Japan is the UK’s second-largest export market in Asia: in 2012, British exports to Japan were worth over £9.4 billion. In May 2014, the UK and Japan issued a joint statement emphasising their commitment to cooperating in various areas which could be beneficial for British business as well as a Memorandum of Cooperation on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Sources: CIA World Factbook, European Commission, McKinsey Global Institute, GOV.UK
For more detailed information when trading with Japan, download our Japan Fact Sheet.
Read more detailed
information about Japan
Gateways into the Country: 3
Number of Service Centres: 36
DHL Delivery Zone: 8
Vehicle Fleet: 817
|Japan: Country Profile|
|Capital:||Tokyo||EXPORTS FROM JAPAN|
|Population:||127.1 million||Exports from
|US$ 697 billion (2013 est.)|
|Area:||377,925 sq km||Export Commodities:||Motor vehicles, semiconductors, iron and steel products, auto parts, plastic materials, power generating machinery|
|Currency:||1 yen (JPY) = 100 sen||Top Export Destinations:||USA, China, Germany, Hong Kong, UK, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore|
|GDP:||US$ 4.8 trillion (2013 est.)||IMPORTS INTO JAPAN|
|Time Zones:||UTC +9||Imports into
|US$ 766.6 billion (2013 est.)|
|Languages:||Japanese||Import Commodities:||Petroleum, liquid natural gas, clothing, semiconductors, coal, audio and visual apparatus|
|Ethnic Groups:||Japanese 98.5%, Koreans 0.5%, Chinese 0.4%, other 0.6%||Top Import Origins:||USA, China, Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, Singapore, Italy, South Korea, Taiwan|
|The times provided for
are based on the time
expected for Customs
in Japan to clear
the shipment. This is
contingent upon the
value of the shipment.
|Destination||Non-Dutiable Shipment||Dutiable Shipment|
|Tokyo||3 days||3 days|
|Nagoya||3 days||3 days|
|Osaka||3 days||3 days|
|Hiroshima||3 days||3 days|
|Kagoshima||6 days||6 days|
Document shipments above 30 kg (66 lb) must be sent as goods.
Japan Customs only accepts typewritten invoices.
Private shipments will be inspected by Japan Customs before being delivered to the receiver.
ATA Carnets must have a holder’s signature on the Carnet Form on the Japan Import Page and Japan Export Page (if exporting with DHL) – otherwise, they will be declared as dutiable goods. Receiver must pay additional charges for ATA Carnet shipments (JPY 7,800/shipment )and Bonded Transit Documents (actual fee + JPY 6,000/shipment).
Non-document goods shipments for hotel guests will be sent on Delivery Duty Paid (DDP) Incoterm.
Bonded storage fees will be applied after 6 working days; minimum: JPY 900 or JPY 15/kg per day, whichever is higher.
Airline tickets, blank stock (NI) / issued / validated, blank forms, calendars, credit cards (NI) including credit card blanks, diaries, diskettes, maps, photographs and swatches
Must be declared as goods.
Maximum weight: 10kg (22 lb). Food licence required unless the receiver is a private individual importing for personal use, or a company importing samples (subject to Customs discretion). Required information: number of bottles, content volume, alcohol content, sparkling or not.
Animal products including animal skins and leather goods
Indicate type of skin/leather on commercial invoice.
Provide CITES certificate regardless of weight.
Attach component analysis table to commercial invoice.
Include number of cigarettes on documentation.
Coffee including coffee samples
If more than 10 kg (22 lb) and for resale or distribution to unspecified number of general public: receiver to provide food licence.
Coal & firewood, cologne & perfume, cosmetics, drugs: prescription & non-prescription, eye glasses & contact lenses and medical / dental supplies & equipment
Receiver to provide import licence.
Must be declared as goods.
Send as goods. Must have attached seal & visible external marks indicating that it is a diplomatic shipment – then it will not be opened, detained or taxed. Other shipments addressed to diplomatic entities (including private belongings of diplomats) must be accompanied by a completed 'KANGI' form (Request for Customs Exemption form) from Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be exempt from duty.
Drawings, technical / architectural / engineering
If shipped for sales purposes or with commercial value: send as goods
Films: 8mm, 16mm & 35mm / entertainment / promotional / training, DVDs, laser / video discs, negatives including x-rays & films and video cassette tapes
Shipper to provide declaration of contents.
Fire extinguishers and isopropanol
Shipments must fulfil International Air Transport Association’s Dangerous Goods Regulations (IATA's DGR). Provide shipper's declaration for dangerous goods and send under separate Waybill. Fire extinguishers: provide import license.
Glass products and non-hazardous liquids
Must be well-packaged – preferably in a wooden case and crate – to avoid damage.
Subject to inspection by Japan’s Food Standards Agency..
Send as goods.
Personal effects and unaccompanied baggage
Waybill, invoice & pre-alert must state ‘PERSONAL EFFECTS’ or ‘UNACCOMPANIED BAGGAGE’. Provide receiver’s full name & phone number. Unaccompanied baggage: provide Customs declaration form with Customs stamp & copy of receiver’s passport.
Describe upper & lower sole materials and type of shoes on invoices. Samples must be marked & mutilated for duty & tax exemption; state 'MARKED AND MUTILATED' on invoices.
Substances containing sodium / calcium cyclamate and tea
Non-perishables only. If weight exceeds 10 kg (22 lb): receiver to provide food licence.
Textile articles including items of clothing, fabrics & fabric samples
Describe weave (woven/knitted) and materials on invoice. Items of clothing: detail the composition of the material.
For ship spares and x-ray machines please contact DHL Customer Services before shipping.