Welcome to Japan!

As a visitor to Japan you are required to fulfill certain Customs requirements which are an important part of the procedures pertaining to entry and departure. This information is prepared by Japanese Customs to assist foreign visitors coming to Japan by informing you of the Customs regulations and procedures which must be observed. The following knowledge will be helpful to you during your Customs examination. We ask questions such as, "How many goods can a passenger bring in duty free?" "What are the procedures for shopping at duty-free shops?" "What kinds of articles are prohibited or restricted by law?"
We hope this information will be useful and will help expedite your Customs clearance.

If you have any question, please feel free to ask a Customs officer.

Your Declaration

1. You are required to make either an oral or a written declaration about your belongings.

Two copies of a written declaration are required, if you have unaccompanied baggage, or if you have guns or swords.
Customs declaration forms are available on the plane, the ship, or at Customs.

2. The green and red channel system

Please choose either the green channel or the red channel.
a) The green channel is for passengers who have no goods subject to duty and/or tax and goods not prohibited or restricted for import.
b) The red channel is for all other passengers.

※ Please pay duties and/or taxes at the bank in the Customs inspection zone.
When the value of the dutiable goods exceeds three hundred thousand yen (\300,000), Customs procedures for commercial cargo are required.

Your Exemption

Personal effects and unaccompanied baggage for personal use are free of duty and/or tax within the allowance specified below. ( As for rice, the limit is 100KG a year. ) If you have both personal effects and unaccompanied baggage, please consider them together and refer to the allowance.

-Personal Effects and Professional Equipment
Clothes, toiletries, and other personal effects for your personal use, as well as portable professional equipment that will be used during your stay in Japan, are all free of duty and/or tax, if they are considered quantitatively appropriate and are not for sale.

-Alcoholic Beverages, Tobacco Products, Perfume, etc
Moreover, allowances will be made for certain other articles within the limits specified below.

-Household Effects (including Automobiles)
If you are to move to Japan and to stay for more than one year, your or your family's household effects being used by the members of your family may be imported free of duty and/or tax within the limit deemed reasonable.
Such household effects may include automobiles, boats, and other vehicles, provided that a registration certificates or sales receipts are presented to prove that the automobiles are used and that the boats have been in use for more than one year prior to its arrival in Japan.
Automobiles and other vehicles may be imported temporarily free of duty and/or tax provided they are subsequently exported.

Item Allowance
( for an adult)
Alcoholic Beverages 3 bottles A bottle contains approximately 760cc
Tobacco Products Cigars 100 cigars If a visitor brings in more than one kind of tobacco product, the total allowance is 500 grams.
Cigarettes 400 cigarettes
Other kinds of tobacco 500 grams
Perfume 2 ounces  
Others \ 200,000 The total overseas market value of all articles other than the above items must be under
\200,000. Any item whose overseas market value is under \10,000 is free of duty and/or tax and is not included in the calculation of the total overseas market value of all articles.There is no duty-free allowance for articles having a market value of more than \200,000 each or each set.

・ Commodities and commercial samples are subject to duty and/or tax since they are not regarded as being for personal use.
・ In the case of applying duty-free allowance for rice, please submit a "Report for the Import of Rice" to the Local Food Office or other competent organization, then submit one of the copies which are returned to you to the Customs Office.


Simplified Customs Duty and Tax Rates

When your belongings exceed the limit of the allowances, the following simplified Customs duty and tax rates will be applied, in most cases, to that amount which is in excess.
  • Simplified Customs Duty Rate
Goods Rate
Alcoholic Beverages
Distilled alcoholic beverages \225 per bottle (750cc)
Other liquors (e.g., Wine) \150 per bottle (750cc)
Others 15%


  • Special Tariff Rates Applicable to Certain Alcoholic Beverages
Goods Rate
Whisky, Brandy \375 per bottle (750ml)
Rum, Tafia, Gin, and Vodka, etc. \300 per bottle (750ml)
Liquor, Cordial \225 per bottle (750ml)
Beer, Low-Malt Beer \150 per bottle (750ml)


Rate of Cigarettes \6,500 per 1,000 cigarettes (\6.5 per cigarette)

Unaccompanied Baggage

When you have unaccompanied baggage, two copies of written declaration forms are required to submit at the time of your entry, one of which will be returned to you with the seal of certification by a Customs officer. Such declaration is necessary to obtain duty and/or tax exemption status.
Such unaccompanied baggage must be in your custody within six months after your arrival. The sealed declaration must be presented at the time of clearance of the unaccompanied goods.
If baggage is imported by mail, you are required to list this unaccompanied baggage on your declaration, and you should identify the parcel by placing the words "unaccompanied baggage" on the parcel.


There is no limit on the total amount of means of payment that may be brought into or taken out of Japan. However, if you transport means of payment exceeding JP\1,000,000 or its equivalent or precious metal (more than 90% purity gold only) exceeding 1kg of total weight, you are required to submit a report to Customs. Means of payment include Japanese or foreign currencies, cheques ( including traveler's cheques ), promissory notes, and securities.

Prohibited Articles

The following articles are prohibited from entry by law:

(a) Opium, other narcotic drugs, equipment for opium smoking, and stimulants (including Vicks inhalers and Sudafed), and psychotropic substances (excluding those designated by an ordinance of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare);
(b) Firearms (pistols, rifles, machine guns, etc.), ammunition (bullets) for such articles, and firearms parts;
(c) Books, drawings, carvings, and any other articles which harm public security or morals (obscene or immoral materials such as pornography);
(d) Articles which infringe upon rights in patents, utility-models, designs, trademarks, copyrights, breeders, neighboring rights, or layout designs of integrated circuits; and
(e) Counterfeit, altered, or imitation coins, paper money, bank notes, or securities.


Restricted Articles

Some other goods are restricted by other laws and regulations. When you import such goods, permits and approval under laws and regulations other than the Customs Law are required, or the goods must be examined by a government agency, as the case may be.

Major restricted items are listed below:
(a) Plants and animals must be presented to the plant or animal quarantine officer for quarantine inspection prior to Customs examination.
(b) There are quantity restrictions on the import of medicine and cosmetics.
( e.g., for pharmaceutical products: amount for use for a period of 2 months; quasi-drugs: amount for use for a period of 2 months; cosmetics: 24 applications)
(c) No person shall bring hunting guns, air guns, swords, etc. into Japan without a permit to possess.

Purchase of Tax-Free Articles

When you purchase articles at specified "tax-free" shops, consumption tax on those articles may be exempted on condition that they are taken out of Japan. When you purchase tax-free articles, you will be required to present your passport at the shop and you will receive a card entitled " Record of Purchase of Consumption-Tax-Exempt for Export, " which will be attached to your passport. Articles purchased tax free will be checked with the card by a Customs officer, who will collect the card at the time of your departure from Japan.

No exemption on consumption tax will be given to articles purchased at shops other than "tax-free" shops.
When you export guns, swords, or high-quality personal computers that require an export license, you must obtain said license from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry prior to its export.


We keep these regulations updated but because such regulations are subject to change without notice, we strongly recommend you to consult your local embassy or consulate before you make your move.
# 1 Directory of International Movers is not responsible for any loss resulting from the use of these customs information.



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