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Documentation Required When Exporting to Japan

Japanese product standards, importing regulations, retaliatory tariffs, restricted and prohibited imports information, etc.

Documentation Required When Exporting to Japan

Postby bridgat » Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:22 am

When shipping U.S.-made products to Japan, the U.S. exporter should include the following documents along with the shipment, and, in some cases, provide the importer/buyer.

International Commercial Invoice: An invoice is required when exporting a product sold to a buyer in Japan. Some key information that should be listed on the invoice includes: a description of the good(s), the monetary value of the good(s), the net and gross weight (and unit weight, if pertinent), information on the country of manufacture (i.e., country of origin), freight and insurance costs, and any other charges or discounts as individual line items. Also, a unique invoice number must be assigned to each invoice issued. (The recommended information listed above is not al inclusive.)

Certificate of Origin: To insure that U.S. goods receive the WTO-duty rate upon entry into Japan, a certificate of origin should be provided. The original certificate of origin should be in the possession of the importer at the time of entry. Copies are not acceptable. The country of origin of the goods must also be shown on the commercial invoice.

Air Waybill or Bill of Lading: In general, the shipper/carrier will generate/provide this document.

Packing lists, freight accounts, insurance certificates: Documents such as these should be provided when deemed necessary. Talk to the importer to determine whether such documents may be needed.

Additional Information

Japan’s Ministry of Finance maintains a website: which describes import clearance and customs procedures, and provides contact information and other detailed information in English.
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