Japan import requirements and documentation
General procedures when obtaining Japan import requirements and documentation
Before you hire the best moving company in Japan to relocate you, make sure you’re prepared. Japan import requirements and documentation are very important to understand. Especially if you plan to do business in that country. If you are a foreigner, make sure you use a local representative when dealing with Japan import documentation.
Also, you can hire a freight forwarder. This firm organizes storage and shipping of merchandise on behalf of the shipper. It usually provides a full range of services. They include tracking inland transportation, preparation of shipping and Japan import requirements. They also include warehousing, booking cargo space, negotiating freight charges, freight consolidation, cargo insurance. If you are moving long-distance to Japan, make sure you gather all the documents in time.
Declarations for import of goods
If you decide to import goods yourself, you must declare them to the Director-General of Customs. Afterwards, you will obtain an import permit. Before you get the permit, examination of the goods in question is necessary.
Next step is to submit your import declaration. Also, you need to pass the necessary examination of your goods. After the payment of Customs duty and excise tax, you should have an import permit.
The following items may require a Japanese import license:
- hazardous materials
- perishables, and in some cases
- articles of high value
Import quota items also require an import license. This license is usually valid for four months from the date of issuance. Other necessary Japan import documents may include an Import Declaration Form (Customs Form C-5020) and a certificate of origin. Any additional Japan import requirements and documentation are necessary as proof of compliance with relevant Japanese laws. Also, standards and regulations at the time of import may also apply.
Correct packing, marking, and labeling
There are other Japan import requirements that are critical for getting the customs clearance in this country. According to the Japanese law, labeling of products in many categories is necessary. Correct packing, marking, and labeling of your products is crucial for gathering all the Japan import documentation. Restrictive advertising and marking products improperly can also be an issue when getting Japanese customs clearance.
Labeling your products usually is not necessary at the customs clearance stage. It is very important when selling imported goods. Importers from Japan usually put on a label on to imported products after it passes customs. They don’t always have to put a label on fresh foods such are grapefruit and oranges. On the other hand, the retailer must always display the country of origin next to the product.
If you import any goods to Japan it is advisable to work with a Japanese agent or importer. That is the easiest way to meet all the requirements regarding proper labeling and customs. Be aware that one of the materials that are prohibited by law are straw packing materials.
Documents required for customs clearance in Japan
There are many documents required for getting the customs clearance in Japan. Standard documents about shipping are obligatory. Commercial invoice, packing list and an original signed bill of landing are obligatory with any shipment. If the cargo is shipped by air, you should also have an air waybill document available to show the Japanese customs. Air shipments that are more valuable than ¥100,000 (around $915), must also include a commercial invoice.
- The commercial shipment must describe in detail each item in the cargo.
- The packing list should describe the exact content and the measurements of each container of your shipment. Also, the packing list must specify gross weights and net weights of each package of the cargo. The Measurement in Japan Law requires that all the weights and measurements are on the packing list. Before entering Japan, you must show them in Metric System values.
Prohibited and restricted imports
Like many other countries, Japan prohibits the import of certain items. These items you can’t import. Japan has various restrictions on the sale or use of certain products.
Products related to health that you can’t import are:
- Medical products
- Agricultural products
These products must be under revision and evaluation by the Japanese customs for import suitability before shipping to Japan. Relevant regulatory bodies issue special licenses and they are required as a part the overall Japan import documentation. Also, severely regulated is a use of certain chemicals and additives in foods and cosmetics.
Other harmful materials not to import to Japan
The entry of narcotics and related utensils is not possible to import to Japan. You should not import everything regarding firearms, firearm parts, and ammunition. Explosives, gunpowder and other materials for chemical weapons are also on the list of items that are not possible to import to Japan. Also, germs for bioterrorism are under strict control.
Counterfeit goods or imitation coins or currency you can’t import to Japan. You can also not import obscene or pornographic materials or goods that violate intellectual property rights. Other items that Japan restricts include certain agricultural and meat products, products such as ivory, animal parts, and fur. For more information on prohibited goods, see the Japanese Customs Website.
Japan restricts entry of:
- more than one months’ supply of medicines that are toxicants, dangerous or prescription drugs;
- more than two months’ supply of medicines that are non-prescription drugs or quasi-drugs; or
- more than 24 units (normal size) or similar cosmetic products.
Japan – import tariffs
Acquaint yourself with Japan average rates for the importation of goods. The average tariff rate applied in Japan is one of the lowest in the world. In Japan, the same HS trade classification system is used as in the United States. Japan assesses tariff cost depending on overall cost, cost of the insurance and the value of the cargo. Depending on the combination of these factors and amounts, the tariff cost can vary.
In some cases, specific rates are calculated to the cost of the importation. Japan’s preferential system of tariffs grants lower or duty-free rate to products imported from developing countries. When importing goods to Japan keep in mind that having a local representative or a customs specialist can help you gather all the import requirements and documentation.