Japan Luggage Express
Japan Luggage Express Ltd.

Shipping a car from Japan

container ship

Shipping a car from Japan

Steps and Considerations for Exporting a Car from Japan


Japan is renowned for its automobile manufacturing and technological innovation, and many people are interested in acquiring Japanese cars. If you are considering exporting a car from Japan, this article will provide you with valuable information. We will outline the steps and considerations involved in exporting a car from Japan.

Choosing a Shipping Method:

Roll-On/Roll-Off (Ro-Ro): Ro-Ro is a common and cost-effective method. The car is driven onto a specialized ship for transportation.
Container Shipping: Container shipping involves loading the car into a container for transportation. It provides additional protection but is more expensive.

Selecting a Reliable Shipping Company:

When exporting a car from Japan, it is crucial to choose a reliable shipping company that specializes in international transportation. Ensure they have experience in exporting cars from Japan and provide services to your desired destination.

Preparing the Car:

Thoroughly clean the interior and exterior of the car before departure. Remove any personal belongings and detachable accessories. It’s also important to take detailed photographs of the car’s condition.

Checking Import Regulations and Requirements:

Familiarize yourself with the import regulations and requirements of the destination country. Understand the necessary documents, customs procedures, duties and taxes, as well as emissions and safety standards.

Obtaining the Required Documentation:

Typically, you will need the original title (vehicle registration document), bill of sale, and other relevant documents for the car. Additionally, specific documents such as a certificate of origin, export declaration, may be required. Contact the shipping company or consult with the customs authorities of the destination country for accurate information.

Required Documents for Exporting Used Cars

The required customs documents and procedures for exporting used cars from Japan are as follows. Please make sure to confirm with the overseas buyer regarding the necessary documents for importation at the destination.

Invoice and Packing List:
The invoice should state the vehicle type, VIN, year, gasoline/diesel distinction, displacement, etc as well as the value, country of origin.

Export Cancellation Registration Certificate (using a form with both Japanese and English)

Pre-shipment Inspection Certificate (if requested by the buyer)

When the owner of a registered motor vehicle intends to export the vehicle, he/she must apply for “provisional export cancellation registration” at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (Transport Branch Office or Vehicle Inspection and Registration Office) and receive a “certificate of provisional export cancellation registration”. (This is to be submitted when declaring the vehicle for export to the customs office.

Japan Customs will not check, but an antique dealer’s license is required to export used vehicles unless they are sent as a part of unaccompanied personal effects of an individual leaving Japan for another country.


1.Obtain a temporary export cancellation registration (for vehicles that have not been temporarily registered as cancelled) issued by the Transport Bureau.

If the vehicle has been temporarily registered for cancellation, have a Certificate of Notification of Intended Export issued.

These certificates are valid for six months.

2.Book space of  container with your forwarder and make arrangements of shipping to the destination.

3.Arrange delivery of  the vehicle is to the designated bonded area.


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