Frequently Asked Questions

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 by Plant Protection Station will occur. 
Please refer to Prohibited & Restricted items for inbound shipments.


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.

May I bring my prescription medicines to Japan?

Some over-the-counter medicines commonly used in the United States and other countries, including inhalers, allergy and sinus medications are not allowed into Japan. Products that contain stimulants (medicines that contain Pseudoephedrine, such as Actifed, Sudafed, and Vicks inhalers), or Codeine are prohibited.

US Embassy - Bringing Medication into Japan

We strongly discourage you from packing prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medicines or pharmaceuticals into your air/sea shipments. If Japan Customs discovers medicines in your shipment, they will inspect the entire shipment for prohibited pharmaceuticals and delivery may be severely delayed. Your medicines may be confiscated.

For more information about bringing your prescription medication and pharmaceuticals to Japan, please refer to Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

My work visa hasn't been issued yet. Can I still receive my shipment?

Yes, it's possible. As long as you are
a. in Japan and
b. have your company issue a letter stating that your work visa is currently being processed, Fukuoka Soko may be able to release your shipment for clearance and delivery.

What kinds of items are forbidden to bring into Japan?

The followings items are strictly prohibited.

a. Firearms and/or Weapons, Ammunitions and/or Explosives
b. Narcotics, Drugs and/or controlled substances
c. Pornography
d. Fresh/raw food stuffs
e. Counterfeit Items
f. Any species protected by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species)

For details of prohibited or restricted items, please refer to the links below.

Japan Customs - Goods with Prohibitions, Controls and Restrictions

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare - Importing or Bringing medication into Japan for Personal use

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