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Import/Export

United States to South Korea

Country or Territory Regulations Topics:

Import Documentation

To enable clearance for CITES shipments, please ensure CITES Certificate is forwarded by Express service.
Goods under IATA Special Provisions A67 require a MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet).

It is not required for all, however shipments can be held by local authority in United Arab Emirates after screening due to lack of MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) or NON DG (Dangerous Goods) declaration letter from the shipper resulting to misconnections and impacting end-to-end service.

It would be advisable for all shipments originating, transiting and terminating for UAE to have MSDS or NON DG declaration from shipper enclosed in the shipment and copies to be uploaded in IDIS.

Packing list is not mandatory required.
Foods, drugs, medicines, medical instruments, automatic data processing machines, and telecommunications devices require an import permit issued by the Korean Food and Drug Administration or the Korean Medical Devices Institute, respectively.

Export Documentation

Korea Free Trade Agreement

In order for U.S. origin/made commodities to enjoy preferential treatment, a copy of Certificate of Origin is needed for shipments with a value of more than US$1,000.00. The Certificate could be self-declared without government endorsement.

For shipments with value of US$1,000 and below, shipper will only need to declare Country or Territory of Origin and HS Code on the invoice.

Electronic Export Information (EEI), formally known as a Shipper's Export Declaration (SED) is a U.S. Government process for collecting export trade statistics and for export enforcement.

The information is filed in the Automated Export System (AES) and all filings must be made electronically. A paper form is no longer acceptable.

Shipments to Canada from the U.S. are exempt from this requirement. The EEI is not required for shipments from the U.S. to Canada unless the merchandise is subject to ITAR, requires an export license or permit, or is rough diamonds. Also used self-propelled vehicles require an AES Filing, regardless of value, and the filing must take place 72 hours prior to the export of the vehicle.

Shippers filing directly with the Census Bureau must supply the AES Internal Transaction Number (ITN) at the time of pickup by UPS. The ITN should be placed on the thermal label, produced in World Ship or on the invoice as close to the total value as possible.

UPS can file the AES information on behalf of the shipper for a $12.50 fee. The shipper must supply all necessary information for the filing, including their EIN number, License/License Exemption/License Exception and Export Control Classification Number (ECCN).

Clearance Information

KR Customs imposes penalties on discrepancies between the address on the manifest and the consignee delivery address. Penalties due to address discrepancies will be charged back to origin. First time penalty will be KRW 100,000, second time penalty will be KRW 250,000, and third time penalty will be KRW 500,000.

The penalties are applying to 'Deminimis shipments including documents' and 'Formal shipments declared as individuals'.

An example of an accurate/complete consignee delivery address is as follows:

  •  UPS Korea, Human Resource Department, Han-Young Building 5F, 94-3, Mullae-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, 07295, KOREA.

Customs will pre-audit shipments of golf clubs and jewelry. Clearance delays should be expected.
Due to Korea Customs regulations, effective immediately, the following is required for all imported goods into South Korea - An Irremovable label (Engraved or Non-removable printing) that shows the country or territory of origin needs to be affixed to all commodity/goods. In cases where the commodity/goods is of a delicate nature (engraving or permanent printing is not applicable), then the country or territory of origin must be affixed on each package / packing. Any arriving goods which does not have fixed evidence of country or territory of origin (which is irremovable) will expect delays and penalties.
With effect from September 1st, 2014 Korea Customs enforces that all deminimis shipments invoices should declare 2 digits of HS codes to be qualified as simple entries. Shipments without the 2 digits of HS codes must be declared as formal entry. These shipments are subject to duty and tax.

With effect from Oct 04, 6 digits HS code is mandatory for E-commerce shipments.

Restricted items such as drugs, medical instruments and pharmaceuticals are not considered as Deminimis shipment. Undervalued shipments will be penalized by Customs.

E-Commerce Shipments
With effect from Oct 04 2022, Korea Customs Service (KCS) regulations for E-commerce shipments send to individuals is strengthened. KCS had been collected 2 digits HS code on De-minimis list but changed 6 digits HS code as mandatory and also should provide E-commerce type information. Therefore, Shippers who export goods to Korean individual customers through e-commerce market must provide the 6 digits HS code for each commodity line and E-commerce type as mandatory. Insufficient information from the shipper may cause the failure of on-time delivery due to clearance delay.

