The wonderful island of Japan has become an increasingly popular destination for shipping and sending a parcel. To ensure the process is easy, quick and hassle free follow this basic guide covering the main pitfalls on international shipping.

Regardless if you are a business or residential shipper, these are the four main subjects you need to understand before shipping:

  • Customs Clearence Paerwork

Like any nation, Japan operates some restrictions and total bans on certain goods. The best practice here is to check the official Japanese customs website to make sure your goods aren’t restricted or prohibited. You will also need to make sure you have the correct documentation with your parcel – which is automatically provided when you book.

Here’s why:
The local customs authority need to determine what goods are inside your parcel for two different reasons; number one is so they can charge the correct the duties and fees and number two is to see if your items are prohibited or restricted from entry. This is why it is very important you complete the booking process accurately and honestly.

It’s worth noting:
You won’t need to pay any duties or tax on your goods if the total value is worth less than 10,000 yen. If your goods are worth more than 10,000 yen, then the receiver will be contacted by customs and asked to pay this fee. If you would like to pay this instead, then please get in touch with Customer Services.

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Shipping food to Japan

Courierpoint Tip
Clearly define what your goods are to avoid any delays at customs. For example, declaring your electrical item as “Electronics” may cause problems. Declaring “Sony PlayStation Vita gaming console” will probably not.


Prohibited and Restricted Items

We always advise our customers to visit the country's customs website for more details on the customs policies. Moreover, as an international courier, we have a list of prohibite dan restricted items that we cannot transport.

  • Food

Although Japan is a country rich in some of the world’s most iconic food, for some expats living abroad, the taste of home is just too tantalising to miss. So, a care package is in order – this is a really simple and easy process, as long as you follow these basic rules for sending food abroad.

What Can I Do to Prevent Extra Costs Shipping Food to Japan?

  • Foods must be in the original manufacturer’s packaging.

  • Food packaging must be sealed and not tampered with in any way.

  • Food label must list all ingredients.

  • Foods must have a shelf life of longer than six months from the date of shipping.

  • All foods that have a shelf life of less than six months will be classed as perishables, and cannot be sent via courier, even if store bought.


    Personal Effects / Gifts

Japan is one of the most popular destinations to send gifts from the UK. You will also be pleased to hear that if the item is valued below 10,000 yen, then you won’t need to pay any duties or tax on it. Here are some simple tips to remember to make sure your gift doesn’t get delayed in customs.

What Can I Do to Prevent Extra Costs Shipping Gifts to Japan?

  • Be very specific during the booking process on what your gift actually is. It is easy to fall into the trap of simply labelling an item ‘a gift’, instead of being clear – this will only lead to it being delayed in customs, opened by customs staff and a possible additional fee invoked.

  • Don’t gift wrap your item and send it to Japan; the packaging won’t survive. Instead, place the gift wrapped item inside of a new double ply box and then send it. For more packaging guidelines and tips, head here.

  • Make sure your gift isn’t on any restricted or prohibited items list. For example, you cannot send perfume with a courier as it is flammable.


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