General information

A-CROSS are at your disposal to receive and deliver incoming shipments to Japan, whether by air or by sea. Whether you are a private individual, corporate client looking for a mover, or an overseas moving company, we are more than delighted to assist you with your move to Japan.

You can import your household goods and personal effects duty/tax free into Japan. This applies if you can submit all the documents stated below.

For non-Japanese residents

What we need from the owner of the shipment (client)

1. The stamped and returned original version of the Japan Customs Form C-5360. This form is usually distributed on your flight to Japan, please make sure to get 2 forms and not 1. Fill out both forms the same way, and remember to tick the box which indicates you have (YES) unaccompanied baggage. Submit both forms at the customs upon your arrival in Japan – 1 will be kept by airport customs, and the other will be stamped and returned to you on the spot. This stamped and returned form must be forwarded to us, so that we can clear the customs for your incoming shipment. Unlike the rest of the documents, which can be a soft-copy (scanned, taken as a photo or photo-copied), we will need the ORIGINAL version of this form, and will need your cooperation to post this via courier or submit it at our partnered counter at the airport (only located in Narita and Kansai airport). Also note that we’ll need to clear customs within 6 months of the date noted on your customs declaration form as well.

2. Official documents supporting you are legally approved to live in Japan – Copy of Japanese Long Term Visa, copy of COE, and/or front and back copy of your Japanese residence card etc.

3. Passport Copy of Photo Page.

4. Passport Copy of arrival stamp and/or landing permission sticker of Japan (same date noted as #1)

5. Passport Copy of exit stamp at origin if available.
*Please make sure all the passport copies are not cropped images, but a visible and clear scan, photo or photo-copy of which we can see your “entire” passport – both pages open.

6. Client details – Delivery address if available, name, phone number and address of company, occupation, daytime contact number.

7. If client is not a national of the origin country, they will need to provide a copy of their long term visa and/or resident card of some sort at origin to support that client was legally approved of living there long-term.

8. E-Ticket of clients’ route from origin to Japan – arrival date must match #1 and #4.

What we need from the origin moving agent

9. Packing list/inventory

10. Ocean Bill of Lading or air waybill of the shipment

11. ETA

For returning Japanese residents and Japanese diplomats

What we need from the owner of the shipment (client)

1. The stamped and returned original version of the Japan Customs Form C-5360. This form is usually distributed on your flight to Japan, please make sure to get 2 forms and not 1. Fill out both forms the same way, and remember to tick the box which indicates you have (YES) unaccompanied baggage. Submit both forms at the customs upon your arrival in Japan – 1 will be kept by airport customs, and the other will be stamped and returned to you on the spot. This stamped and returned form must be forwarded to us, so that we can clear the customs for your incoming shipment. Unlike the rest of the documents, which can be a soft-copy (scanned, taken as a photo or photo-copied), we will need the ORIGINAL version of this form, and will need your cooperation to post this via courier or submit it at our partnered counter at the airport (only located in Narita and Kansai airport). Also note that we’ll need to clear customs within 6 months of the date noted on your customs declaration form as well.

2. Passport Copy of Photo Page

3. Passport Copy of arrival stamp and/or landing permission sticker of Japan (same date noted as #1)

4. Passport Copy of exit stamp at origin if available.

5. Long Term Visa and/or resident card of some sort at origin, to support that client was legally approved of living there long-term.

6. Passport Copy of Japanese exit stamp and origin entry stamp of when client first moved to origin (must match with the validity date of #4 and be over 1 year)
*Please make sure all the passport copies are not cropped images, but a visible and clear scan, photo or photo-copy of which we can see your “entire” passport – both pages open.

7. Client details – Delivery address if available, name, phone number and address of company, occupation, contact number.

8. E-Ticket of clients’ route from origin to Japan – arrival date must match #1 and #4.

What we need from the origin moving agent

9. Packing list/inventory

10. Ocean Bill of Lading or air waybill of the shipment

11. ETA

For non-Japanese diplomats

What we need from the owner of the shipment (client)

1. KANGI Letter – this is an official letter issued by MOFA Japan to exempt customs inspection for your shipment and clear customs as diplomatic cargo. Your Embassy will need to apply for this, and we will provide the necessary information (estimated time of arrival, bonded warehouse details, copy of Air or Sea Waybill and inventory) and documents once available. Will usually take 5 – 7 business days for this letter to be issued after application.

