Knowing special measures of import precautions for items is one of the most important things when running an import-export business. Having in mind all the special requirements is essential. Hence, Kokusai Express Japan shall provide you here with all the precaution measures to take into consideration when intending to import or export different kinds of items. Besides this, we also suggest that you read about banned articles for export and import


  • Import of medical supplies (pharmaceuticals, quasi-drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices) requires import and sales certificate according to the Pharmaceutical Act.
  • Permit of import and sales business requires a permit for each office; which has its prerequisite to own a structured facility complying with a prescribed criteria and to dispatch in-charging engineers (pharmacists) in each office.
  • Permit is applied through the head of Todobu Prefecture to the Ministry of Health and Welfare and also the certificate is granted through the head of such prefecture.
  • When a person imports these kinds of items for the sake of personal use, he/she can import the items only within the reference volume without declaration.

Kinds of pharmaceuticals

  • A. [medicines and quasi-drugs] volumes within 2-month dosage by purpose and dose
  • B. [cosmetics] one item by standard size; less than 24 items (for the items classified as pharmacist goods)
  • C. [medical devices] minimum packing units for the objects that do not cause trouble in usage by the public, such as home medical devices


  • Import and sales of liquors require the license of liquor sales.
  • Liquor license must be granted by the Tax Office after applying for its customs division; provided that careful attention should be given to the restriction by which some items are restricted to pass the customs clearance and sell.
  • Upon importing, imported food should be declared to the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
  • Persons can import liquors that are only for personal drinking within 10kg.
  • But, such liquors are imposed a tariff, liquor tax and added tax depending on price.

Vegetables and Fruits

  • [vegetables, fruits, and grains] requires plant quarantine according to the Plant Quarantine Act and necessary to conduct food declaration
  • [flowers, seedlings, seeds] requires plant quarantine according to the Plant Quarantine Act

Certificate of Plant Quarantine (issued by the importing country’s government)

  • prohibits import if the soil remains so wash the plant to remove soil.
  • Japanese laws and regulations prescribe which plants can be imported and which are prohibited; please contact the relevant agencies regarding countries and item name.


  • Different tax rates apply to clothes depending on materials such as leather, fur, vinyl, fiber, and etc.
  • Also, different tax rates apply to fabrics, depending on the volume of fur, and knitted garments, depending on the knitting method.
  • If the clothing is not made of fur or leather, need to confirm whether the clothes fall under the Washington Convention by scientific name.
  • There’s also a possibility mistaking the trademark or origin; thus please pay careful attention to trademark and origin labeling.


-In general, bags are applied different tax rates depending on materials, sizes, and precious metal plating; and it is difficult in classification only based on documents; thus, it requires attaching of the appropriate catalog or a prior check of cargo contents.

-For the bags made of leather, it may require the scientific name of an animal that is used to manufacture the bag in accordance with the Washington Convention.

Please pay attention to whether the imported cargo falls under any forgery goods (imitation brands, etc.).


The shoes made of, partial or whole, leather may be applied a high tax rate depending on whether it meets the tariff quota (T/Q).

If even a portion of leather or fur is used to manufacture shoes, please confirm whether the Washington Convention restricts such use of materials.

Since trademark or origin may be misunderstood, also pay attention to the labeling of trademark and origin.


  • [canine] subject to animal quarantine according to the Rabies Prevention Act; possible to be seized for some weeks depending on country and type.
  • [beef, horse meat, pork, chicken, etc.] subject to animal quarantine according to the domestic animal infectious disease control law; declared as food in accordance with the Food Sanitation Act (meat).
  • Since the meat that is attached to the certificate of health and sanitation (issued by the exporting country government) is put into freezers, etc., after arrival, please follow the information at arrival.

Fishes and Shells

  • [fishes] subject to food declaration according to the Food Sanitation Act and food inspection for collected water and shell poison by type.

Those products may be subject to cholera inspection depending on collection water and exporting country.

Since other types of inspections may be necessary depending on exporting country and type, please inquire such in advance.


  • [meat products] subject to animal quarantine according to the domestic animal infectious disease control law, and requires food declaration in accordance with the Food Sanitation Act.
  • [other food] subject to submission of food declaration form according to the Food Sanitation Act.

Upon import, the first time must be subject to inspection for additives depending on manufacturing method and ingredients; and after the inspection results say there’s no violating additive, import is permitted.
Based on the inspection results above, the appropriate food may be continuously imported for 1 year.


Housewares refer to tableware, cookware, and kitchen/bed linens.

  • Housewares need to be declared to the Ministry of Health and Welfare in accordance with the Food Sanitation Act. Materials are subject to separate inspection. Ceramics and glasses may not be imported if they contain lead or cadmium more than the acceptable level.
  • For linens, since silk and similarities are regulated separately depending on origins or importing country, please confirm such in advance.

Outdoor Goods

Fishing articles, golf articles, ski articles, and camp articles are subject to different tax rate depending on the item.

For more information on tax rates, please contact the competent person.

Since there may a misunderstanding related to the trademark or origin, please pay careful attention to a trademark or origin labeling.

Fishing rods require the design rights-related permit in terms of grips or guide parts.

For more detailed information about import precautions for items of different kinds, please get in touch with us:

Head office: Tel. 03-5776-1180 / Fax. 03-5776-1185

Tokyo Sales Office 1: Tel. 03-5755-1011 / Fax. 03-5755-1005

Tokyo Sales Office 2: Tel. 03-6303-6010 / Fax. 03-5755-8334

Narita Customs Center: Tel. 0479-85-6040 / Fax. 0479-85-6045

Haneda Sales Office: Tel. 03-6412-9088 / Fax. 03-3747-0526

Yokohama Sales Office: Tel. 045-227-6261 / Fax. 045-227-6034

Osaka Sales Office: Tel. 06-4703-1234 / Fax. 06-4703-1239

Kobe Sales Office: Tel. 078-881-2620 / Fax. 078-881-2625

Korea (Seoul): Tel. 82-2-3143-5555 / Fax. 82-2-3143-5588


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