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  5. Relaxation of Import and Export Procedures and other Treatment as Responses to the Novel Coronavirus Epidemic

Relaxation of Import and Export Procedures and other Treatment as Responses to the Novel Coronavirus Epidemic

February 14, 2020

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) expects delays and other disruptions in imports and exports as a result of the novel coronavirus epidemic. As responses to such delays, METI compiled the following notable items related to trade controls, including new, special treatments. For information not contained in this press release, contact the Trade Control Department of METI, the Regional Bureaus of Economy, Trade and Industry, the International Trade Offices, and other related organizations.

1. Import-related matters

(1) In cases where expiration of a certificate of import approval is imminent (Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act)

If an importer’s certificate of import approval is set to expire due to delays or other disruptions in target imports resulting from the novel coronavirus epidemic, the importer is permitted to file a request for an extension of the validity period of the certificate. Please file such requests before the validity of the certificate expires.

Notes:

  1. In filing such requests, importers are ordinarily required to submit the official document establishing the need for the extension of the certificate. However, until March 31, 2020, if it is difficult for importers to obtain such a document, importers are permitted to file an alternative document* (i.e., a “written statement in which importers themselves explain [i] detailed reasons for, and background to, the need for extension of the certificate and [ii] reasons for difficulties in obtaining the official document establishing the need for extension of the certificate.

  2. For other details of the procedures, see the document “Validity Period of Import Approval and Procedures for Extending the Period and Other Purposes” (Precaution for Imports 10, No.49, on May 15, 1998)

It should be noted that expired certificates of import approval are no longer valid and importers with such expired certificates are required to file requests to re-issue such certificates. In particular, please note that the government of Japan cannot extend the validity periods of certificates and the like issued by overseas governments under certain treaties or agreements (e.g., a certificate of export permission, etc. issued under the CITES and Kimberley Process Certifications, etc. issued under the international certification system for rough diamonds).

(2) In cases where expiration of a tariff quota certificate (leather and leather shoes) is imminent (Interim Measures Act on Tariffs and other laws)

If an importer’s tariff quota certificate is set to expire due to a delay or other disruption in target imports resulting from the novel coronavirus epidemic, the importer is permitted to file a request for an extension of the validity period of the certificate within a period not exceeding 30 days from the date following the expiration date of the certificate. Please file such request before the validity of the certificate expires (until March 31, 2020).

Notes:

  1. Once a tariff quota certificate is expired, it is no longer valid and its valid period cannot be extended.

  2. In filing such request, importers are ordinarily required to submit a “document establishing the difficulties in making an import declaration of goods subject to tariff quota within the validity period of the tariff quota certificate (e.g., a communication document sent by an exporter notifying a delay in shipment of goods subject to the tariff quota, which clearly states the estimated date of arrival to Japan).” However, if it is difficult for importers to obtain such a document, importers are permitted to file an alternative document for the period until March 31, 2020, (i.e., a “written statement of reasons in which importers themselves explain [i] detailed reasons for and background to the need for extension of the certificate and [ii] reasons for difficulties in obtaining the ‘document establishing the need for extension of the certificate.’”)

  3. For specific information on the procedures for extensions, see the document “Request for Tariff Quota and Approaches to Handling Tariff Quota Certificate and Other Information for FY2019” (Precaution for Tariff Quota No.2; 20190204 Bou; No.6, on March 8, 2019).

2. Export-related matters

(1) In cases where expiration of a certificate of export permission or a certificate of export approval is imminent (Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act)

If an exporter’s certificate of export permission or certificate of export approval is set to expire due to a delay or other disruptions in target exports resulting from the novel coronavirus epidemic, the exporter is permitted to file a request to extend the validity period of the certificate. Please file such requests before the validity of the certificate expires.

Notes:

  1. For details of the procedures, see the document “Operation of the Export Trade Control Order” (Precaution for Exports 62, No.11, on November 6, 1987)

  2. It should be noted that expired certificates of export permission and export approval are no longer valid and that exporters with such expired certificates are required to file requests to re-issue such certificates anew.

(2) In cases where the conditions shown in the certificate of export permission may not be fulfilled before the deadline (Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act)

Concerning the fulfillment of the permission conditions shown in a certificate of export permission for goods destined for China (e.g., reports on installation of machine tools), if the deadline of the fulfillment of the conditions is a date before March 31, 2020, the government of Japan will automatically extend the deadline to March 31, 2020,** for all exporters.

Such exporters are not required to file a request to change registered data when extending the deadline. However, they are required to fulfill the conditions as swiftly as possible if they are able to execute them before March 31, 2020.

(3) In cases where certificates issued by the government of Japan and other organizations under certain treaties or agreements expire (Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act and other laws)

Concerning certificates of export permission, etc. issued under the CITES, the Kimberley Process Certifications issued under the international certification system for rough diamonds, and specified certificates of origin issued by the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the government of Japan cannot extend the valid period of these certificates because of the restrictions under such treaties. Exporters with expired certificates are required to file requests to re-issue such certificates anew.

**Note: The specific dates for the special treatments mentioned in this release may be extended further depending on relevant situations.

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Division in Charge

Trade Control Policy Division, Trade Control Department

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