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Import/Export

United Kingdom to Japan

Country or Territory Regulations Topics:

Import Documentation

Imports of silk or silk-related products (for example, linen) require an original Certificate of Origin. However, when the total quantity per shipment is less than 300 sqm, the Country or Territory of Origin may be stated on the commercial invoice without the need for a Certificate of Origin.
To enable clearance for CITES shipments, please ensure CITES Certificate is forwarded by Express service.
The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between EU and Japan entered in force on 1st February of 2019, and allows the import clearance of certain products with a reduced duty rate or with a full duty exemption.

The importers can claim preferential tariff treatment based on the statement on origin provided by the exporter or based on importers knowledge.

The exporters in the EU and in Japan can self-certify that their product is originating by making a statement on origin:

(Period: from  to (1))

The exporter of the products covered by this document (Exporter Reference No ...(2)) declares that, except where otherwise clearly indicated, these products are of ... preferential origin(3).

(Origin criteria used(4))

(Place and date(5))

(Printed name of the exporter)

1.This statement shall be made on an invoice or on any commercial document using the wording mentioned above

2.It can be made in any official languages of the EU or Japanese. The importing Party may not request a translation.

3.(4) - In the EU-JP EPA, the operators need to indicate the origin criteria used in their statement on origin through a code (see in Annex 3-D).

4.(5) - A statement on origin remains valid for 12 months.

5.A statement on origin may apply on multiple shipments. In this case the period shall not exceed 12 months.

In the EU, exporters need to be registered in the REX system. There is no need to be registered when the value of consignments is below 6000.00 EUR.

Importers knowledge allows the importer to claim preferential tariff treatment based on its own knowledge about the originating status of imported products in the form of supporting documents or records provided by the exporter or manufacturer of the product, which are in the importers possession. This information provides valid evidence that the product qualifies as originating.

The European Commission provides detailed guidance on the rules of origin in the European Commission_EPA

Bilateral free trade agreements or unilateral autonomous preferential agreements allow the import clearance of certain products with a reduced duty rate or with a full duty exemption. The products benefiting from the preferential treatment must fulfil the necessary rules of originating in a country or territory covered by the preferential trade agreement.

An exporter who wants his products to benefit from the preferential treatment must be able to prove that his products fulfill the rules to be originating in a country or territory covered by the preferential trade agreement and they must provide a preferential document validated by the customs authorities or document with a valid preferential statement issued by themselves.

The preferential trade agreement foresees the following preferential proofs below. Please see under EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement)

For charges made for Export Shipments from United Kingdom to the destination country or territory, please refer to Brokerage Services and Charges-Export Shipments with United Kingdom as the destination.

Driving Licenses

Valid Driving Licenses can be shipped as documents. The description must clearly state 'driving license'. Shipping driving licenses require the approval of the UK customs authorities. A delay of minimum one day has to be calculated.

Please check the import related information if driving licenses are allowed for importation.

Mobile phones to all destinations from United Kingdom can be delayed on export due to security checks from government bodies.

Goods under IATA Special Provisions A67 require a MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet).

It is not required for all, however shipments can be held by local authority in United Arab Emirates after screening due to lack of MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) or NON DG (Dangerous Goods) declaration letter from the shipper resulting to misconnections and impacting end-to-end service.

It would be advisable for all shipments originating, transiting and terminating for UAE to have MSDS or NON DG declaration from shipper enclosed in the shipment and copies to be uploaded in IDIS.

Packing list is not mandatory required.
Export procedure ex United Kingdom

A formal electronic export declaration must be sent to customs authorities by the exporter or their representative. Customs authorities grant the release for export and issue an Export Accompanying Document (EAD) with a unique Movement Reference Number (MRN). UPS operated simplified procedures allowing export formalities to be completed upto 14 days after export.

Informal Declarations
An informal declaration is possible for shipments up to a national threshold. The informal declaration is based on the invoice value and is restricted to shipments not subject to prohibitions and restrictions (for example, embargo regulations) or special export procedures (for example, temporary export). The informal clearance will be done by UPS at the point of exit.