1) 6 digits HS code for each commodity (mandatory)

2) E-commerce type (mandatory)

  • A) Direct purchase (Shipper is a direct seller.)
  • B) Purchasing agent (Shipper is a purchasing agent of the individual customers.)
  • C) Delivery agent (Shipper is a delivery agent of the individual customers.)

Seller's (Agent's) company name and web address should be required as mandatory. Order number should be provided as optional.

Korea Customs will tighten up the screening on shipment information for low value non-document import shipments below US$150.00 (below US$200.00 for US origin shipment) in value as well as under declared shipments. This may result in customs clearance delay if Korea Customs find incomplete/inaccurate shipment information under declared and miss-keyed shipment values.

Consignees address should have building name, room number (or floor), street address including area information (xxxx-gu). Initials or false names of individual consignees are not allowed and an invalid phone number should not be provided. Otherwise, shipments needs time to be declared as a formal entry and then duty and tax may be incurred accordingly.

Some examples are as follows Inaccurate or incomplete consignee name, address and phone number  Bad example : Miss. Kim (PH#: 1111111111) Hankook APT, Unnam-dong, Jung-gu, Incheon, 22372, Korea
 Good example : Jihyun Kim (PH#: 8210-XXXX-XXXX, should provide a cell phone no. of consignee) Hankook APT 201-1110, 7, Unnamseo-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon, 22372, Korea

  • Inadequate description Example : samples/part/ replacement/ ref no. are not acceptable.
    Itemized value is required Example : US$135.00 for 2 pieces of pen and 5 pieces of books is not acceptable Itemized values 2 pieces of pens at USD 5 each, 5 pieces of book at US$25.00 each are required.
  • Under declared or miss-keyed shipment value Example: Invoice value is US$1000.00 but keyed as US$100.00
    Wrong or missing consignees phone /mobile numbers Example: 000000, 111111, 999999, 123456, NA
  • Korea Customs will implement a penalty regime with effect from July, 01, 2009 where customs penalty of up to US$200.00 per infringement will be levied.
Formal Entry
Shipments valued above US$150.00 from Non-US / US$200.00 from US require import declaration per HAWB and shipment of restricted commodities and shipment with insufficient descriptions such as No HS doc, value, quantity, weight or importation purpose might be excluded from same day clearance and require an explanation letter or related documents from consignee to release shipments.
With enforcement of the Korea Privacy Protection law from 7 Aug 2014, all carriers, including UPS have the obligation to advise customers to obtain Personal Customs Clearance Code(PCCC).
KR consumers could issue PCCC through UNIPASS(Korea Customs Service) website(https://p.customs.go.kr/) and PCCC is 13 digits code starts with P. It help minimize a risk of leaking personal information.

Effective from Jun 3 2019, PCCC mandatory is extended to de-minimis (value below or equal to USD200 from US origin / USD150 from non-US origins) shipments. Namely, it means that all shipments imported into Korea for individuals are required PCCC.

Effective from Jul 06, 2021, consignee's last 4 digits of cell phone no. or name should be matched with PCCC owner which registered in KR customs and it is only effect on de-minimus shipments.

It is requested that shippers obtain PCCC from KR consumers and also correct cell phone no./name while purchasing from shipper's website.

If PCCC and correct cell phone no. are not provided by origin shippers, the shipment will be held until PCCC is obtained from consignee.

For foreign nationals, PCCC/Passport number/Alien registration number would be allowed. **Passport number format submitted to KR Customs F + Country code + Passport number Example: Nationality- US, Passport number- 511112345 FUS511112345

The date of birth could be alternatively used only for C2C de-minimis or individual document.

UPS cannot deliver to a P.O. Box address. All packages require a consignee's contact name and complete street address including apartment, suite or unit number if applicable. The consignee's telephone number is required regardless of shipment's value.

Areas Served

Service is provided to and from every address in the country or territory.
UPS cannot deliver to a P.O. Box address. All packages require a consignee's contact name and complete street address including apartment, suite or unit number if applicable. The consignee's telephone number is required regardless of shipment's value.

