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Special arrangements (imports and exports)

Certain procedures involving imports to or exports from Japan are not required when the following conditions are met.

Please make sure to check the following information concerning eligible persons, scope of applicability, notes and definitions.

Outline of eligibility, scope of applicability and notes

Eligible persons Scope of applicability Notes
Exports (departure) Imports (entry)
Person who enters Japan after having left Japan temporarily (e.g., travelers who are Japanese nationals)
  1. Personal effects
  2. Occupational tools
    (when temporarily leaving Japan)
  1. Personal effects*
  2. Occupational tools
  3. Souvenirs
    (when entering Japan after temporarily having left the country)
“Personal effects” and “occupational tools”: When leaving and entering Japan, you are required to personally carry the goods with you or separately ship them after completing a declaration at customs  (*5)
When you intend to import these goods, please make sure in advance whether the country from which you are importing the goods provides any exemptions corresponding to those in Japan.
* Please note that goods eligible for “personal effects” at the point of import are limited to those you had previously declared when leaving Japan.
Person who leaves Japan after having entered the country temporarily (e.g., travelers who are not Japanese nationals)
  1. Personal effects*
  2. Occupational tools
  3. Souvenirs
    (when leaving Japan after temporarily having entered the country)
  1. Personal effects
  2. Occupational tools
    (when temporarily entering Japan)
“Personal effects” and “occupational tools”: When entering and leaving Japan, you are required to personally carry the goods with you or separately ship them after completing a declaration at customs.
When you intend to export these goods, please make sure in advance whether the destination country of your export provides any exemptions corresponding to those in Japan.
If no such exemption is provided in the destination country, a certificate of export approval issued by Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry is not required, however, a CITES export permit is needed. [Application procedures]
*Please note that goods eligible for “personal effects” at the point of export are limited to those you had previously declared when importing them.
Person who enters Japan for the purpose of permanent residence  
  1. Personal effects
  2. Occupational tools
  3. Goods to be moved
“Personal effects,” “occupational tools,” and “goods to be moved”: You are required to carry the goods with you or ship them separately after completing a declaration at customs when entering Japan.
If you intend to import these goods, please make sure in advance whether the country from which you are importing the items provides any exemptions corresponding to those in Japan.
Person who leaves Japan for the purpose of permanent residence
  1. Personal effects
  2. Occupational tools
  3. Goods to be moved
  “Personal effects,” “occupational tools,” and “goods to be moved”: When leaving Japan, you are required to personally carry the goods with you or separately ship them after completing a declaration at customs. If you intend to export these goods, please make sure in advance whether the destination country of your exports provides any exemptions corresponding to those in Japan. If no such exemption is provided in the destination country, certificate of export approval issued by Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry is not required, however, a CITES export permit is needed. [Application procedures]

Souvenirs (only those listed in CITES Appendix Ⅱ)

If you intend to import or export souvenirs made with any species of animals or plants listed under the CITES Agreement by carrying them with you for personal use, you are not required to complete import/export procedures in Japan if satisfying all of the following conditions.

Conditions to be met

1. The quantity of any species of animals or plants listed in Annex II under the CITES Agreement should not be beyond the following limitations per person.
Target species Quantity
Edible caviar of sturgeon species*1 125g
Rainsticks of Cactaceae spp. 3
Products made from specimens of crocodilian species **2 4
Queen conch shells 3
Seahorses 4
Giant clam shells***3 3 (3kg or less in total)
Agarwood  
Woodchips 1kg or less
Oil 24ml or less
Total number of beads, prayer beads necklaces or bracelets 2 or fewer
Products made from any listed species other than those above 4

Notes:
*1: The container has to be labelled in accordance with Resolution Conf. 12.7 (rev. CoP16)
**2: If you intend to import Siamese crocodiles, etc. listed in Appendix I, you are required to complete import procedures for import approval or certification. Some American crocodiles, Nile crocodiles and Estuarine crocodiles are listed in Appendices I and II depending on the country of origin. Therefore, when you intend to import products made from crocodiles species listed in Appendix II, you are required to file a certificate of origin or a document showing that the species used in the product is listed in Appendix II, as well as satisfying the conditions above.
***3: One complete shell or two half-shells composing one perfect clam are defined to be one clam.

2. Scientific names of animals or plants can be confirmed by documents provided by producers or distributors.

3. Only dead specimens, parts or derivatives

4. Not for commercial purposes.

Division in Charge

Licensing Group, Office of Trade Licensing for Wild Animals and Plants, Trade Control Department, Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau, METI
West Wing 8, 14th floor, METI Main Building, 1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901
Tel: 03-3501-1723
Fax: 03-3501-0997

Last updated:2017-02-20