National Requirements
Shipments up to a value of 873.00 GBP can be declared informally on the basis of the invoice.

The EORI (European Union Registration and Identification) number needs to be included with the Invoice for any shipment with value exceeding 873.00 GBP. The EORI number can be obtained by the shipper using website link: www.gov.uk/EORI

UPS service
UPS offers the service to prepare export declarations on behalf of the exporter without additional fees.

Export Documentation

Valid passports can be shipped as documents. The description must clearly state 'passport'. Shipping passports require the approval of the UK customs authorities. A delay of minimum one day has to be calculated.

Please check the import related information if passports are allowed for importation.

Clearance Information

UPS cannot deliver to a P.O. Box address. All packages require a consignee's contact name and complete street address including apartment, suite or unit number if applicable. The consignee's telephone number must be provided.

Areas Served

UPS has resumed services in more areas of Fukushima. GSR will also be reinstated in the prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, except for areas still affected by service suspension.

Fukushima
96017239791101
9791161-97911719791300-9791305
9791307-97913929791400-9791495
97915069791533
97915359791542
9791544-97915459791151
96016009791601
9791706-97917579792165

Service is provided to and from every other address in the country or territory.

UPS cannot deliver to a P.O. Box address. All packages require a consignee's contact name and complete street address including apartment, suite or unit number if applicable. The consignee's telephone number must be provided.

Saturday, Sunday, and official holidays.
Spring +0900/ Fall +0900
Japanese
Japanese Yen(JPY)

Billing Options

  • Shipping charges can be billed to the shipper, receiver or a third party.
  • When billing the receiver, either the shipper or receiver's account number is required.
  • When billing to a third party, the third party's name, country or territory and account number are required.
  • Duties and taxes can be billed to the shipper, receiver or a third party.
  • When billing a third party, the third party's name, country or territory and account number are required.
  • If the duties and taxes are billed to an account outside of the destination country or territory, a "Duty and Tax Forwarding" surcharge will be applied.
  • Please note the following third party billing exceptions:
    • Shipments to and from the same country or territory (domestic shipments) cannot be billed to third party payors in other countries or territories. For example, shipments from Mexico to Mexico or Canada to Canada cannot be billed to a third party payor in the U.S. This rule does not apply to UPS domestic services in European Union countries or territories. For example, shipments from Germany to Germany can be billed to a third party payor in the U.S. (as long as the payor is a business and has a VAT or Tax/EIN ID on file with UPS).
  • When paying by credit card, check, or cash, only the shipper can be billed the shipping charges

Commodity Specific Stipulations

There are special stipulations on the following commodities when shipping to Japan. If you plan to ship one of the commodities listed below, be sure to adhere to the following stipulations in order to avoid delays and holds at customs.

Shipments of leather and fur skin processed into products such as clothing and handbags can be imported. Shipment may require a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) certificate and an import license.
Bank Cards which are requested to be sent out of the United Kingdom should be declared for referral to HMRC and await their approval to send.
Bound items, such as books, are classified as a non-document shipment.
Blank checks can be imported into Japan as a non-document shipment. A commercial invoice is required.
Shipments of clothing (including undergarments) from South Korea and of South Korean origin will require an importer order sheet with transaction values indicated. In place of an importer order sheet, other forms of receipt or bank remittance slip may be accepted. This applies to both commercial and personal shipments, of CIF value exceeding 20,000.00 JPY (approximately US$180.00).

An import delay is expected as Customs will audit the declared values and perform inspection on the shipments. Approval to import will then be granted accordingly.

Note: Clothing shipments from South Korea but not of South Korean origin will not be subjected to this requirement. Also, clothing shipments of South Korea origin but not shipped from South Korea need not conform to this requirement.

Shipments of roasted coffee require an import notification and inspection by the Japan Health Ministry.

Green, raw, unroasted coffee beans are prohibited.

