Procedures of Passenger Clearance : Japan Customs (2023)

Summary

As a visitor to Japan you are required to perform certain Customs procedures which are an important part of entry into and departure from the country. This information is prepared by Japan Customs to assist foreign visitors coming to Japan by providing information about Customs regulations and procedures. The following knowledge will be helpful during Customs examination.

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

(Video) Narita International Airport, Tokyo - Japan (Arrival Procedures)

Declaration

  1. You are required to make a written declaration about your belongings.
    Two copies of a written declaration are required, if you have unaccompanied baggage.
    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.
    1. The green channel is for passengers who have no goods subject to duty and/or tax and goods not prohibited or restricted for import.
    2. 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 (300,000yen), Customs procedures for commercial cargo are required.

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.
Duty-free/Tax-free Allowance
ItemAllowance
(for an adult)
Remarks
Alcoholic Beverages3 bottlesA bottle contains approximately 760cc
Tobacco ProductsCigars50 cigarsIf a visitor brings in more than one kind of tobacco product, the total allowance is equivalent to 250 grams.

Examples of the allowance for heat-not-burn tobacco

  • IQOS: 200 pieces
  • glo: 200 pieces
  • Ploom TECH: 50 capsules
Cigarettes

200 cigarettes

Heat-not-burn tobacco

10 individual packages,etc

Other kinds of tobacco250 grams
Perfume2 ouncesOne ounce is about 28ml.
Others200,000yenThe total overseas market value of all articles other than the above items must be under
200,000yen. Any item whose overseas market value is under 10,000yen 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 200,000yen each or each set.

(Notes)
*1 Commodities and commercial samples are subject to duty and/or tax since they are not regarded as being for personal use.
*2 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.
*3 For additional information of the new exemption of tobacco, please see the brochure(Announcement[PDF:464KB]Procedures of Passenger Clearance:Japan Customs (1)).

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 and Tax Rate
ItemRate
Alcoholic Beverages
Whisky, Brandy800yen per liter
Rum, Gin, Vodka500yen per liter
Liquor400yen per liter
Distilled alcoholic beverages300yen per liter
Wine, beer, and other liquor200yen per liter
Other articles (except for those free of Customs duty)15%
Simplified Customs Duty and Tax Rate
ItemRate
Cigarettes15,000yen per 1,000 cigarettes (15yen 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.

Currency

If you are carrying cash or other means of payment exceeding 1 million yen (*0.1 million JPY in a case that you are bound for North Korea), you are required to declare to Customs. Please ask a Customs officer at a seaport/ airport for a blank form. (In case of import of gold bullion (regardless of its purity or weight), please be aware of duty-free/tax-free allowance.)

(Video) How to Enter Japan | FINAL UPDATE | Required Documents & Fast-Track Entry | japan-guide.com

Form:DECLARATION OF CARRYING OF MEANS OF PAYMENT,ETC(PDF)
(This form is different from “Declaration of Personal Effects and Unaccompanied Articles” described below.)

To whom depart or enter Japan with currency and coins or other means of payment exceeding 1 million JPY.
〔English [pdf:210kb]〕

To whom depart Japan for North Korea with currency and coins or other means of payment, etc exceeding 0.1 million JPY!
〔English [pdf:216kb]〕 〔Korean [pdf:229kb]〕

What you have to declare

(Video) Explained about Customs Inspection. Cost and Difference between Import and Export inspections.

    1. Following items in excess of 1 million yen (or their equivalent):
      *0.1 million JPY in a case that you are bound for North Korea
      • Cash(including foreign currency)
      • Checks
      • Travelers checks
      • Promissory notes
      • Securities
    2. Gold bullion (not less than 90% purity) exceeding 1kg.

*Please note if you are going to import gold bullion (regardless of its purity or weight) and other items which value exceeds 200,000 yen in total, you have to fill in the form “Declaration of Personal Effects and Unaccompanied Articles”. (Consumption taxes etc. are imposed.)【Refer to thefollowing chart for declaration procedures】
Please contact a Customs officer for details.

