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Can I bring peanut butter to South Korea?

Can I Bring Peanut Butter to South Korea?


Peanut butter is a popular food item that is enjoyed all over the world. However, when traveling to a foreign country, it’s important to know what foods are allowed to be brought in. In this article, we will explore whether or not you can bring peanut butter to South Korea.

South Korea’s Customs Regulations:

South Korea has strict customs regulations when it comes to food items. All food products must be declared upon arrival, and some items may be prohibited. It’s important to check the South Korean customs website before traveling to ensure that any food items you plan on bringing in are allowed.

Peanut Butter’s Ingredients:

Peanut butter is made from ground peanuts and often contains other ingredients such as salt, sugar, and oil. These ingredients may be subject to South Korea’s customs regulations.

Foods Prohibited in South Korea:

South Korea prohibits the import of certain foods, including beef from certain countries and some types of seafood. However, there is no specific mention of peanut butter on the South Korean customs website.

Peanut Butter and Allergies:

Peanuts are one of the most common allergens in the world. If you or someone you are traveling with has a peanut allergy, it’s important to be aware of any potential exposure to peanuts, including in peanut butter.

Bringing Peanut Butter in Checked Luggage:

If you plan on bringing peanut butter to South Korea, it’s recommended that you pack it in your checked luggage rather than your carry-on luggage. This will help avoid any potential issues with security screening.

Bringing Peanut Butter in Carry-On Luggage:

If you do decide to bring peanut butter in your carry-on luggage, be aware that it may be subject to additional screening. It’s always best to declare any food items to security before going through the screening process.

Food Restrictions in South Korea:

South Korea has strict regulations on the import of certain food products, including fruits, vegetables, and meat. It’s important to check the South Korean customs website for a full list of restricted items.

Bringing Peanut Butter as a Gift:

If you plan on bringing peanut butter as a gift for someone in South Korea, it’s important to be aware of any potential customs issues. It may be best to purchase peanut butter locally rather than risk any issues with customs.

Purchasing Peanut Butter in South Korea:

If you are unable to bring peanut butter with you to South Korea, there are many local stores where you can purchase it. Look for international grocery stores or specialty food shops that carry imported goods.


In conclusion, it is possible to bring peanut butter to South Korea, but it’s important to be aware of the country’s customs regulations and any potential issues with allergies or restricted items. If in doubt, it’s always best to check with the South Korean embassy or customs website before traveling.

What food is not allowed to bring to South Korea?

When entering or leaving South Korea, it is important to declare certain food items due to customs restrictions. These include meat and poultry items such as beef, pork, lamb, and chicken, as well as processed meat products like ham, sausage, bacon, beef jerky, marinated beef, and canned meats.

Can I bring butter to Korea?

To import U.S. butter into Korea, there is no need for product registration. However, any dairy products must be accompanied by an export certificate or a self-declaration that explains the heat treatment conditions. Additionally, all imported products from the U.S. must have clearly legible Korean language labels.

What can I not bring to Korea?

Items that are prohibited and may not be brought into the country include illegal drugs like opium, marijuana/cannabis, and cocaine, as well as items like medicine, handbags, wallets, stoles, taxidermy, and ivory from animals like elephants, leopards, and alligators. Additionally, cashier’s checks, overdraft checks, postal money orders, and other similar items are also not allowed.

Can I bring dairy products into Korea?

People who arrive in Korea are not allowed to bring any animal or plant-based products, including meat, dairy, eggs, fresh fruits, and seeds. Even in-flight meals containing these items cannot be taken off the aircraft upon arrival.

Can I bring food to Korea from USA?

You are allowed to bring in prepared food for your personal use when entering Korea, but the total value of the food cannot exceed USD 400.

Can you bring butter through customs?

If you declare all the agricultural products you bring with you, you won’t be punished even if an inspector decides they can’t be allowed into the country.

Other Considerations:

It’s important to note that even if peanut butter is allowed into South Korea, it may not be as readily available or popular as it is in other countries. It’s always a good idea to research the local cuisine and food culture before traveling to a new destination, so you can plan accordingly and be prepared for any dietary restrictions or preferences.

Additionally, if you plan on staying in South Korea for an extended period of time, it may be a good idea to learn some basic Korean phrases related to food and dining. This can help you navigate menus and communicate any special requests or allergies to restaurant staff.

Finally, it’s worth noting that while peanut butter may not be as commonly used in Korean cuisine, there are still many delicious local dishes to try. Some popular Korean dishes include bulgogi (marinated beef), bibimbap (mixed rice bowl), and kimchi (spicy fermented vegetables). Be sure to venture out and try some of these tasty dishes during your visit to South Korea!

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