Sunday, and official holidays.
Spring +0900/ Fall +0900
Korean
Won(KRW)

Billing Options

  • Shipping charges can be billed to the shipper, receiver or a third party.
  • When billing the receiver, either the shipper or receiver's account number is required.
  • When billing to a third party, the third party's name, country or territory and account number are required.
  • Duties and taxes can be billed to the shipper, receiver or a third party.
  • When billing a third party, the third party's name, country or territory and account number are required.
  • If the duties and taxes are billed to an account outside of the destination country or territory, a "Duty and Tax Forwarding" surcharge will be applied.
  • Please note the following third party billing exceptions:
    • Shipments to and from the same country or territory (domestic shipments) cannot be billed to third party payors in other countries or territories. For example, shipments from Mexico to Mexico or Canada to Canada cannot be billed to a third party payor in the U.S. This rule does not apply to UPS domestic services in European Union countries or territories. For example, shipments from Germany to Germany can be billed to a third party payor in the U.S. (as long as the payor is a business and has a VAT or Tax/EIN ID on file with UPS).
  • When paying by credit card, check, or cash, only the shipper can be billed the shipping charges
  • The freight and duties can be billed to the shipper or a third party
  • The taxes can be billed to the receiver or a third party
  • A surcharge will be applied for the SDV billing option

Commodity Specific Stipulations

There are special stipulations on the following commodities when shipping to South Korea. If you plan to ship one of the commodities listed below, be sure to adhere to the following stipulations in order to avoid delays and holds at customs.

Importation of cellular telephones requires a license. Private individuals are rarely permitted the license.
Shipments of checks are considered as non-documents which require Formal Entry (shipment value above US$100.00). Invoice must state the declared value and the actual amount written on the check. Consignee should apply for an import permit from Korea Customs Service.
Effective 31 July 2015, shipments of chemical materials under HTS Codes: 2524, 2526, 2707, 2903, 2934, 3204 such as Asbestos, talc (industrial materials), polymer, will require permission from Korea Chemicals Management Association.

To avoid delays, it would be helpful to state the HTS code/s on the invoice and attach the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and Certificate of Analysis (imaged in IDIS).

Shipments of clothing intended for sale must be commerced labeled with the material type and country or territory of origin.
A Quarantine License is required by the Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA).
Shipments of cosmetics, including manicure items, shampoos, etc. require the consignee to have a Quarantine License as provided by the Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA).

Functional cosmetics shipment must be customs cleared via formal entry. Cosmetics which contain placenta or steroid, whitening products, wrinkle treatment cosmetics and UV protection are considered as functional cosmetics.

Shipments of dental instruments require an Import Permit from the Korea Medical Devices Industry Association or Korea Food & Drug Administration.
Shipments of medicine require a recommendation from the Korean Food and Drug Administration. Medicine is subject to analysis by a chemist.

Personal shipments of medicine are exempt from the recommendation but are limited to 6 bottles. Personal shipments of DHEA (steroid hormone) are limited to 2 bottles, not to exceed 90 pills per bottle.

Commercial shipments of DHEA are prohibited, including samples.

Cables, batteries, switches, fuses, Capacitor, Automatic circuit breakers etc. require permit from Korea Electric Testing Institute with effect from 31 July 2015.

To avoid delays, it would be helpful to state on the invoice : Purpose of usage (example: switches for PCB), HTS code and Voltage.

Shpr/cnee should provide a certificate from RRA in advance and then UPS contracted broker could get a no. of certificate from RRA in place of shpr/cnee (handling fee per shpt is KRW 33,000). Related website : https://www.rra.go.kr/en/index.do

To reflect duty reduction from university for research purpose, application form of duty reduction and description of products are required. If invoice value is over USD 1,000, recommendation letter from KOAMI(www.koami.go.kr) is additionally required.

Samples of empty bottles are allowed but limited to a maximum of 2 bottles. Korean Customs will confiscate shipments exceeding the 2-bottle limit.
Shipments of food, including aloe extracts, seeds, and bamboos require quarantine inspection.
Shipments of medical instruments require a recommendation from the Korean Food and Drug Administration.
Shipments of medicine require a recommendation from the Korean Food and Drug Administration. Medicine is subject to analysis by a chemist.