In order to ship cosmetics the following conditions must be met:
  • If consignee is an individual, shipment should not exceed 24 pieces per item.
    Example: 2 soaps packed in a box is counted as 2 pieces, therefore 12 boxes may be imported.
  • If consignee is a company, import license and sales license are required prior to import. As samples, up to 36 pieces per item may be imported. As commercial, there is no limit on quantity.
  • Cosmetics include: soap, lipsticks, eye shadow, nail polish, creams, hair spray, cologne, lotion, hair tonic, etc.
All credit cards must be imported into Japan as a non-document shipment. A commercial invoice is required.
All CD Roms must be imported to Japan as non-document shipments. The invoice must include the consignee's telephone number, CD-ROM titles, quantity and intended use (educational, personal, commercial, entertainment or instructional). The consignee will be contacted to verify this information.
Shipments of dental instruments and tools to an individual or a doctor requires a doctor's license and is limited to 3 pieces per shipment. An import license from the Ministry of Health is required for 4 or more pieces.
All discs must be imported to Japan as non-document shipments. The invoice must include the consignee's telephone number, disc titles, quantity and intended use (educational, personal, commercial, entertainment or instructional). The consignee will be contacted to verify this information.
Floppy disk, CD-ROM and DVD's are regarded as non-documents. In case of CD-ROM and DVD, the invoice must include the consignee's telephone number as well as the quantity and contents of the disk.
To ship any medicine (including Potassium Iodide), the following conditions must be met.

If the consignee is a company, an import license and a sales license are required regardless of quantity.

If the consignee is an individual:

  • A 1-month supply of prescription drugs can be shipped per shipment.
  • A 2-month supply of quasi-drugs can be shipped per shipment.
  • If the medication is an external preparation, such as an ointment or eye drops, then up to 24 pieces can be shipped per shipment.
  • A 2-month supply of vitamins can be shipped per shipment.

Shipments of medicine may experience delays.

Some prescription drugs are prohibited, such as psychoactive drugs. Stimulants such as amphetamine and methamphetamine are prohibited.

Note: Contact Import Brokerage for further information.

Event Tickets are non-documents. The ticket price should be declared on the commercial invoice.
The invoice must include the consignee's telephone number, the title of the film, the type of film (VHS, BETA, etc), and the quantity. Used films may require censorship. For 355mm film, expect at least one month delay for censorship.
Commercial shipments require import notification and inspection by the Health Ministry.

Personal shipments under 10 kgs are exempt from notification and inspection by the Health Ministry.

Food such as ham, sausage, frozen fruit are prohibited. Please see Prohibited/Restricted Commodity Section.

The invoice must include the consignee's telephone number, laser disc titles, quantity and intended use (educational, personal, commercial, entertainment or instructional). The consignee will be contacted to verify this information.
In order to ship Medical Items the following conditions must be met:
  • If the Consignee is a company, an import license is required.
  • If the Consignee is an individual, only one set can be shipped.
Examples: Massage machines, false teeth, tonometer, clinical thermometer and electrocardiograph.
To ship any medicine (including Potassium Iodide), the following conditions must be met.

If the consignee is a company, an import license and a sales license are required regardless of quantity.

If the consignee is an individual:

  • A 1-month supply of prescription drugs can be shipped per shipment.
  • A 2-month supply of quasi-drugs can be shipped per shipment.
  • If the medication is an external preparation, such as an ointment or eye drops, then up to 24 pieces can be shipped per shipment.
  • A 2-month supply of vitamins can be shipped per shipment.

    Shipments of medicine may experience delays. Some prescription drugs are prohibited, such as psychoactive drugs. Stimulants such as amphetamine and methamphetamine are prohibited.

    Note: Contact Import Brokerage for further information.

  • Commercial shipments of nutritional supplements require an import license. A 2 month supply of nutritional suplements can be imported for each personal shipment.
    The invoice must include the name of the part and the machine that uses the part.

    Ship and Boat Parts
    Ship and boat parts may be imported into Japan through UPS Worldwide Express, however, the package must go through Customs, and duty and taxes will be applied.

