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Home > Export/Import > Customs Answer(FAQ) > 7102 Procedures for Declaring Unaccompanied Articles to Customs (FAQ)

7102 Procedures for Declaring Unaccompanied Articles to Customs (FAQ)

  Unaccompanied articles includes household effects imported for relocation of residence, things such as personal effects that became unnecessary while traveling, and souvenirs sent from your visiting countries separately from the accompanied personal effects, by regular mail, airmail or sea mail, or international courier service.
  Articles which can be cleared as unaccompanied articles, are limited, in principle, to those clearable at Customs within 6 months from the sender’s entry (arrival in Japan).
  In addition, in cases where you bring commercial cargo or costly goods into Japan as unaccompanied articles, you may be required to take the same import procedures as those for the general cargo.

1  When sending baggage from a foreign country
Be sure to clearly write “unaccompanied baggage” on the parcels, a customs notice, and an invoice.
Set yourself as the addressee.
If you have items sent by a souvenir shop, instruct the salesclerk to write the words "unaccompanied baggage" on the parcel.
2  Procedures at entry (return to Japan)
Submit two copies of the “Declaration of Accompanied Personal Effects and Unaccompanied Articles” to Customs.
One of them will be returned to you with the seal of certification.
Keep it carefully. After entry, you cannot declare unaccompanied articles and the declaration form cannot be reissued if lost.
3  Customs procedures for unaccompanied articles sent by air or sea
  1. The Arrival Notification Form arrives from the airline company, shipping company, carrier, or the like.
  2. Pick up the documents related to transportation (delivery order, etc.) at the notified airline company or the like.
  3. Make the import declaration for the unaccompanied articles at the unaccompanied baggage clearance section of Customs.
    Documents necessary for the declaration are as follows.
    1. Declaration form for unaccompanied articles with the seal of certification.
    2. Documents related to transportation (documents aforementioned in (2))
    3. Statement of contents, passport, and receipts.
    4. Seal impression
  4. The baggage is moved from a warehouse (customs warehouse) to a customs inspection area for customs inspection.
    Plants and animals subject to quarantine are inspected at the nearest plant or animal quarantine station.
  5. In cases of taxation, pay the tax.
    After completing the customs clearance procedures, you can take possession of the baggage.
 * Proxy of Customs Procedures
The aforementioned customs procedures for the unaccompanied articles can be consigned to a professional agent (customs broker).
4  Customs procedures for unaccompanied articles by international mail
When the unaccompanied baggage arrives in Japan by mail, a Sub-branch Customs office for overseas mail sends a postcard (“Notice of Customs Clearance for Mail Articles Delivered from Overseas”) to the addressee. The addressee must mail the “Declaration of Unaccompanied articles” with the seal of certification, or directly submit it to the Customs sub-branch that sent the postcard. If “unaccompanied baggage” is not written on the unaccompanied baggage, the baggage may be handled as dutiable articles, and “Notice of Assessment of Duties and Taxes Postal Matters” may be sent to the addressee. In such cases, the addressee should inquire of the Customs sub-branch that sent the duty notification before paying the duty whether the articles are duty-free or not. After paying the duty, you may not be granted the duty-free status.
If you have paid the duty by mistake, please consult the Customs Sub-branch office for overseas mail.

(Article 6-2,8,67 of Customs Law, Article 14 of the Cabinet Order for Enforcement of the Customs Tariff, and General Notification 67-4-10 of Customs Law)


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