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JAPAN
(Country code: JP)

SERVICE RATE
CODE
MAX.
WEIGHT (KG)
OVERSIZE
AVAILABILITY
MAX.
COVERAGE
Priority™ Worldwide (Delivery Standards)   04   30   NO   $1000
Xpresspost™ – International   104   30   YES   $1000
International Parcel™ (Surface)   404   30   YES   $1000
Tracked Packet - International   04   2   NO  
Small Packet™ (Air)   04   2   NO   N/A
Small Packet™ (Surface)   04   2   NO   N/A
CUSTOMS DECLARATION LANGUAGE English, French, Japanese

SERVICE AVAILABILITY Registered Mail™ VALUABLES ACCEPTED
Letter-post™   YES   YES   YES
SERVICE AVAILABILITY FEE CODE CURRENCY
Money Orders™    NO   —   —

Maximum Coverage = Maximum Declared Value for Carriage for the Priority™ Worldwide service.

Import Restrictions

Senders should determine import restrictions from the country's authorities before posting:

  • agricultural products
  • arms and ammunition, handguns, firearms, their parts and accessories including ammunition
  • animal products
  • beverages, spirits
  • foodstuffs, health foods
  • marine products
  • medical supplies (including chinese medications)
  • narcotics
  • perfume
  • pharmaceutical products
  • plants and plant products
  • resins
  • rice and straw goods
  • tobacco, tobacco products and tobacco substitutes
  • vegetables
  • wood and articles of wood.

The following goods are restricted by Japanese law and are subject to Japanese regulatory agency approval but are acceptable for importation on PriorityTM Worldwide service:

  • chemical substances
  • food
  • goods that may interface with the Japan's public infrastructure (roads, radio frequencies, telephone or power lines, etc.) can clear customs without special documents or prior approval but the end-user or reseller must obtain approval from the responsible government agency before the goods can be used in Japan. Examples of these goods include motor vehicles, electric & telecommunication equipment, radios, telephones, and modems
  • medicine
  • textiles.

Gifts

Japan allows exemption from duty and consumption tax for most casual gifts and donations sent by individuals to individuals in Japan or goods that individuals who are not residents of Japan import as gifts. To qualify for this exemption, gift shipments may not exceed $50.00 (USD) per shipment. Advertising material, tobacco, or alcoholic beverages are excluded from being processed as a gift shipment. The commercial invoice should identify each item in the shipment and assign an individual value to each commodity. While the paperwork should indicate that the package is a "Gift Shipment" this term is insufficient as a commodity description. The exemption applies only to duty and tax. Gift Shipments are still subject to all the normal regulatory requirements of a consumption entry and must be met in order to gain Customs clearance.

Prohibited Items

In addition to items considered non-mailable matter, the following are prohibited:

  • animal quarantine (bone, guts, horns, blood, antibody, serum, semen, feathers, raw wool, raw leather, bacteria, coliforn bacilllus)
  • articles which infringe upon rights in patents (utility-models, designs, trademarks, copyright, neighboring rights, or layout-design of integrated circuits)
  • books, drawings, carvings, and any other article which injures public security or morals (i.e. immoral materials)
  • botulinum toxin A (over 500 units per vial) and Toxin B (over 10000 units per vial)
  • coffee, tea, mate and spices
  • cereals
  • copyright violations
  • counterfeit, defaced or imitation stamps
  • dairy and birds eggs
  • documents or goods from or made in North Korea
  • fertilizers
  • fish
  • live animals and animal products
  • lottery material
  • meat and meat products
  • oil seeds, grains and fruits
  • publications, including video tapes, prejudicial to public order or morality
  • narcotics, unless an official permit has been issued by the competent authority.
  • organic chemicals
  • pharmaceutical products (excluding those designated by an ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare)
  • patent violations
  • publications of books, newspapers and products of the printing industry
  • products of the milling industry
  • publications, including videotapes, prejudicial to public order or morality
  • trademark violations
  • vegetable products
  • weapons/firearms of any kind or parts and accessories thereof including ammunition, toys or imitations.

Documentation Required

Information regarding Customs can be found in "Customs Requirements" of the Canada Postal Guide.

In addition, items mailed to Japan containing merchandise or samples require an invoice in duplicate. Articles more than ¥200,000 in value require a Certificate of Origin. Senders should clearly mark all articles with the purpose of the shipment; for example, gift, merchandise, samples, or unaccompanied goods.

Document Requirements

Commercial Invoice

Two copies of the Commercial Invoice are required under the following conditions:

  • import shipments with a value exceeding 200,000 yen or the equivalent in convertible foreign currency
  • all items containing a purchase or sample, regardless of value
  • any commodity which requires import approval (restricted items), regardless of value
  • when a shipment consists of multiple commodities and there is not sufficient room on the air waybill to indicate the value, country of origin and description of each individual commodity.

When the commercial invoice is required, the description must include the country of manufacture as well as the value of each commodity in the shipment. Invoices should also show freight, insurance and any other charges or discounts as individual line items. When available, the importer/exporter identification number should be included to minimize manual customs processing.

If a formal sales invoice exists, a copy of the original company invoice is required for customs clearance. Failure to provide a copy of the original invoice may cause clearance delays.

Certificate of Origin

A Certificate of Origin Form A may be required for goods under formal entry claiming preferential duty or exemption under the various agreements (GPT). It should be produced at the time of entry and must be in the possession of the Importer at the time of entry. Copies are not acceptable. The country of origin of the goods must also be detailed on the commercial invoice.

Declaration of Antiquity

A declaration or certification of antiquity must be made by the importer in order to claim duty-free entry for goods that are over 100 years old. It is helpful but not required for the exporter to include on the invoice a declaration regarding the age of any goods that are eligible for antiquity duty exemptions.

Health Certificate

Certification from the appropriate government agency in the country of export regarding the health of the plant from which the product was derived is required for most plant products.

Import Approval

Certain goods require import approval from one or more government ministries. The importer must submit an application form to the regulating ministry, which will apply its stamp/seal to the import approval application form if it grants approval. Although there is one primary import approval application form, certain commodities (textiles, whale products, food, plant products, animal products, etc.) require a specific form. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • certain textiles
  • cosmetics and other products that are used on the human body (hair tonics, bath preparations, etc.)
  • cutlery, cookware, containers, dishes, etc. used for food, beverages, or for food preparation
  • chemicals
  • drugs and medicines and other products such as eye drops, toothpaste, vitamin, etc. that have an effect on humans or animals
  • food additives
  • medical equipment
  • toys for babies.

Quarantine Forms

Most plant and animal products are subject to inspection by the Plant or Animal Quarantine office at the time of import and/or export. The quarantine form serves as an import approval application.

The following documents may also be required:

1. Insurance Certificate

2. Permit or Certification

3. Statement on reduction or exemption from customs duty.

Customs Procedure:

International Mail Importation:

Goods which do not require payment of duty are delivered directly to the consignee from the nearest post office. In the case of goods which the amount of duty payable is less than ¥10,000, goods are directly delivered with a notice of duty on international mail. In the case, where duty payable is more than ¥10,000, a notice of duty is sent to the addresse, and goods are released upon payment of duty and a postal handling charge.

In some cases, a “Notification of Customs Procedure on Mail Arrival from Abroad” is sent, requiring further documentation before the release of goods.