    UPS Supply Chain Solutions cannot obtain special clearance for ship or boat parts. These items must be cleared by the Japan Customs office in charge of the port where the ship or boat requiring the parts is lodged.

    Passports which are requested to be sent out of the United Kingdom should be declared for referral to HMRC and await their approval to send.
    Materials of sole and upper and its intended use are required in the commercial invoice. For example, sports shoes, leather (upper), rubber (sole).
    After the tableware shipment arrives, the consignee must provide an import notification for inspection to the Japan Health Ministry for the following items:

  • Ceramic coffee cups, saucers, glasses, spoons, knives (including Swiss Army knives), and forks
  • Food processors and their parts, including can openers
  • May include other kitchen utensils

    Personal shipments below 10kg (22 lbs) are exempt from the notification requirement.

  • The consignee will be contacted to verify the content and purpose for the import of videotapes. All video shipments must contain the following information on the commercial invoice:

  • Title of the video
  • Type of video format, such as VHS, Beta, or other
  • Quantity of videos
  • Use of the video, such as educational, personal, commercial, entertainment, or instructional

    The consignee's phone number must be included for all shipments containing videos.

  • For shipments claiming GSP preferential, a certificate of origin is required.
    Commercial shipments of baby toys need import notification and inspection by the Health Ministry. Personal shipments up to 10 kgs are exempt.
    An import license is required from the Ministry of Health.
    The consignee will be contacted to verify the content and purpose for the import of videotapes. All video shipments must contain the following information on the commercial invoice:

  • Title of the video
  • Type of video format, such as VHS, Beta, or other
  • Quantity of videos
  • Use of the video, such as educational, personal, commercial, entertainment, or instructional

    The consignee's phone number must be included for all shipments containing videos.

  • To ship vitamins, the following conditions must be met:

  • If the consignee is a company, an import license is required, regardless of quantity.
  • If the consignee is an individual, up to a 2-month supply can be imported per shipment.

    Shipments of vitamins may experience delays.

  • Gift Exemptions

    10000.00 Japanese Yen JPY
    individual-to-individual
    per shipment

    Shipment value amount: 10,000.00 Japanese Yen (JPY). This amount includes the value of the gift plus transportation charges and insurance, if applicable. Most gift shipments valued under 10,000.00 JPY are free of duty and tax. This gift exemption is applicable all year. Shipments over 10,000.00 Japanese Yen may need pre-inspection of goods if the description on the invoice is inadequate.

    The invoice for the gift must include the following information:

    • Complete description of gifts
    • Quantity of each item
    • Value of each item
    The words, "gift shipment", not "Christmas gift", must be written on the invoice

    Shipments to individuals should include the consignee's complete name, address, and telephone number. Shipments to companies should include the consignee's name, department, address, and phone number.

    In addition to a detailed description of each item, write additional comments of "gift shipment" on the invoice and in the Special Instructions box of the UPS Waybill to insure a proper assessment of duties and taxes.

    Invoice Requirements

    Document shipments with weight more than 9.5 kgs will require an invoice. Non-document shipments to Japan must include 1 original and 2 copies of an invoice.

    The consignee's phone number is required on the invoice.

    UPS Paperless Invoice is available for small package exports from this country or territory.
    UPS Paperless Invoice is accepted by Customs for small package imports into this country or territory.

    Items Classified as Documents

    The destination country or territory considers the following items as document shipments. If criteria are listed, the shipment must meet the criteria to be considered a document shipment.

    Document weight limit 9.5 Kgs.
    Document weight limit 9.5 Kgs.
    Document weight limit 9.5 Kgs.
    Document weight limit 9.5 Kgs.
    Document weight limit 9.5 Kgs.
    Document weight limit 9.5 Kgs.
    Document weight limit 9.5 Kgs.
    Document weight limit 9.5 Kgs.
    Document weight limit 9.5 Kgs.
    Data without pictures, only. Document weight limit 9.5 Kgs.
    Document weight limit 9.5 Kgs.
    Document weight limit 9.5 Kgs.
    Document weight limit 9.5 Kgs.
    Document weight limit 9.5 Kgs.
    Document weight limit 9.5 Kgs.
    Document weight limit 9.5 Kgs.
    Document weight limit 9.5 Kgs.
    Document weight limit 9.5 Kgs.

