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About Korea

Geography

Located along the North Pacific coast between neighbors China and Japan, Korea is a mountainous peninsula with mountains covering up 70% of the land mass. Bordered by the 38th parallel to the north, South Korea consists of a peninsular and one main island Jeju, a special self-governing province well known for its unique scenery.

The country’s total territory covers 100,140㎢ and comprises a population of 51.5 million people. The economy is the 11th largest in the world by GDP. The currency is the Won, and the capital city is Seoul.

Seasons and Climate

Korea has a continental climate with four distinct seasons. While the spring and fall boast beautiful scenes of nature and a mild climate, winter is generally cold and dry and summer is hot and sultry with humidity around 80%. Under the influence of the East Asia monsoon, 50~60% of annual precipitation falls in summer with typhoons striking 2~3times around the end of July.

For more information about South Korea’s weather, visit www.kma.go.kr

Time zone

GMT +9hours, the same time zone as Japan and no daylight savings.

Transportation

Air
Korea has 2 international airlines which fly to destinations across the globe and 4 domestic airlines flying between domestic cities and provincial towns. International Airlines

Korean Air: https://kr.koreanair.com/global/en.html

Asiana Airline: http://flyasiana.com

Rail
High speed rail (KTX) and regional railroads connect the entire country. At present, the KTX Seoul-Busan(from north end to south end) takes only 2hours and 30minutes, whereas normal trains take 5 hours and 30 minutes maximum.
You may view the fare and service details (including stations served)at the Korail Website www.Korail.com

Customs

Issuance of Visa for Entering Korea
Lately, Korea is entering into visa exemption agreements with many countries, and although these countries do not need a visa for short term traveling, they must receive a visa that fits the purpose of their stay if their stay exceeds the permitted period. The sojourn period, purpose and type of entrance are written on the visa and a stamp or sticker is placed on the visa when it is issued.

Normally, for foreigners who entry Korea for film shoots they usually receive an art/entertainment-related E-6 visa. Specific information on how to apply and required documents can be acquired by making inquiries at the embassy and consulate of the corresponding country in Korea.

Electronic Government for Foreigners in Korea: http://oneclick.law.go.kr/

Special Properties & Animals

There are many times when firearms and swords are needed for producing films. However, in Korea, firearms may not be admitted into the country without permission, and the production and procession of firearms are prohibited.
The Regulations Units under the relevant local police officers have the jurisdiction over firearm matters in Korea.

Although the general rule is for the local police office to keep the prop firearm in their custody when it is not being used during the filming, because it is uncertain when it will be used, it is possible to store the prop firearm in safe prop storage after receiving the local police office’s permission.

Details regarding this matter can be found through the partner receiving the production service, and when importing firearms, you can receive tax exemption only through ATA carnets.

In regards to the importing, exporting, and re-importing of all animals; pet animals must have the permission of the Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and wild animals must have the permission of the Minister of the Ministry of Environment.

Along with this, all animals must receive veterinary examinations at the border when going through customs. During the examination, if it is considered by the veterinarian to be necessary, animals can be quarantined for a long period of time, according to the animal’s condition.

Also, there are instances where animals die during shipping when only animals are directly imported, so close management such as people of the related organization actually following the animals is needed. Therefore, because there is much difficulty in temporarily importing animals and then sending them out again from your own country, it is advantageous to rent as a package through zoos, related organizations or local related organizations.

Transportation & Clearance of Films
The foreign producer must decide whether film will be bought from his or her country and brought into Korea or if it is going to be bought in Korea. Which method is more advantageous depends on the nature of the film production such as whether it is a joint production or not, or depending on each country's local situation, the amount of shooting locations and film price. These conditions should be looked into carefully before the purchase of the film.

Foreign production companies do not incur any customs duty and VAT except for customs fees because, regardless of whether the film is purchased in or outside of Korea, or whether the film is developed or not after the shoot, the film is sent back to the foreign country after going through customs as a re-export based import or interim manufacturing export.

Reference : Korea Film Council “Korea Shooting Guide”