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Home > Procedure and Form -Summary of Customs Procedures- > Procedures of Passenger Clearance

Procedures of Passenger Clearance

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.


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 Beverages 3 bottles A bottle contains approximately 760cc
Tobacco Products Cigars 100 cigars If a visitor brings in more than one kind of tobacco product, the total allowance is 500 grams.
Cigarettes 400 cigarettes
Other kinds of tobacco 500 grams
Perfume 2 ounces  
Others 200,000yen The 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 residents, the duty-free allowances for tobacco products are half of the amounts listed above.

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.
Duty and Tax Rate
ItemRate
Alcoholic Beverages
Whisky, Brandy 450yen per bottle (750ml)
Rum, Tafia, Gin, and Vodka, etc. 300yen per bottle (750ml)
Liquor, Cordial 225yen per bottle (750ml)
Beer, Low-Malt Beer 150yen per bottle (750ml)
Others 15%

Duty and Tax Rate
ItemRate
Cigarettes 11,500yen per 1,000 cigarettes (11.5yen 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, you are required to declare to Customs. Please ask the Customs officer at seaport as well as airport for a blank form.
* Carrying currency and coins or other means payment, etc exceeding 0.1 million yen to North Korea [Korean](PDF)

Form:DECLARATION OF CARRYING OF MEANS OF PAYMENT,ETC(PDF)

What you have to declare

  1. Following items in excess of 1 million yen (or their equivalent):
    • Cash(including foreign currency)
    • Checks
    • Travelers checks
    • Promissory notes
    • Securities
  2. Gold bullion(not less than 90% purity) exceeding 1kg.

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.

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 Articles

When you purchase articles at specified "tax-free" shops, consumption tax on those articles may be exempted on condition that they are taken out of Japan. When you purchase tax-free articles, you will be required to present your passport at the shop and you will receive a card entitled " Record of Purchase of Consumption-Tax-Exempt for Export, " which will be attached to your passport. Articles purchased tax free will be checked with the card by a Customs officer, who will collect the card at the time of your departure from Japan.


(Notes)
No exemption on consumption tax will be given to articles purchased at shops other than "tax-free" shops.
When you export guns, swords, or high-quality personal computers that require an export license, you must obtain said license from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry prior to its export.