    UPS can recommend which forms you need based on a few simple criteria. Forms can be completed online or printed. See which forms you need.

    Prohibited or Restricted Commodities

    In addition to the prohibited commodities listed here, it is prohibited to ship the following commodities to Japan.

    Airline tickets are non-documents. The ticket price should be declared on the commercial invoice. No duties or taxes will apply.
    Import of Alcoholic beverages into Japan is permitted via ISC contract service.

    Private shipping must not exceed 10kg in total.

    Antique shipments are restricted from Europe, the Middle East and Africa and can only be shipped with an International Special Commodities (ISC) contract. Antiques are defined as a work of art, piece of furniture, decorative object, or silverware that is 100 years old or older.
    Artwork shipments are restricted from Europe, the Middle East and Africa and can only be shipped with an International Special Commodities (ISC) contract.

    Paintings or other works of art can be accepted if the artist is still alive, the artwork is replaceable and an art dealer or gallery has appraised the artwork within the last year. If the declared value of the artwork is greater than $100.00 and there is a claim, the shipper must provide a copy of the original invoice, a bill of sale, or other proof certifying in writing the actual cost or replacement cost of the item.

    Artwork includes the following: Original engravings, prints, lithographs, original sculptures, statuary.

    The term "Artwork" does not apply to: architectural, engineering, industrial, topographical, commercial drawings, hand-painted or hand-decorated manufactured articles.

    Any items that are subject to plant quarantine are prohibited by UPS. For example, Garlands, Wreaths, and items made of plant products etc.
    Electronic Cigarettes can only be shipped with an International Special Commodities (ISC) contract.

    If the consignee is a company,an Import License is required regardless of the quantity.

    If consignee is a private individual,one cartridge per shipment is acceptable.

    Any form of toy gun or gun replica is prohibited.
    Only kitchen knives are acceptable. All other types of knives are prohibited and will be processed return or abandon upon importation.
    Shipments of Lithium Metal Batteries are prohibited on Emirates Airlines flights which UPS uses to this destination country or territory.

    Alternative arrangements are in place, but expect transit delays if the normal planned flow of the package is via Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Time in Transit may be extended due to solution found.

    Importation of beef meat, bovine organ, and any other products of bovine origin such as sausages, hams etc. is temporarily suspended due to the Bovine Spongeform Encephalopathy outbreaks in several countries or territories. See detail in http://www.maff-aqs.go.jp/english/ryoko/bp.htm
    Miscellaneous Prohibited Articles

    As of October 01, 2010, UPS will no longer accept shipments to Japan that contain articles that are subject to plant and animal quarantine enforced by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries' Plant Protection Station or Animal Quarantine Services.

    Plant-Related

    • Fresh, cut or dried flowers, leaves, roots, bark, seeds or other plant products (could include potpourri, garlands, wreaths, baskets made of plant material, etc.)
    • Tobacco (excludes rolled cigarettes or cigars), tobacco leaves
    • Fresh or frozen fruit or vegetables
    • Non-roasted coffee beans
    • Beans, except canned-beans
    • Soil
    • Wheat, sesame, cotton, grain, barley, malt, straw, rice, flour, herbs, spices, tea (tea bags accepted), mushrooms, sugar cane
    • Wood, nursery tree, bulbs
    • Any other type of commodity that requires quarantine

    Additional detail can be found at http://www.pps.go.jp/english/index.html

    Animal-Related

    • Meat, frozen meat, meat products, ham, sausage, beef jerky, including canned, bottled and vacuum-pouched products
    • Bacteria, viruses (human or animal)
    • Animal origin blood, blood product, serum, antibody, semen, tissue
    • Animal bone, horn, antler
    • Unprocessed animal fur, feathers
    • Gelatin, collagen
    • Pet food, wood or chews
    • Raw wool or leather
    • Insects
    • Any other type of commodity that requires quarantine

    Additional detail can be found at http://www.maff.go.jp/aqs/english/index.html

    Mobile phones to all destination countries from United Kingdom can be delayed on export due to security checks from government bodies.
    Personal Effects cannot be shipped between these countries or territories
    Earth and sand.
    Any form of toy gun or gun replica is prohibited.

