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Home > Export/Import > Customs Answer(FAQ) > 9203 Outline of the Customs Bonded System

9203 Outline of the Customs Bonded System

  To collect cargo that has arrived from overseas, the imported cargo must undergo customs inspection and obtain an import permit from the head of the customs office, after payment of duties and excise taxes. (The cargo in question prior to receiving the import permit from the head of the customs office is called "foreign goods.")

  However, keeping such goods as foreign goods (i.e., without payment of duties and taxes) while kept in storage at a warehouse, manufactured and processed at a factory or plant, put on display at an exhibition, transported domestically, etc. is not only convenient for commercial purposes but it is extremely useful in the promotion of trade and international cultural exchanges.

  The schemes in which such foreign goods may be stored, processed or manufactured, displayed, shipped, etc. are the "customs area system" and the "bonded transport system."

  The customs area system is a system in which storage, processing or manufacturing or display, etc. is allowed for foreign goods at designated locations or facilities. Such designated locations and facilities are called customs areas. Customs areas are classified into customs area designated by the Minister of Finance (port facility, etc.) and bonded storage locations authorized by the head of the customs office (private warehouse, etc.).

  The bonded transport system enables foreign goods to be transported as is between customs areas, ports and airports, with the approval of the head of the customs office.

TypesPrincipal featuresLength of storage

(1)  Designated customs area

Loading/unloading, transport and temporary storage of foreign goods 1 month

(2)  Bonded storage location

Loading/unloading, transport and long-term storage of foreign goods 2 years (may be extended)

(3)  Bonded factory

Processing and manufacturing using foreign goods as material 2 years (may be extended)

(4)  Bonded exhibition

Display and use of foreign goods Length of time designated by the head of customs office

(5)  Integrated customs area

Loading/unloading, transport long-term storage, processing & manufacturing and exhibition of foreign goods 2 years (may be extended)

(Reference) Japan Customs website (list of customs areas)

(Articles 29, 37, 42, 50, 56, 61-5, 62-2, 62-8 and 63 of the Customs Law)

For consultations on customs procedures, please contact the nearest Customs Counselor.
Please see No. 9301 for inquiries.