Procedures of Passenger Clearance:Japan Customs (2)
※The other procedures may be required according to the quantity or value of gold. Please contact a Customs officer for details.

Prohibited Articles

The following articles are prohibited from entry by law:

  1. Heroin, cocaine, MDMA, opium, cannabis, stimulants, psychotropic substances, and other narcotic drugs (excluding those designated by Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Ordinance);
  2. Firearms (pistols, etc.), ammunition (bullets) thereof, and pistol parts;
  3. Explosives (dynamite, gunpowder, etc.) ;
  4. Precursor materials for chemical weapons;
  5. Counterfeit, altered, or imitation coins, paper money, bank notes, or securities, and forged credit cards;
  6. Books, drawings, carvings, and any other article which may harm public safety or morals (obscene or immoral materials, e.g., pornography);
  7. Child pornography; and
  8. Articles which infringe upon intellectual property rights.

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.

(Video) Information on Immigration Procedures

Major restricted items are listed below:

  1. Plants and animals must be presented to the plant or animal quarantine officer for quarantine inspection prior to Customs examination.
  2. 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) Web-site of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare *Click here for details.
  3. No person shall bring hunting guns, air guns, swords, etc. into Japan without a permit to possess.

Purchase of Tax-Free Goods

You are required to export the tax-free goods. Do not transfer or consume the tax-free goods in Japan.
When leaving Japan, at the airport or seaport of departure,

  1. if you do not have “Record of purchase slip”, please present your passport at customs.
  2. if you have “Record of purchase slip(s)”, please submit the record of purchase slip(s) at customs.

Customs inspect your possession of the tax-free goods as necessary.
If you DO NOT EXPORT the tax-free goods, you have to pay the consumption tax at customs.

[Note]

  • You may be subject to penalty (Imprisonment up to 1 year or a fine up to maximum of 500,000 yen) if you have transferred the tax-free goods prior to departure.
  • If you become a resident of Japan after purchasing the tax-free goods, you have to pay the consumption tax to the Tax Office in charge of domicile or residence.
    In this case, please present your passport and submit the record of purchase slip(s) to the Tax Office.
(Video) Guide to Arrival Procedures of China Immigration Inspection中国との国境移民ガイド

Please refer to the website of National Tax Agency for more detail.
https://www.nta.go.jp/publication/pamph/shohi/menzei/index.htm

FAQs

How do I clear customs in Japan? ›

When you enter Japan, you are requested to hand in a Customs Declaration form for both your personal effects and unaccompanied baggage at the Customs Clearance. Customs Declaration forms are available on the plane, the ship or at the airport Customs Inspection Area. You may also use e-filing via web page or QR code.

How long does customs clearance take in Japan? ›

The customs clearance process can take between 1 to 4 weeks depending on the country.

What to expect when you go through customs in Japan? ›

WELCOME TO JAPAN! 1 You are required to make a written declaration about your belongings. You must submit one copy of Customs declaration forms to a Customs inspector when you enter Japan. Two copies of Customs declaration forms are required, if you have unaccompanied baggage, or if you are bringing in guns or swords.

Is Japanese customs strict? ›

Japan has a unique culture with a very strict code of etiquette. There are specific ways to eat noodles, good practices for accepting gifts, and certain rules to follow to avoid insulting a host.

What are the steps for customs clearance? ›

Customs Clearance Process
  1. Inspection of Documents.
  2. Tax and Duty Payment.
  3. Shipment Release.
  4. Ensure Documentation Is Accurate.
  5. Always Check International Trade Laws.
  6. Consider What Goods You're Shipping.
  7. Expect Multiple Customs Clearance Checks.
  8. Calculate Your Tax and Duties.
Nov 14, 2022

What do I need to do for customs clearance? ›

There are four basic import documents you need in order to clear customs quickly and easily.
  1. Commercial Invoice. This document is used for foreign trade. ...
  2. Packing List. Provided by the shipper or freight forwarder, the packing list may be used by customs to check the cargo. ...
  3. Bill of Lading (BOL) ...
  4. Arrival Notice.