    Saturday Delivery

    Saturday Delivery Available: No

    Service Options

    Always check Calculate Time and Cost for details of service availability and guarantee information within a country or territory. All Service Levels may not be available to or from every address within a country or territory.

    • UPS Worldwide Expedited
    • UPS Worldwide Express
    • UPS Worldwide Express Saver
    • UPS WorldWide Express Freight
    • WorldWide Economy DDP
    • WorldWide Economy DDU
    • WorldWide Express Freight Midday

    Special Clearance Requirements

    Customs requires Form 380. A contact will be made with the Military Control Department to have the form filled out for import entry.

    Accurate address, camp name, building name and phone number is required to contact respective control department.

    Outward Processing Relief (goods exported from the UK for the purpose of repair)

    The outward processing relief starts with the export from the UK and will be discharged with the re-importation of the repaired goods. Both steps need to be identified by UPS export or import operation. Repair Goods: Goods requiring Export from the UK for repair Invoice requirements:

    • Statement stating "Goods being sent for repair under Outward Processing Relief" should be clearly marked on the commercial invoice
    • Provide serial number of goods being sent for repair. If the goods are not serialized a statement to this effect must be made on the commercial invoice
    • Exporters authorized to export under OPR must include their authority number on all paperwork
    • Provide correct commercial value of goods as originally paid for not a nominal value for the goods.

    Failure to provide any of the above information will result in shipments being delayed.

    Repaired goods: Goods being re-exported returned after repair in the UK Invoice requirements:

    • Invoice should clearly state "Goods have been repaired under IPR"
    • Provide either IP authorization number or Import entry details
    • Provide full commercial value of goods plus cost of repair

    Failure to provide any of the above information will result in shipments being delayed.

    New requirements have been implemented for both small package and WWEF shipments and are based on the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) 15, which is entitled "Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging Material in International Trade". ISPM 15 was adopted internationally in 2002, and is gradually being introduced by countries or territories worldwide. Wood or wood products covered by ISPM 15 include items such as packing cases, boxes, crates, drums or similar packing, pallets, box pallets and other load boards, pallet collars and skids, but exclude such processed woods as orientated strand board, particle board, plywood or veneer, created using glue, heat and pressure or a combinations thereof, and, raw wood which is 6mm or less thick. It is recommended that if a question arises on this issue, please check with the authority that issues the Phytosanitary certificates in your country or territory.

    Value Limits


    Private Shipments

  • 10000.00 Japanese Yen (JPY)
    • In most cases, when the value of the shipment is equal to or less than the Deminimis Value, the shipment may enter the country or territory duty and tax free.
    Commercial Shipments

  • 10000.00 Japanese Yen (JPY)
    • In most cases, when the value of the shipment is equal to or less than the Deminimis Value, the shipment may enter the country or territory duty and tax free.

    Weight and Size Limits

    70 kg (150 lbs.) per package
    274.00 cm (107.9 in.)  per package
    419.10 cm (165.0 in.)  per package
    Length and girth combined


    Convert metric quantity for weight, length, and area.


    NOTE: Information provided by UPS is provided AS IS, may not be current, and does not constitute legal advice. In no event shall UPS be liable for any errors in the information, forms or features made available by UPS, or by any third party site linked to from UPS. Selection and completion of proper forms for any given shipment is the sole responsibility of the shipper. All shipments are subject to the UPS Terms and Conditions of Service in effect at the time of shipping for the country or territory of origin.
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