Food, drugs, cosmetics, electric appliances and other high-risk products are regulated by applicable laws for consumer safety. Overseas companies cannot import these items in their names, so Japanese importers must be required for being liable for product safety.
Then how can this be solved? Our website will provide explanation on such laws and solutions to these issues.
Food, beverages, kitchen utensils, and infants' toys, and other products that can be taken into people's mouth are regulated by Food Sanitation Act in Japan. Non-resident companies/persons are not allowed to import these goods, and require Japanese importers to be consignees. Many items involve material or ingredient testing. Importers have to be liable for the products and show their company name and contact information on the food or product labels.
Electronic appliances are deemed highly sensitive and its safety must be secured by the manufacturer. When appliances are made abroad, importers serve as the manufacturer and become responsible for the products.
Some appliances are regulated by Electrical Appliances and Material Safety Act(PSE Act). In order to sell these regulated items, the importers have to notify to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry(METI), and take care of the quality control and tracking. Testing before notification or import is not sufficient. Importers must ensure that every single lot is made properly, and be ready for any law suit or action in case of any product deficiency.
Cosmetics, medicines, and healthcare products are controlled by Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Act(PMD Act). These cannot be imported by non-resident importers, and can only be imported by licensed importers located in Japan.
Importing many of these items require testing prior to import , and some high-risk products involve very long and expensive procedures. Importers have to be responsible for the product safety and must show their company name and contact information subject to the law.
Alcohol beverages cannot be imported by non-resident importers, and only licensed traders located in Japan can import these.
Import customs and quarantine are relatively simple, but requires alcohol tax in addition to regular import duty and VAT, depending on the manufacturing method and alcohol proof. Importers will be responsible for the products, and must show their name and contact information on the labels.
It is important to note that alcohol beverages require sales license as well, which is not given to non-resident companies. Thus, sales have to be done by Japanese companies, and in many cases the importer handle all the process from import to sales on behalf of the seller.
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