How much is customs clearance fee in Japan? ›

Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports

Japan applies a customs tariff that is among the lowest in the world (on average, 2.5%).

How many days it will take to clear customs clearance? ›

Time Required for Goods to Clear Customs in India

The customs clearance of imported goods can take a few hours to many days depending on conditions. Once the entry of your order is made by your broker, it usually takes around 10-14 days for clearance.

Can I do customs clearance myself? ›

You can make a declaration yourself, or appoint someone to deal with it on your behalf. You may be able to make a simplified declaration – find out whether that applies to you here, or check if Authorised Economic Operator status could benefit you.

What must be declared at customs? ›

You must declare all items you purchased and are carrying with you upon return to the United States, including gifts for other people as well as items you bought for yourself. This includes duty-free items purchased in foreign countries, as well as any merchandise you intend to sell or use in your business.

What happens when you go through customs at the airport? ›

Officials at customs and immigration are checking travelers for things like whether they have the right documents to be in the country, whether they're legally allowed to be there, and whether they're bringing anything illegal with them.

What to expect when going through customs at the airport? ›

They will ask you questions about why you're coming into the country, where you're staying and how long you're staying for. If you're worried about how long customs takes, bringing documentation that proves the reason for your visit, such as a letter from your host, can speed up the process.

What you Cannot bring into Japan? ›

Prohibited Articles
  • Heroin, cocaine, MDMA, opium, cannabis, stimulants, psychotropic substances, and other narcotic drugs (excluding those designated by Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Ordinance);
  • Firearms (pistols, etc.), ammunition (bullets) thereof, and pistol parts;
  • Explosives (dynamite, gunpowder, etc.) ;

What is not accepted in Japan? ›

Narcotics such as opium, cocaine, heroin, MDMA, magic mushrooms, stimulant drugs (stimulant drugs contained in an inhaler or items containing stimulant drug ingredients), cannabis, opium smoking paraphernalia and psychotropic drugs are not allowed in Japan.

What is Japanese customs like? ›

Japanese people always display modesty and humility. People often bow to convey the message: “I am not above you. I respect you.” Bowing longer with a higher degree of angle means more respect. Additionally, Japanese people have two religions at the same time: they are both Buddhist and Shintoist.

What are the three 3 main documents required for import customs clearance? ›

• Customs for the clearance of imports consists of:
  • Import Declaration.
  • Bill of Lading (B/L) or Air Waybill.
  • Invoice.
  • Packing List.
  • Import License (if applicable)
  • Certificates of Origin (if applicable)
  • Other relevant documents such as catalogue, product ingredients, etc.

Who pays for custom clearance? ›

Who pays the duty? It is the responsibility of the importer of record to pay the duty. The seller or shipper normally cannot pay the duty in advance. Working with a customs broker that you trust can save you from being duped by the seller who claimed to prepay the duty.

Do you pay customs from Japan to USA? ›

Depending on the type of product you plan to import, you will have to pay a customs duty on goods shipped from Japan if they are for commercial use. Certain goods are duty-free according to the harmonized tariff schedule of the U.S. (HTSUS), whereas other goods do require duty to be paid.

Do you have to pay for custom clearance? ›

Customs clearance may require that you pay import duties or sales taxes to the Government of Canada while service fees, such as customs brokerage fees, transportation fees, or clearance fees charged by international couriers or customs brokers may apply when you are importing a product from outside of Canada, however ...

Why is customs clearance taking so long? ›

Shipments are held to ensure they satisfy export or import customs regulations. This may be due to missing or incomplete paperwork, waiting for clearance instructions or because the authorities may need more information to clear the goods.

What is the last step of custom clearance? ›

The Final Delivery

The customs clearance is to be submitted to the port authorities, allowing the importer to take the goods. If there are cargoes in a warehouse, then the importer has to do another bill of entry to clear the stored cargoes.

