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Customs Procedures

Import Procedures
Any person wishing to import goods must declare them to the Director-General of Customs and obtain an import permit after examination (if necessary) of the goods concerned. The formalities start with the lodging of an import declaration and end with issuance of an import permit after the necessary examination and payment of Customs duty and excise tax. In this way, measures are taken to ensure the fulfillment of the requirements for the control of foreign exchange and other regulations concerning the importation of goods. More than 90 percent of import procedures is currently computerised.

All steps and required documents are available on the website of Japan Customs.

The Customs Counsellor System assists companies with import procedures.

Specific Import Procedures
Under the "immediate import permission system upon arrival", import permission may be granted as soon as cargo entry is confirmed. To be eligible for this system, importers must file a preliminary declaration online.
For goods whose value is less than or equal to JPY 200,000, a simplified declaration system applies.
Importing Samples
Japan acceded to the ATA Convention in 1973. Goods imported from contracting countries and territories can generally be subject to a procedure on the basis of the ATA Convention and be exempted from Customs duty and excise taxes payable. To find out more, please visit the Japan Customs website

To go further, check out our service Import Controls and Export Controls.


Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports

Customs threshold (from which tariffs are required)
JPY 10,000
Average Customs Duty (Excluding Agricultural Products)
Japan applies a customs tariff that is among the lowest in the world (on average, 2.5%).

For a summary of Japanese customs tariffs, please see the following sheet provided by the WTO.

Products Having a Higher Customs Tariff
Agricultural products (one of the highest rate among industrialized countries) and some processed food products, although the duties applied continue to go down; leather and some manufactured goods.
Preferential Rates
They are granted to imports from the countries with which Japan has signed trade agreements. (See list)

If necessary, the Japanese customs website explains how the Generalized Preference System works in Japan.
Customs Classification
Japan uses the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System, generally referred to as the 'Harmonised System,' developed by the World Customs Organisation.
Method of Calculation of Duties
Ad Valorem on the CIF value of the imports.
Method of Payment of Customs Duties
The central Bank of Japan has set up system of electronic payment.
Import Taxes (Excluding Consumer Taxes)

List of tariffs and local taxes that apply to your product on our service Customs Duties and Local Taxes.

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Latest Update: April 2024