How to ship internationally from India to Japan?

In this step-by-step guide to shipping from India to Japan, learn more about prohibited goods and tax laws to import to Japan.
For many years, India and Japan have maintained amicable trade relations. There has been a growing demand for Indian goods like gems and jewellery, electronics, textiles, and fibre products, and pharmaceuticals in Japan1. With India’s exports to Japan at $4.9 billion in 2022–23 (April-February), there is a huge potential market for exporters who want to export to that country2.

Key parties involved in international shipping from India to Japan

Before delving into the shipping process, it is vital to recognize the critical stakeholders in the shipping process3:

Exporter/ shipper

Person or business sending goods

Importer/ consignee

Receiver of goods in the UAE.

Freight forwarder

Intermediary who arranges transport logistics

Customs officials

Officials in both countries ensuring goods adhere to regulations

Step-by-step guide to ship from India to Japan

Indian goods are typically transported to Japan by air or sea freight. For heavy or large orders, the majority of shippers choose sea freight. Small shipments with a high value are better suited for air freight. Here is a description of the procedure for transporting goods from India to Japan:

Shipping by export

Goods are shipped from the supplier’s location to the export port via road, rail, and, occasionally, by specialised carriers.

Customs clearance

The provider goes through the necessary legal procedures and submits the paperwork needed by the local government in this step.

Handling in India

Starting at the supplier’s site, this step of the process entails handling, transporting, loading, unloading, and reloading, as well as inspection. Typically, goods forwarders are in charge of this step in the procedure.

Ocean and air freight

The logistics of loading and transporting goods are confirmed, and goods are prepared for delivery to the nearby port or airport. The goods broker makes sure that the cargo is loaded onto a ship or aircraft.

Customs clearance for imports

The consignee appoints house brokers to handle the items’ customs clearance upon arrival. Usually, this process begins before the goods are delivered.

Processing in Japan

The goods must first be cleared and unloaded to be transferred to a warehouse or storage facility in Japan.

Shipping imports

After sorting, merchandise is distributed for customer delivery.

Tax and laws for importing to Japan

Goods imported to Japan are subjected to import duties, consumption tax and other internal taxes. The details are mentioned below7:

Consumption tax

All goods imported into or produced in Japan are subject to consumption tax at a rate of 10% (regular tax rate) or 8% (reduced tax rate). The amount of consumption tax owed on imported products is determined using the customs value of goods, plus any relevant customs duty and additional excise taxes.

Internal taxes

Excise taxes are applied according to the rules of the relevant law when certain types of goods, like alcohol, tobacco products, petrol, and LPG, are imported into Japan. The quantity of the imported items is used to determine the amount of taxes that will be due in certain situations.

International shipping from India to Japan has been made simple with e-commerce exports programs like Amazon Global Selling. Let Amazon handle the logistics and international delivery while you focus on running your business.

List of prohibited goods when shipping from India to Japan

There are a number of goods that are prohibited from being shipped from India to Japan. Some of the common restricted goods include6:

● Drugs and related goods
● Weapons, ammunition, gunpowder, and explosives
● Chemical weapon precursors
● Fake or imitation coins or currency
● Obscene materials and merchandise that violate intellectual property rights

It is important to check with Japan customs authorities before shipping any goods to make sure that they are not prohibited.

Amazon Global Selling: Easy e-commerce exports and hassle-free shipping

If you are a business owner and you want to sell your products in Japan, Amazon Global Selling enables you to list and sell ‘Made in India’ products on Amazon Japan marketplace. As an e-commerce exports program, Amazon Global Selling provides support and guidance at every step of your exports journey – documents and licenses, logistics, payments, advertising, and more.

Registered sellers can choose to ship their products by themselves through Merchant Fulfilled Network (MFN) or they can opt for Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and outsource order fulfillment to Amazon including packing, storage, delivery, and returns. Amazon Global Selling simplifies the process of international shipping to Japan, helping businesses navigate customs and reach a vast audience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does shipping from India to Japan take?
The shipping time from India to Japan depends on the shipping method you choose. Air shipping is the fastest method, with delivery times typically ranging from 3 to 8 business days. Sea shipping is the cheapest method, but it takes longer, with delivery times typically ranging from 10 to 36 days. However, this can vary depending on the shipping carrier and other factors.
What is the cheapest way to send a package from India to Japan?
The cheapest way to send a package from India to Japan is by sea shipping. However, sea shipping takes longer than air shipping. If you need your package to arrive quickly, air shipping is a more suitable option.
What are the customs duties applied in Japan?
Japan imposes customs duties and consumption taxes on imported goods. Imported items that are subject to duty are also subject to other internal taxes, such as the alcohol and cigarette taxes, in addition to the consumption tax10.
Published on November 7, 2023.


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*Map not to scale. The map has been used for design and representational purpose only, it does not depict the geographical boundaries of the country. These do not conform to the external boundaries of India recognized by the Survey of India.