2. Passport Copy of Photo Page

3. Client details – Delivery address if available, name, phone number and address of company, occupation, daytime contact number.

4. Packing list/inventory

5. Ocean Bill of Lading or air waybill of the shipment

6. ETA

For non-Japanese military related residents

What we need from the owner of the shipment (client)

1. The stamped and returned original version of the Japan Customs Form C-5360. This form is usually distributed on your flight to Japan, please make sure to get 2 forms and not 1. Fill out both forms the same way, and remember to tick the box which indicates you have (YES) unaccompanied baggage. Submit both forms at the customs upon your arrival in Japan – 1 will be kept by airport customs, and the other will be stamped and returned to you on the spot. This stamped and returned form must be forwarded to us, so that we can clear the customs for your incoming shipment. Unlike the rest of the documents, which can be a soft-copy (scanned, taken as a photo or photo-copied), we will need the ORIGINAL version of this form, and will need your cooperation to post this via courier or submit it at our partnered counter at the airport (only located in Narita and Kansai airport). Also note that we’ll need to clear customs within 6 months of the date noted on your customs declaration form as well.

2. Official documents supporting you are legally approved to live in Japan – Copy of Japanese Long Term Visa, copy of COE, LOA and/or front and back copy of your Japanese residence card etc.

3. Passport Copy of Photo Page

4. Passport Copy of SOFA arrival stamp and/or landing permission sticker of Japan (same date noted as #1)

5. Passport Copy of exit stamp at origin if available.
*Please make sure all the passport copies are not cropped images, but a visible and clear scan, photo or photo-copy of which we can see your “entire” passport – both pages open.

6. Client details – Delivery address if available, name, phone number and address of company, occupation, daytime contact number.

7. If client is not a national of the origin country, they will need to provide a copy of their long term visa and/or resident card of some sort at origin, to support that client was legally approved of living there long-term.

8. E-Ticket of clients’ route from origin to Japan – arrival date must match #1 and #4.

What we need from the origin moving agent

9. Packing list/inventory

10. Ocean Bill of Lading or air waybill of the shipment

11. ETA

Once it is confirmed that we will be assisting your move to Japan, our move coordinator – who will be the point of contact throughout your whole move in Japan, like your personal moving concierge – will send you an introduction e-mail which states all the required documents for customs clearance and where to submit them. This will be the latter part of your move, and start of your move procedure at the destination!

Frequently asked questions

What if I am already in Japan and cannot obtain the Japan Customs Form C-5360?

If you have another trip going back to the origin, and back again to Japan before your shipment is expected to arrive here, then it’s fine to obtain the Japan Customs Form C-5360. If you do not have such travel plans, rest assured we’ll provide a sample document which you can use as reference to create a letter to the customs, and this letter will be a substitute for the Japan Customs Form C-5360.

I have an AIR and SEA freight. Do I need 2 original stamped and returned Japan Customs Form C-5360 for each shipment?

No. As long as we have the 1 of the original, we can use this to clear both shipments.

What if I am currently applying for a Japanese long-term visa, but do not have a visa or residence card issued yet?

Usually if your Japanese visa is being processed, you would have a document called COE. If you have this document, it will be fine to provide us with a copy of the COE (photo page), and possibly if your visa and residence card is issued before customs clearance, it would be ideal to provide us with these copies once it’s available. However if you do not have a COE, you have another option to create a letter to the customs stating you are in the process of applying for your long-term visa in Japan – we will provide a sample document for your reference.

What if I do not have a Japanese long-term visa and only hold a tourist/visitor visa for Japan?

In this case you will not be granted duty-free import, and your shipment will be categorized as commodity cargo. Tax and duty will apply to all your items, the customs procedure will be different compared to when clearing customs for regular shipment granted duty-free clearance. Note that the required documents we will need to clear as a commodity shipment will be different.

Can we import food?

We strongly suggest all our clients’ not to include any types of food in your shipment, since there are many detailed restrictions to importing edible items into Japan. If the customs suspect any food products in your shipment, there is a high chance they would select your shipment to go through further inspections including quarantine. This will definitely lead to a longer customs clearance procedure and additional charges for the extended inspection will occur. If you insist in importing food items, please consult with us first to understand the risks and regulations.

What kind of items are prohibited to be imported to Japan?