Personal shipments of medicine are exempt from the recommendation but are limited to 6 bottles. Personal shipments of DHEA (steroid hormone) are limited to 2 bottles, not to exceed 90 pills per bottle.

Commercial shipments of DHEA are prohibited, including samples.

Shipments of military equipment require permission from the National Military.
Effective 1 Jan 2017, Undiluted nicotine or solutions containing more than 1% nicotine must submit Specifications of Chemical Materials to the Korea Chemicals Management Association.

If the accumulated weight of imported nicotine from January 1 of each year exceeds 100kg, importers must submit a Toxic Hazard Importation Declaration to the Ministry of Environment of South Korea.

Shipments of pharmaceuticals need a recommendation from the Korean Food and Drug Administration.
Korea has opened its rice market since January 1, 2015. With the effect from March 13, 2015, only 9 customs offices which are well equipped with expertise and experience are dedicated to perform clearance for shipments of rice (Import and Export). These offices are located at Busan, Incheon Sea Port, Pyeongtaek, Kunsan, Mokpo, Donghae, Ulsan, Kwangyang and Masan.

UPS' customers must arrange bonded truck to transport shipments of rice to the nearest customs office for customs clearance. Incheon Airport Customs is not able to handle shipments of rice.

The consignee must provide a description of the content of the tapes.
In accordance with Korea's Radio Waves Framework Act on Telecommunications, shipments of broadcasting & communication equipment requires certification from Radio Research Laboratory.
Effective 31 July 2015, Furniture (e.g. childrens playground equipment) and Toys for sale to children aged below 14 years, require permission from Korea conformity Laboratory. Personal shipments and toys for children over 14 years are exempted.

To avoid delays, it would be helpful to state on the invoice : Age group suitability for toys, detailed commodity description, HTS code.

Shipments of vitamins require a recommendation from the Korean Food and Drug Administration. Personal shipments are exempt from the recommendation but are limited to 6 bottles.

Gift Exemptions

150000.00 Won KRW
company-to-individual
per shipment

In addition to a detailed description of each item, write additional comments of "gift shipment" on the invoice and in the Special Instructions box of the UPS Waybill to insure a proper assessment of duties and taxes.

150000.00 Won KRW
individual-to-individual
per shipment

In addition to a detailed description of each item, write additional comments of "gift shipment" on the invoice and in the Special Instructions box of the UPS Waybill to insure a proper assessment of duties and taxes.

Invoice Requirements

Shipments to South Korea must be accompanied by 1 original and 2 copies of an invoice. Invoices and pre-alert notifications must provide accurate and detailed descriptions of the shipments in English. The provision of the H.S. code would expedite clearance. The following information must be included on the invoice:

*Effective Apr 01, 2019, KR customs will hold about no brand name & poor description of goods for Individual and consumer goods such as clothes, shoes and electric goods etc. to set a fair taxable value based on correct information of goods / To avoid undervalued and fake good.

  • Reason for import (for example, "sample")
  • Currency (for example, USD)
  • Itemized unit value and a total value for each item
  • Brand Name/Model/Part number of commodity(s)
  • Incoterms (for example, DDP, DOB, and CPT)
  • Country or Territory of origin
  • Consignee's telephone number
  • UPS Paperless Invoice is available for small package exports from this country or territory.
    UPS Paperless Invoice is accepted by Customs for small package imports into this country or territory.

    Items Classified as Documents

    The destination country or territory considers the following items documents. If criteria are listed, the shipment must meet those criteria to be considered a document shipment.

    Blank airline tickets are considered non-documents.

    UPS can recommend which forms you need based on a few simple criteria. Forms can be completed online or printed. See which forms you need.

    Prohibited or Restricted Commodities

    In addition to the commodities which UPS prohibits to all countries or territories served (listed here), it is prohibited to ship the following commodities to South Korea.

    Import of Alcoholic beverages into South Korea is permitted via ISC contract service.

    For direct-to-consumer (DtC) shipments, the wine shall be packaged in appropriate receptacles of less than 1 liter each.

    The receptacles of the wine must bear an indication enabling the bottler to be identified.

    It can be cleared without quarantine if for personal consumption only and it is limited to 1 bottle (1 liter).

    Animal skins are prohibited.
    Electronic Cigarette can only be shipped with an International Special Commodities (ISC) contract.

