addresses and then head to the post office. At the post office I could pick out a box and put everything together using their supplies. They always had tape and bubble-wrap available to use. Since I was the only customer they often just came over and did it for me which I think helped cut down the length of time I spent making boxes. They also always looked much nicer than the way I’d put them together. I then would fill out EMS forms (Express Mail Forms). By doing this all of my packages included tracking. I would get Kakao messages from the post office about their progress. Nothing I’ve ever sent has gotten lost, no matter what country I’ve sent it to.

Things you need to know to send an EMS package:

  • Name
  • Address
  • phone number
  • e-mail
  • contents, price of contents and country of origin

With all the help I got the thing that took the most time was transferring the information on the form onto a computer file as the staff typed it out. Eventually they suggested that I try to fill out the EMS forms online first and print them out and bring them, since it’ll all be online so they can just scan it to retrieve the information. However it’s not easy at all, the whole website is in Korean so here’s how to do it.

First go to this website. (ems.epost.go.kr)Epost home page

In the left corner you want EMS 예약, and below this drop menu you will select EMS 스마트접수. It’s the first option in the drop down.  Click this. This will bring you to a new page. If you have an account this is where you can log in. Otherwise this is also where guests can use without making an account. You will want the grey button, not the red or the tan. Click the grey button that says 비회원 신청하기.

login or guest page for post office

You will now need your information, the information of everything you’re sending and to whom. First though click the button on the upper right, not the one on the left in blue. This will check all the other boxes. The check box to select is 전체동의(선택포함).

page 3 click this button

Next you’ll start filling everything out. On the left will be all of your information and on the right will be for the person you are sending things to. 보내는 분 is for sender. Under this you will fill out 이름 your name, then below that you will click the teal button to find your zip code.

to and from forms

The teal button is 주소찾기. It will bring up a pop up of a new window. So allow it to get through any pop up blocker you may have. You may just want to turn it off for this process. You will write in the available space your address in Korean and then click the red button that says 검색, a couple different options may show up, pick the one that is the closest if it doesn’t give you the exact same address and it will fill out your zip code.

to find a zip code

After this fill out 주소  with your address and select one of the options in 연락처 for your phone number. 휴대전화 is for your cell phone number, and I suggest filling out this one. The post office will use it to give you updates on your package as it heads towards it’s final destination through Kakaotalk. 일반전화 is for a landline number. Finally fill out your e-mail at 이메일.

On the right under 받는 분 is for the receiver of your package. All of the fields are in English so you shouldn’t have any difficulty, just know that by clicking on country you will have another pop up box, which will help you find the country and code, but this has English so you shouldn’t have much difficulty. Once these fields are filled scroll down. This is the customs declaration, the part that’s going to save the post office a ton of time.

customs declaration

The fields are in English so you shouldn’t have any difficulty here. Write what is in your package, how many of this item, about how much it’s worth and where you got it. The country of origin is something you will need to know the Korean name of. If it’s from Korea just leave it on the default. When you are done hit the red button (세관신고서 내역추가) and it should show up below and then fill out the information for the next item. Repeat this process until you are done. If you want insurance on your items select the box with the teal writing next to it that states 국제손해배상 시뮬레이셴. For items worth 114,300 won insurance will be about 2,800 won and above that there’s an addition of 550 won per 114,300 won. This is subject to change.

When you’re all done and you’ve  reviewed everything so that it’s correct select the final red button that says 다음. This will bring you to a new page. Print everything out and take it to the post office. If you’re sending multiple packages just do this all again and print out a new sheet for each new package.

You may be wondering, wait a second it says ENGLISH in the upper right hand corner, surely I can do this all in English? Nope, not at the moment. When you select English at any point the entire website changes to one where you cannot do this at all. This is as of early 2019 the only way to fill the EMS form out ahead of time for international shipping.

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