— Heroin, cocaine, MDMA, opium, cannabis, stimulants, psychotropic substances, and other narcotic drugs (excluding those designated by Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare Ordinance);

— Firearms (pistols, etc.), ammunition (bullets) thereof, and pistol parts;

— Explosives (dynamite, gunpowder, etc.);

— Precursor materials for chemical weapons;

— Germs which are likely to be used for bio-terrorism;

— Counterfeit, altered, or imitation coins, paper money, bank notes, or securities, and forged credit cards;

— Plants, trees, and vegetables with soil

— Exotic Animal Hides;

— Books, drawings, carvings, and any other article which may harm public safety or morals (obscene or immoral materials, e.g., pornography);

— Child pornography; and

— Articles which infringe upon intellectual property rights.

What is the duty-free allowance and how much does it cost if we exceed the allowance?

Confirming that you have in possession, the stamped and returned original version of the Japan Customs Form C-5360 and have declared the items you brought in with you via carry-on/check-in luggage. Duty-free allowance can also be guaranteed if you have some of the items listed below in your unaccompanied shipment (moving cargo) and that you’ve filled 2 of the Japan Customs Form C-5360 to the customs at the airport in Japan, and have the stamped and returned original version of it. You (person over age 20+ years), will be granted duty-free allowance of 3 bottles (760 ml).

Anything which exceeds the duty-free allowance will be charged (roughly) as below:

Whisky & Brandy
¥500 per liter or ¥375 per 760ml bottle.
Rum, Gin, Vodka & other spirits
¥400 per liter or ¥300 per 760ml bottle.
Liqueur
¥300 per liter or ¥225 per 760ml bottle.
Wine & Beer
¥200 per liter or ¥70 per 350ml can.
Tobacco
400 cigarettes or 100 cigars or 500 grams of other kinds of tobacco.
If there is more than one kind, the total allowance is 500 grams.
Perfume
2oz of unopened bottles. Opened & used bottles are not counted.

If you declare you have a dependent on your customs form who is over 20 years of age (adult), usually your spouse, partner, parent or older child – you will have an additional duty-free allowance depending on the number of dependents who are over the age of 20, you’ve declared on your customs form.

How many of the same items can we import?

We’ve received questions asking how many of the same items can a client bring, such as how many packs of diapers, how many bottles of wine etc. can one import? If these items have been used, like books, clothes, kitchen utensils etc. – there aren’t any restrictions. However if they are new, like packs of diaper and bottles of wine etc. – there isn’t a specific number. Since your shipment will be considered as “household good & personal effects”, and granted duty-free allowance by the customs because of being categorized as this type of shipment, the customs will except to see a “consumable” amount of these new items. We would suggest importing approx. 15 items of new products, and as for wine (alcohol) less than 50 bottles. To prevent any issues, anything which exceeds this amount should be consulted with us in advance.

Do we need to be present at the time of customs clearance or be in the country during customs clearance?

No. So long as you could provide all documents we need to clear customs for your shipment, your presence at the site of customs clearance and in the country is not necessary.

We plan to buy some brand-new items and import them to Japan, will this be an issue?

If you have used household good and personal effects in your shipment, and just plan to buy a few more items (furniture, electronic appliance, books, clothes etc), there should not be a problem. However please make sure that the whole value of your new products do not exceed the value of US$1,800.00 (¥200,000), or that one of your new items doesn’t cost more than US$1,800.00 (¥200,000). If the item(s) exceeds the value noted above, tax and duty will be applied. Best if receipts for brand-new and high value (brand-new) items were kept.

We want to import a shipment full of brand-new items, will it still be granted duty-free clearance?

Unfortunately not – importing a shipment full of brand-new items will be considered as a commodity shipment and not used household goods and personal effects. When a shipment is categorized as commodity cargo, duty and tax will definitely be applied to each item in the shipment.

How much are the duty and tax for a commodity shipment?

We specialise in handling used household goods and personal effects, and not commodity cargo, so it’s difficult for us to provide an exact estimate. What we can advise is, duty and tax for commodity shipments will be based on the value of each item, material it’s made from, air or ocean freight cost and the cost of the insurance if applied. Usually you’ll be charged 8-20% of the above categories in total, however depending on the item and materials used, there are exceptions – and it’s a very long list that we will not be able to advise.

If you have further questions, please feel free to contact us – we’ll be happy to assist you and will try to get back to you within one business day.