Customs in Japan

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Customs Procedures

Import Procedures
Import procedure is subjected to a computerized declaration. All the steps and documents to be produced are listed on the Japanese Customs website.
The Customs Counselor System assists companies with import procedures.
Specific Import Procedures
For goods whose value is less than or equal to 100,000 yen, a simplified declaration system applies.
Importing Samples
Goods that are used as and which qualify as samples are eligible for duty-free entry. In order to qualify, the total customs value should be 5,000 yen or less and the words "sample, not for resale" should be written on the commercial invoice. The goods should be marked or mutilated so that they can only be used as samples and not be sold.

Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports

Average Customs Duty (Excluding Agricultural Products)
Japan applies a Customs tariff which is among the lowest in the world. It is 3% on average.
The WTO gives a sheet summarizing the Customs tariffs of the country.
Products Having a Higher Customs Tariff
Agricultural products 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 harmonized system.
As a reminder :
The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, generally referred to as "Harmonized System" or simply "HS", developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO), comprises nearly 5,000 commodity groups, each identified by a six digit code. The system is used by more than 200 countries and economies as a basis for their Customs tariffs and for the collection of international trade statistics. Over 98% of the merchandise in international trade is classified in terms of the HS.
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)

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  • U.S. Commercial Service Japan

    U.S. Department of Commerce, Japan