How much do you pay for customs clearance? ›

Up to $1,600 in goods will be duty-free under your personal exemption if the merchandise is from an IP. Up to $800 in goods will be duty-free if it is from a CBI or Andean country. Any additional amount, up to $1,000, in goods will be dutiable at a flat rate (3%).

Is a SSN required for customs clearance? ›

The SSN number is not always needed, however, if not available, this can cause delays to shipments so customs brokers often ask that all shipments provide this number just in case.

How much does they charge for customs clearance? ›

Customs Clearance Charges

In addition to the import duties, India charges a 1% customs handling fee on all the imports. This cost is charged on the entire/total value of the goods+the freight costs and Insurance.

Do you have to answer customs questions? ›

If you are a U.S. citizen, you need only answer questions establishing your identity and citizenship, although refusing to answer routine questions about the nature and purpose of your travel could result in delay and/or further inspection.

What are the things not allowed by customs? ›

Wild birds, land or marine mammals, reptiles, fish, shellfish, mollusks or invertebrates; Any part or product of the above, such as skins, tusks, bone, feathers, or eggs; or. Products or articles manufactured from wildlife or fish.

What happens if you don't declare at customs? ›

Merchandise is declared to CBP. If you do not declare something that should have been declared, you risk forfeiting the item.

What questions do customs ask at airport? ›

Prepare for Likely Questions From U.S. CBP Officials
  • Why are you visiting the United States? ...
  • Where will you be staying? ...
  • Who will you be visiting? ...
  • How long will you be staying in the U.S.? If you're coming in with an immigrant visa (have been approved for U.S. permanent residence), you won't likely be asked this.

Do you show your boarding pass at customs? ›

Or it's on your phone, which is now locked. Well, there's good news for those of us who feel like we are perpetually scrambling to find our boarding pass when we go through security. At more than 100 airports across the United States, travelers will no longer need to scan their boarding pass at security.

Do you go through customs before or after you get your luggage? ›

Generally speaking, the first step is the immigration checkpoint, where you will show your passport, visa, and I-20. The second part comes when you pass through customs after collecting your checked luggage from the claim carousels in the baggage terminal. Note: Your port of entry may not be your final destination.

Is 1 hour enough to get through customs? ›

Is 1 hour enough for customs? Based on historic clearance times, 1 hour should be enough time to get through Immigration and Customs. Most airports in the U.S. will get passengers through in less than 30 minutes, while others (such as Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport) will take longer.

How long does a customs assessment take? ›

A standard customs clearance process shouldn't take longer than a few hours (usually, it's minutes). However, if any problems arise regarding your parcel, this process can take days or even weeks.

How long does a customs background check take? ›

Pre-employment investigative screening (such as the collection and review of fingerprints and the Questionnaire for National Security Positions, the polygraph exam, and the background investigation) can take up to 12 months, or longer.

Can I bring ibuprofen to Japan? ›

What OTC medication can you bring? Travelers are permitted to bring a two-month (60 day) supply of any permissible over-the-counter medication, and an equivalent amount of vitamins. This also applies to contact lenses.

Which items are not allowed in hand luggage? ›

Prohibited items in Cabin Baggage:
  • Dry cell batteries.
  • Knives, scissors, Swiss army knives and other sharp instruments.
  • Toy replicas of fire arms and ammunition.
  • Weapons such as whips, nan-chakus, baton, or stun gun.
  • Electronic devices which cannot be switched off.
  • Aerosols and liquids*

What are 4 items you Cannot bring on an airplane? ›

Restricted Items NOT Allowed on a Plane in Your Carry-On
  • Sharp objects. ...
  • Sporting goods and athletic equipment. ...
  • Self defense items. ...
  • Gel-type candles. ...
  • Large quantities of alcohol (more than 3.4 ounces) ...
  • Guns and ammunition.
Dec 17, 2022

What does sneezing mean in Japan? ›

No one really knows where this myth originated from, but the Japanese have taken it one step further. They believe that sneezing once means someone is gossiping something nice about you. Twice means something not as nice. Thrice – gossip that's really, really not nice at all.

