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Interested in Shipping Cargo by Sea to Japan? Important Info to Know Before You Ship to Japan

Are you interested in cargo shipping by sea to Japan? If you are shipping cargo to Japan, there are some documents you’ll need to have ready before you ship your cargo overseas. Make sure you have a passport for every member of your family. It is also beneficial to copy the page with your photograph.

If you are staying in Japan for an extended period of time, you’ll also need information about your residence in Japan including address information and a visa to work in Japan valid for more than one year.

You’ll need the original Declaration for Unaccompanied Baggage to Japan along with two additional copies of this document. This document will include specifics about the items in each shipment including the number of pieces. See Form C 5360-2 if you are not a Japanese citizen. For Japanese citizens, refer to form 5360.

If you are arriving in Japan via commercial airline, these forms will likely be available to you on the airplane. You can also obtain the forms before you arrive in Japan through airport officials.

Please note the importance of the form noted above. If you do not have this form available at the time of your arrival in Japan, you will be expected to write a “letter of apology” to the Japanese Customs Office. This will likely delay the clearance of your cargo shipment and you may also have to pay additional import duties.

As is typically required for international cargo shipping, you need to prepare a detailed inventory list of the items that you are shipping. You can write this list in English or Japanese but make sure that it provides plenty of information. Simply writing “miscellaneous” or “packed by owner” is not acceptable.

When your cargo arrives in Japan to go through customs clearance, you should plan to be present. You are allowed to ship used household goods and personal effects duty free as long as you have owned and used these items for at least one year prior to shipping.

Most shipments entering Japan are inspected by Japanese customs officials. Please note that if there are locked trunks or suitcases in your shipping container, take care to provide a key so that customs officials can inspect the contents. You should also provide a delivery address and telephone number for your cargo once it arrives in Japan in order to alert Japanese customs officials to the final destination of the package.

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