There is currently one ferry that operates between Russia and Korea, and that is the Eastern Dream ferry run by DBS ferry (DBSFerry.com), based in Korea. The ferry leaves from Vladivostok at 2pm on Tuesdays. Taking a car costs $600 to $700, and then the ticket runs $100 to $160 (sans car, the ticket price is evidently higher). There are additional port fees (around $30, I think). Note, the ferry continues to Japan after stopping in Donghae, Korea.

My question is the following. Vladivostok evidently does things differently from every other ferry I've been on and treats cars as cargo, meaning that they need a special customs clearance process. Does anyone know the process that ones goes through WITHOUT paying for a customs broker to do it for you? (I understand that the process involves filling out several forms - I'd like to find out what forms, and the order in which they are to be turned in). To be specific, for a non Russian citizen with his own, foreign plated vehicle.

  • 7
    Unfortunately, being Russia, "knowing the process" most likely involves "how much is the bribe, and who should I give it", which I assume is not what you're asking about. Customs is one of the most corrupt organizations in Russia, so if you try to play by the rules, you can be royally screwed up. Typically this looks like "you need a stamp in this form, which should be obtained in Window E-8, which is open on Mon-Wed from 9:00-11:00". Once you get to E-8, you'll find out that to get this stamp, you need a piece of paper from Window D-2 (already closed), and so on. Broker may be not a bad idea.
    – George Y.
    Aug 13, 2016 at 6:11
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    To give you a specific example: by law, a custom officer must ensure the car VIN is unaltered, and matches the documents. What happens if the customs officer is unsure the VIN is unaltered? The law says a special, certified expert (typically from police) must certify the VIN as being unaltered. Unlikely (for you) this expert isn't available 24/7, and his first available appointment is next Friday. And so on.
    – George Y.
    Aug 13, 2016 at 6:16
  • @GeorgeY. I believe, you may be exaggerating. Apart from the fact that I don't fully understand OPs remark "they treat cars as cargo", temporary import of a passenger car by a foreign citizen into the customs union is a relatively straightforward process. You need to be the owner of the car, a non-citizen (or a citizen permanently resident abroad) and have the appropriate insurance, a so-called green card. I've entered the customs union last year via the Polish-Belorussian border last year with my German-registered car without any problems.
    – LLlAMnYP
    Sep 13, 2016 at 12:23
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    @LLlAMnYP: I lived in Russia for some time, and bought a car there, so I've got some firsthand experience of that. Let me just say my experience was very different from yours, and you were lucky.
    – George Y.
    Sep 13, 2016 at 13:52
  • @GeorgeY. buying a car in Russia and registering it there is vastly different, if not to say completely irrelevant to entering Russia temporarily with a foreign-registered car. Re "you were lucky": as I was crossing the border from Poland into Belorussia, there were hordes of EU-registered cars alongside mine, all of them, like myself, subject to about a 2 hour check, but in the end passing through the border just fine.
    – LLlAMnYP
    Sep 13, 2016 at 13:58

1 Answer 1


There is very little information about driving a car from Korea to Russia on Ferry.

There is much better information about going in the opposite direction (though in Russian only)

But you can look at Customs Expert (Russian) website regarding the temporary import and export of the vehicles to Russia. The gist of which boils down to you will need a Passenger Declaration Form, which allows you to list the vehicles you're bringing over, documents proving your identity, registration and proof of ownership, and you will need insurance for the duration of your stay (Russian).

Personally if you're already paying (too much IMHO) to put your car on a ship to Vladivostok I would spend a little extra for a customs broker but you can try it yourself or as Korean visit information (Russian) states you may get some help from the Ferry company in filling out the documents for $150.

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