    Shipment with battery and charger requires import permit under the provision of Electrical Appliances Safety Control Act. Products brochure review or physical inspection is required by Customs if there is no battery.

    Any form of toy gun or gun replica is prohibited.
    The environmental protection law prohibits kitchen waste disposers from being imported into Korea.
    Shipments of knives require permission from the Police Department.
    Shipments of Lithium Metal Batteries are prohibited on Emirates Airlines flights which UPS uses to this destination country or territory.

    Alternative arrangements are in place, but expect transit delays if the normal planned flow of the package is via Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Time in Transit may be extended due to solution found.

    Negotiable bonds and drafts are prohibited.
    If consignee return to KR within 1 year, the shipment including personal belongings could be imported without duty & tax. Documents needed to provide: Immigration documents, Passport copy and Explanation letter for the used items.
    Products made in Iran are prohibited in our service due to a current embargo.
    Any form of toy gun or gun replica is prohibited.
    Traveler's checks are prohibited.

    Saturday Delivery

    Saturday Delivery Available: Yes

    Not available in all areas. Always check the international time in transit system for details of service availability within a country or territory.

    Service Options

    Always check Calculate Time and Cost for details of service availability and guarantee information within a country or territory. All Service Levels may not be available to or from every address within a country or territory.

    • UPS Worldwide Expedited
    • UPS Worldwide Express
    • UPS Worldwide Express Plus
    • UPS Worldwide Express Saver
    • UPS WorldWide Express Freight
    • WorldWide Economy DDP
    • WorldWide Economy DDU
    • WorldWide Express Freight Midday

    Special Clearance Requirements

    Duty drawback applies to raw materials and subsidiary materials for export.
    The consignee must obtain and complete the necessary paperwork from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for duty-free embassy or diplomatic shipments. Once the paperwork has been completed, UPS will retrieve the paperwork from the consignee and complete the Customs clearance process.

    Duty and taxes are applied when an original request from an embassy is not provided.

    The invoice should state "goods for government use only."
    The camp name should be stated on the first line of the consignee’s information (for example, U.S. Military or XX camp) and the invoice should state, "goods for military use only.”

    UPS will fax the consignee the copies of the waybill, invoice, and 95 EK Form. The consignee will need to fax the waybill, invoice, and Import Declaration to the Military Customs office to get SOFA stamps. For shipments to the U.S. Army, the 95 EK Form (Import Declaration Certification USFK, ROK-US SOFA) is required and must be signed by a U.S. Customs officer at the SOFA division located in South Korea. UPS will pick up the paperwork once it is completed. Duty and taxes are applied if original SOFA documents are not provided.

    Repair shipments should be declared as formal-entry. UPS will deliver the waybill to the consignee's broker. UPS picks up an original export permit issued by Customs when the shipment had originally been exported. The invoice should state "returned after repair."

    An original serial number or manufacturer number and a repair detail are required because the whole price of the shipment is exempted from duty. Duty will be based on the repair cost and round-trip freight charge.

    Return shipments should be declared as formal-entry. UPS will deliver the waybill to the consignee's broker. UPS will pick up the original export permit issued by Customs when the shipment had originally been exported. The invoice should state, "return shipment."

    An original export permit showing the serial number or manufacturer number is needed for the shipment to be duty free, 10% tax.

    Many items of the same kind are not accepted as samples and an explanation letter could be required by customs for duty/tax exemption. The invoice should state "sample of no commercial value" or "sample of free charge." Duty and taxes are applicable if the consignee is not a manufacturer and the items are valued more than US$250.00 including cost, declared value, and freight (CIF).
    New requirements have been implemented for both small package and WWEF shipments and are based on the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) 15, which is entitled "Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging Material in International Trade". ISPM 15 was adopted internationally in 2002, and is gradually being introduced by countries or territories worldwide. Wood or wood products covered by ISPM 15 include items such as packing cases, boxes, crates, drums or similar packing, pallets, box pallets and other load boards, pallet collars and skids, but exclude such processed woods as orientated strand board, particle board, plywood or veneer, created using glue, heat and pressure or a combinations thereof, and, raw wood which is 6mm or less thick. It is recommended that if a question arises on this issue, please check with the authority that issues the Phytosanitary certificates in your country or territory.
    USDA has the right to inspect any transit shipment and additional permits or certifications may be required.

