How to Ship from South Korea to Canada

From Seoul to Vancouver

You would think shipping your vehicle from the shipping
capital of the world would be easy!! Well, it’s not if you can’t
fit your motor into one of those containers! And we didn’t, as
we were what they call an ‘oversized vehicle’. Its not really
about the height, cause open top containers are available but
they cost more. Its all about the width. Containers only vary in
length but not in width. After spending pretty much 3 months
researching companies, we found only one RO-RO company
that was willing to take us in the whole of Korea. And not only
that they were willing to take our vehicles, but luckily also all
the junk we carry in them. However, none of this would have
happened without the help of an angel!!
Wendy Choi, a freight forwarder from Seoul, who went out of her way to help
us. Lets face it, without her intervention, we’re not sure if we
would have made it out of there. Trying to quote or process
RO-RO shipping without any knowledge of the Korean
language is nearly impossible. Wendy got us on a RO-RO
ship from Pyeongtaek International Ro-Ro Terminal/PIRT
(outside of Seoul) to Westminster (outside Vancouver) in
Canada. She prepared all the paperwork for us, and she also
made the payment on our behalf. Once we got in touch with
her, things were pretty straight forward, although her English
is not perfect, her instructions are clear and methodical. We
even got to hang out with her and became friends. She came
for a dinner in our van and was so excited, as she’s never
seen a vehicle she’s shipped before.

Anyway, the hard data: We sailed with EUKOR. They quoted us based on the
volume of the vehicle. Shipping such a big vehicle was not
cheap, it was about 3000 bucks, which made our exit from
Korea rather pricey adding flights and other cost, we arrived
in Canada $5000 bucks lighter. Dealing with customs and
port people in Korea was rather pleasant, most of it happens
around a dinner table with great food on it and people
generally stick to what they say and you always know where
you stand at this lengthy process.

Well, don’t get too cosy, get prepared for arriving in Canada!

There’s always a few hoops you gotta jump through at any
port of arrival. Canada asks for one very specific one: a soil
examination by the Canada Border Agency (CBSA). The
bummer is that no matter how fast you jump, they will not be
able to tell you when your vehicle is going to be released
from the port or how much its going to cost. For us, the
release took over a week, during which we had to submit
different payments and paperwork. (Payment for the soil
examination, surrender bill, vehicle title etc..) However, if they
find your vehicle clean enough that it passes the soil exam,
you will be spared of paying for a cleaning unit and it will
speed up the process too. Otherwise they don’t ask anything
unusual and they are not concerned about emissions control
(as the States would be). They will also let you drive off
without insurance. You can purchase insurance at a later
date, which we did (Progressive – online).

However one unforgettable experience is the actual vehicle
release. You will receive detailed description of how to pick
the vehicle up. This description includes repetitive warnings
that the port staff will NOT assist you in getting the vehicle
moving again in case the battery is flat or there’s a problem
with it. Take this warning seriously and don’t just assume that
your batteries are strong enough after a months sailing.
Someone might have messed with them, they might have left
your lights on…  what ever the case, there is a chance that
your vehicle will not start. Hence bring a friend who can pull
start you, or be ready to pay for a tow truck (bring your phone
and phone numbers in case you need assistance, cause they
don’t offer any). The staff at the port is rather unfriendly and
impatient with crusty travelers who just turn up with a
screwdriver thinking it will be all fine. Another annoying thing,
someone went through one of the vans and there was stuff
stolen. Nothing too dramatic, an amplifier and some
speakers, but it’s not nice to find out that someone went
through your cupboards. Before you put your van on a boat in
Korea, think about making a wall between the cab and the
back.  1 van of our 2 did, nothing got stolen and legally you’re
only required to hand over the key for the ignition, nothing
else.

Despite a few bummers……we got to have our camper vans
on this huge North American continent where you can make it
all the way from Alaska down to Panama. No need for sailing
for a long time…  good stuff.

(From an original post by Radka here).

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