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Home > Export/Import > Customs Answer(FAQ) > 1117 Importer Obligations for Storage of Documents and Records (FAQ) : Japan Customs

1117 Importer Obligations for Storage of Documents and Records (FAQ)



   Any import applicant who is engaged in import as an occupation is required to keep documents and records in storage.
   Specifically, the party in question must keep in storage the following books and records.

(1)Keeping of books and records

  •   Information to be included: Name of product, quantity, price, the name of the shipper, the date of import approval and approval code (documents such as existing records covering these necessary items or invoice, etc., with the necessary items added are also acceptable)
  •   Length of storage: 7 years (starting on the day following the date of import approval)
(2)Document storage
  •   Types of documents: Invoices, Contract forms, itemized statement on freight charges, itemized statement on insurance premiums, itemized statement on packaging, price list, documents pertaining to trade with the shipper that had been produced by either the manufacturer or the vendor, and other documents concerning the cargo approved for import that can clarify the contents of the import declaration to the Director-General of Customs-Houses.
  •   Length of storage: 5 years (starting on the day following the date of import approval)
(3)Electronic data transaction information for electronic trading (Note 3)
  • Types of Electronic data: Transaction information (transferred matters in respect of trading that are typically described in purchase order, contract, etc.,) in the case of the electronic trading (so-called EDI trading, Internet trading, Trading which tell the information in the e-mail).
  • Length of storage: 5 years (starting on the day following the date of import approval)
  It must also be noted that any import applicant who is storing records and documents under Corporation Tax Act, etc., and who is already keeping the aforementioned documents in storage is not required to keep these documents new and separate.

Note 1:   If all of the information that is to be kept in books and records (per item (1) above) can be found in documents or import permits, the record-keeping mentioned above may be omitted with the storage of said documents or import permits. In such a case, the documents and permits must be organized to clearly identify the necessary information in the said documents and permits and their relationship with the documents that are required to be kept in storage. Furthermore, the said documents and permits must be kept in storage for the same length of time as the books and records mentioned above.
Note 2:   For all cargo on which exceptional rules apply and importers on which exceptional rules apply, books and records must likewise be kept in storage, along with documents.
Note 3:   Will apply the cargo from Import clearance on or after July 1, 2012.

(Article 94 of the Customs Law and Article 83 of the Order for Enforcement of the Customs Law)


For further information, contact the Post Clearance Audit, Investigation and Intelligence Division
Tokyo Customs TEL 03-3599-6387
Yokohama Customs TEL 045-212-6146
Kobe Customs TEL 078-333-3111
Osaka Customs TEL 06-6576-3338
Nagoya Customs TEL 052-654-4186
Moji Customs TEL 050-3530-8382
Nagasaki Customs TEL 095-828-8675
Hakodate Customs TEL 0138-40-4273
Okinawa Regional Customs TEL 098-862-9738




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Please see No. 9301 for inquiries.