Japan Luggage Express
Japan Luggage Express Ltd.

Customs Clearance Procedures for People Living Abroad

Japan customs

Customs Clearance Procedures for People Living Abroad

Requirements by Japan Customs for Exporters of Commercial goods

The contents of this article are not for people moving out of Japan and shipping unaccompanied personal effects  but for those residing overseas and shipping purchased goods or the alike from Japan or shipping goods other than personal use such as selling/reselling.

When exporting goods from Japan, it is necessary that there is some party who acts as the shipper/exporter. However, Japanese Customs Law stipulates that the entity who acts as the shipper/exporter must be an entity with an address in Japan and in the case of an individual he/she must have a residency in Japan.

There are some cases where individuals living outside Japan without residencies in Japan have needs for transporting some goods purchased in Japan. There are mainly two cases. 1) A person travelling to Japan purchases some products to send home for commercial/business. 2) A person living abroad purchases some goods from a seller in Japan but the seller is not able to act as the exporter/shipper or a person purchases from multiple sellers and send them together as one consignment. This includes the cases of purchasing for personal use or for business/commercial use. (Travelers may ship their purchased goods as unaccompanied personal effects if they are for personal use.)

For these two cases, the Japan Customs would allow the export of your shipment if you assign a so-called “Attorney for the customs procedure“.  An attorney for the customs procedure is also referred to as “customs manager” by the Japan customs. In Japanese it is 事務管理人.  An “attorney for the customs procedure” is a proxy who submits the export documents and in some cases can receive a refund if any on behalf of the exporter/importer of the goods whose residencies are not in Japan.

The system of assigning an an attorney for the customs procedure arose from the needs for the customs to contact some party in Japan in the case of problem or in some cases to refund some fees. It is basically a customs’ rule made for a good cause giving the rights for exporting to people living outside Japan as otherwise they would not be qualified to export because of the residency requirement.

It take time to get a permission and a registered number for an “attorney for the customs procedure”. Therefore once you know you have the needs for shipping from Japan, you should make an arrangement immediately.

Ref: Customs Law Article 95

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *