Newcomers - Shipping Your Vehicle
Published April 23, 2013
Only E-7s and above are entitled to ship one POV regardless of the type of tour. Personnel contemplating shipment of a two-wheeled motorized vehicle, including mopeds, should contact their gaining unit regarding operation/registration procedures. Unleaded fuel is available on-base.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved testing of catalytic systems on POVs operating in Korea. This eliminates the requirement to remove catalytic converters from POVs. Under the DOD POV Import Control Program, the removal of catalytic converters is voluntary. If catalytic converters are not removed, unleaded fuel must be used. All POV's have to be registered through the Korean authorities.
In order for any USFK service members in the grades of E-6 and below to be eligible to be issued, or re-issued a POV operator's license, authorization is required from their squadron commander.
The legal status of U.S. Forces personnel in Korea is determined by an international agreement between the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) called the U.S. and ROK Status of Forces Agreement.
Your assignment in Korea not only helps the ROK, it helps the U.S. accomplish important foreign policy objectives. This does not entitle you to any special privileges, except for those provided in the SOFA.
On the other hand, the ROK is very willing for you to live and work in as familiar an environment as possible and to have for your personal use the same type of services and facilities that you enjoy back home. In return for having these things, which are generally not as readily available to its own citizens, the ROK government makes two requests:
1. That you respect the ROK laws, and
2. That you do not allow the privileges granted U.S. forces to harm the nation's economy or that of its citizens.
The SOFA gives you benefits and protection. It enables you to enjoy the benefits of exchanges, commissaries, military clubs, banks/credit unions and postal services. It protects your legal and civil rights in case you are involved in an accident or suspected of a violation of ROK law.
The SOFA also provides that the ROK government will take jurisdiction over USFK personnel only for those offenses which violate ROK laws, such as causing the death of another person, robbery, rape, or attempts to commit such offenses. Offenders remain in U.S. custody until all judicial proceedings are completed.
Black-marketing and drug abuse are two particularly serious offenses in Korea. Selling or transferring items brought into the country duty free to someone who's not authorized the same privilege is black-marketing. This covers everything from cigarettes to TV sets.
Drug laws in Korea are extremely rigid; do not violate them.
Before shipping your POV, you should consider the following:
· Body damage: If your car has severe body damage it will not be allowed on the road
· Tires: Tires must have a minimum of one millimeter (1 mm) depth over the entire tread and to be the sizes recommended by the manufacturer and do not stick out beyond the fender. Additionally, DO NOT mix radial tires with non-radial tires
· Miscellaneous: Check your lights, exhaust system, seatbelts, brakes, windshield and windows (for cracks)
· Recommendation: Pull-out radios, cassette decks, and CD players should be removed to reduce the chance of pilferage; your catalytic converter does not need to be removed; unleaded gas is available in the ROK
· Tinted windows: Tint is not authorized on the driver or passenger windows
· Check with your local TMO for the latest restrictions and information before shipping
Some U.S. insurers will not write policies for overseas. Check with your current insurer before you PCS. Vehicle insurance companies are available both on and off base. Whatever you decide, you must show proof of insurance to pick up and register your vehicle on base.
If you plan on shipping a POV to Kunsan, please understand that once you PCS, you will only be entitled to one POV shipment regardless of whether your follow-on assignment is CONUS or OCONUS. This means that if you ship a POV to Kunsan and your next base is Ramstein, Germany, then you cannot ship your Kunsan POV back to the states and then ship another vehicle to Ramstein unless you pay for one of the shipments yourself. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your local TMO.
Maintenance on American vehicles
Owning an American-made vehicle overseas could become expensive; often stateside warranties are not honored. Bottom line, be prepared for unexpected costs and consider this when deciding to ship your car overseas.
Contact your local TMO office for more details on shipping a vehicle.