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Customs in Japan

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Customs in Japan is fairly strict and so you should seek information on the country’s custom rules and regulations prior to travelling to Japan. There are a number of prohibited goods, goods that require declarations, goods that require you to pay tax as well as tax-free goods that can be purchased within the airport.

Duty-Free

There are a number of items that are available to purchase/bring tax-free, however there is a limit to how much/many of these items can be purchased.

  • Alcohol: 3 bottles (75 cl)
  • Perfumes: 60 cl
  • Tobacco: 500 grams
  • Cigars: 100 cigars
  • Cigarettes: 400 cigarettes
  • Other kinds of tobacco: 500 grams
  • All other products: must not exceed the total worth of ¥200,000

 Attention:

If you plan on purchasing or bringing more than the limited amounts for any of these products then a declaration must be made and tax will be applied.

Restricted and Prohibited goods

Japan like other countries has some products which are prohibited and must not be brought into the country at any cost. Should you bring in any of these products you could suffer severe consequences.

Prohibited goods are:

  • Drugs, stimulants and narcotics (this includes some prescription drugs like so it is best to check first whether your prescriptions are prohibited)
  • All firearms, including parts and ammunition
  • Explosives
  • Materials for chemical weapons
  • Germs to be used for bio-terrorism
  • Counterfeit, altered, or imitation coins, paper money, bank notes or forged credit cards
  • Obscene or immoral materials
  • Articles  infringing upon intellectual property rights

Some goods may be permitted with some restrictions applied.

Restricted goods are:

  • Plants and animals
  • Some food products such as meat, fruits and vegetables (if you plan to bring any food products it is best to double check whether they are prohibited or restricted)
  • Pharmaceuticals (there is often a limit to how much pharmaceutical drugs you are able to bring with you, please check beforehand)
  • Cosmetics

Declarations

Certain items, though not prohibited or restricted, do require a declaration in order to be allowed into the country. One of the most common items that should be declared is currency. There is currently no restriction to the amount of money you can bring into Japan, but, should it exceed ¥1,000,000, you are required to declare it.

Airport procedures

All visitors to Japan are required to fill out a declaration form. This is usually handed to passengers whilst on the airplane before arrival but can also be found at the customs department. On the form you must fill out whether you have anything to declare honestly; failure to do so can result in a fine, or worse.

Once you have your completed the form there are two types of lanes that you can go through. One is for those with nothing to declare (no items subject to tax, restricted or prohibited items) and one is for all other passengers.

  Useful link:

Japanese customs

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