Are Americans welcome in Japan? ›

Individual tourists may visit Japan starting October 11, 2022, subject to vaccine or testing requirements as further described in the U.S. Embassy's “Information for U.S. Citizens Traveling to Japan” webpage. Tourists with U.S. passports no longer need a visa to stay up to three months.

What is disrespectful in Japan? ›

Pointing at people or things is considered rude in Japan. Instead of using a finger to point at something, the Japanese use a hand to gently wave at what they would like to indicate. When referring to themselves, people will use their forefinger to touch their nose instead of pointing at themselves.

What are 5 Japanese etiquette rules? ›

1. Basic Japanese Etiquette
  • 1- DO's. Be Polite. ...
  • 2- DON'Ts. Don't Bother Others. ...
  • 1- Greet Before/After Eating. ...
  • 2- Use Chopsticks Properly: Chopstick Etiquette in Japan. ...
  • 3- Make Noise While Eating Soup Noodles. ...
  • 4- Do Not Pour Your Own Drink When You're with Someone. ...
  • 5- Do Not Pay a Tip. ...
  • 1- At Shrines and Temples.
Jan 6, 2020

How long does it take to go through customs at Haneda Airport? ›

The approximate transfer time is 70 minutes. All passengers who arrive at Haneda airport must clear the customs inspection at Haneda.

Do I have to go through customs for a connecting flight in Japan? ›

When connecting between international flights, passengers are not required to undergo Immigration procedures if they are staying in the departure area (airside) until their next flight. However, Immigration procedures will be required if passengers wish to leave this area to meet a friend or to go outside the airport.

Do you have to pay customs in Japan? ›

Goods imported into Japan are subject to Customs duty and consumption tax. In addition to consumption tax, certain other internal taxes (liquor tax, tobacco tax, etc.) are also applicable to dutiable imported goods.

Can you clear customs by yourself? ›

Do I need a Customs Broker to clear my goods through Customs and Border Protection (CBP)? There is no legal requirement for you to hire a Customs Broker to clear your goods. However, many importers opt to do so for the convenience.

How long is customs clearance process? ›

How long does custom clearance take? Typically, customs clearance takes less than 24 hours, however, there are times where it can take several days or weeks for goods to be inspected. When is customs clearance needed? Customs clearance is necessary for all packages entering the U.S. from other countries.

How many days does customs clearance take? ›

With proper documents, customs accepts the tariff classification, value of cargo, customs clearance can be accomplished in three (3) to four (4) working days.

Do you have to go through customs if you are just connecting? ›

When does a traveler clear U.S. Customs and Border Protection? When does a traveler clear U.S. Customs and Border Protection? If a connection to another U.S. city is involved, the traveler will not be required to go through another clearance when they arrive at that final U.S. destination.

Do you go through customs before or after connecting flight? ›

Generally speaking, you only clear customs if you're leaving the airport and entering into the country, not heading on to connecting flights.

How long does it take to clear customs in Narita? ›

Try to schedule your arrival at Narita Airport before 2 p.m. You need three to four hours to clear customs/immigration, collect your bags and then make the connection from Narita to Haneda by bus. If you arrive in Narita after 2 p.m. we recommend you stay overnight near Narita.

What are 5 customs in Japan? ›

Japan's Customs and Traditions
  • Taking off shoes when entering someone's house.
  • Wearing a mask when sick.
  • Not shaking hands and not hugging when meeting with loved ones.
  • Bowing 45 degrees to show respect.
  • Making the slurping sound when eating noodles.
  • Symbolically washing hands when entering a shrine.
Jun 20, 2022

How do I pay customs fees in Japan? ›

Customs duty is to be paid at a bank or post office. For payment made through the Multi-Payment Network System, please refer to Code 1311. Also, if the customs declaration procedure is conducted through NACCS, payment may be made through the real-time account-transfer method (hereinafter called the "direct method").

What Cannot go through customs? ›

Examples of restricted items include firearms, certain fruits and vegetables, animal products, animal by products, and some animals.

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