Learning from successful examples is a good way to start importing in Japan. In this section, we have picked up some of the questions often asked by our readers. We hope you find these questions and answers useful!
ACP serves like an IOR(Importer of Record) in the US or some other western countries.
Importing any merchandise in Japan requires importers who will be responsible for the duty/tax payment and liable for the products. These responsibilities and liabilities are basically taken only by resident companies and individuals in Japan. If overseas companies or persons want to import goods in Japan, they need to prove to the customs office that they are capable of taking care of these roles. Then they should appoint a resident company or an individual as their ACP. The appointed company or the individual will submit ACP application documents to the Customs office. After Customs office accept the application, they are registered as the ACP. The ACP supports the shipments and taxation on behalf of the overseas companies or persons.
The word IOR is sometimes used for convenience in Japan, which is not actually correct. IOR is system and term used in US, Canada, Europe and some other foreign countries. IORs support non-resident importers' shipments just like ACPs in Japan, with only a few different roles in taxation or other responsibilities.
You can also contact us via the Contact Form. Selling in Japan website is run by Aikou Logistics Corporation, who is an experienced ACP service provider listed on SPN. Feel free to ask us for the service details and prices.
Here is the page where you can learn more about the documents required.
In the actual process, your ACP will give you guidance on the specific paperwork required. It's important to choose a partner with sufficient knowledge and experience to prepare documents that are acceptable for the customs offices. The processing time depends on how quickly you can prepare the documents required.
When you import goods in Japan, the customs office will charge you duty and VAT, which is called consumption tax. Duty rate varies by the product, and the consumption tax is 10%. Please check this page for more details.
Impoter have the responsibility to pay the import duty and VAT, whether they are resident or not. You can ask your forwarder or courier to bill the destination duty and tax to yourself, and their customs brokerage team will pay them on your behalf and bill them to you.
Non-resident importers will have the same responsibilities as those of resident importers in Japan. Japanese importer top up 10% VAT(consumption tax) on their prices when they sell to their customers. Thus, they receive 10% tax, in addition to their own prices. On the other hand, they pay VAT at the time of import. So they file and pay the balance between the VAT they have received, and the VAT they have paid.
However, you don't have to worry too much when you start selling in Japan, because you are given allowance of the first 2 years and until your sales exceeds 10,000,000 JPY (approx. 90,000 USD). Please just keep accurate accounting record to be ready to pay the tax when your sales grows.
For more details, please see this page.
Every country has different laws and regulations in order to secure consumer safety and life, and so does Japan. Here are some of the laws that often issues among e-commerce sellers and non-resident importers.
Please see this page to learn how to import these regulated products. Please be aware that these are only a few of the regulations that may often affect non-resident importers, and consult with your import/logistics partner for the specific regulations governing your products.
Search one on the Internet with the keywords like "importer", "Japan", "e-commerce", "cross-border", "non-resident", and your product category(food, cosmetics, etc.).
You can also consult with us through website to know about the service providers that we partner with.
The cost will differ greatly by the products. Food, cosmetics, and simple medical devices are relatively easy and take around hundreds of dollars and a month or so to be ready to import.
Complex medical items, drugs, electric appliances and other items with higher risks require much more costs and longer process, from thousands to millions of USD, and more than one year to complete.
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