    Value Limits


    Private Shipments

  • 150.00 US Dollar (USD)
    • Deminimis values for Korea are US$150.00 for Non-US origin shipments and US$200.00 for US origin shipments. Korea Customs will tighten up the screening on shipment/consignee information for low value non-document import shipments below US$150.00 in value as well as under declared shipments. This may result in customs clearance delay if Korea Customs find incomplete/inaccurate shipment/consignee information, under declared and mis-keyed shipment values. Some examples are as follows:
      • Inaccurate or incomplete consignee name and address
        • Example : UPS Korea, 10F Central Plaza Bldg, 321-6 Shinjeong-Dong, Yangcheon-Gu, Seoul, Korea. The consignee address should have building name, street address such as 321-6 Shinjeong-dong & area information(xxxxx-gu)
        • Initials of individuals (consignees) are not allowed. e.g. J.J. Yu ( should be full name Jung Ja Yu )
      • Inadequate description Example : samples/part/ replacement/ ref nos are not acceptable
      • Itemized value is required Example : US$135.00 for 2 pieces of pen and 5 pieces of books is not acceptable Itemized values 2 pieces of pens at USD 5 each, 5 pieces of book at US$25.00 each are required
      • Under declared or mis-keyed shipment value Example: Invoice value is US$1000.00 but keyed as US$100.00
      • Wrong or missing consignees phone /mobile numbers Example: 000000, 111111, 999999, 123456, NA Korea Customs will implement a penalty regime with effect from July, 01, 2009 where customs penalty of up to US$200.00 per infringement will be levied.
    Commercial Shipments

  • 150.00 US Dollar (USD)
    • Deminimis values for Korea are US$150.00 for Non-US origin shipments and US$200.00 for US origin shipments. Korea Customs will tighten up the screening on shipment/consignee information for low value non-document import shipments below US$150.00 in value as well as under declared shipments.

      Effective from 03 Jun 2019, all import shipments for individuals are required CCIC regardless of invoice value and the date of birth could be alternatively used if consignee cannot provide CCIC. Application can be done through UNIPASS website, https://p.customs.go.kr/ and it is a reusable 13-digit code that starts with P.

      This may result in customs clearance delay if Korea Customs find incomplete/inaccurate shipment/consignee information, under declared and mis-keyed shipment values. Some examples are as follows:

    • When consignee's CCIC or the date of birth do not exist
    • Inaccurate or incomplete consignee name and address
      • Example : UPS Korea, 10F Central Plaza Bldg, 321-6 Shinjeong-Dong, Yangcheon-Gu, Seoul, Korea. The consignee address should have building name, street address such as 321-6 Shinjeong-dong & area information(xxxxx-gu)
      • Initials of individuals (consignees) are not allowed. e.g. J.J. Yu ( should be full name Jung Ja Yu )
    • Inadequate description Example : samples/part/ replacement/ ref nos are not acceptable
    • Itemized value is required Example : US$135.00 for 2 pieces of pen and 5 pieces of books is not acceptable Itemized values 2 pieces of pens at USD 5 each, 5 pieces of book at US$25.00 each are required
    • Under declared or mis-keyed shipment value Example: Invoice value is US$1000.00 but keyed as US$100.00
    • Wrong or missing consignees phone /mobile numbers Example: 000000, 111111, 999999, 123456, NA Korea Customs will implement a penalty regime with effect from July, 01, 2009 where customs penalty of up to US$200.00 per infringement will be levied.

    Weight and Size Limits

    70 kg (150 lbs.) per package
    270 cm (108 in.) per package
    419 cm (165 in. ) per package
    Length and girth combined


    Convert metric quantity for weight, length, and area.


    NOTE: Information provided by UPS is provided AS IS, may not be current, and does not constitute legal advice. In no event shall UPS be liable for any errors in the information, forms or features made available by UPS, or by any third party site linked to from UPS. Selection and completion of proper forms for any given shipment is the sole responsibility of the shipper. All shipments are subject to the UPS Terms and Conditions of Service in effect at the time of shipping for the country or territory of origin.
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