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Moving to Japan from the UK

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Moving to Japan from the UK
Moving to Japan from the UK

Japan is an East Asian island nation that is one of the most populous countries in the world. It is a country well known for its use of technology, innovative industry, and incredible geography. Japan has a fascinating and colorful culture that is very appealing to young adults.    

If you are moving from the UK to Japan, you may want to bring your vehicle or personal goods with you. How can you import a vehicle into the country? When it comes to importing your belongings to Japan, there are several factors to consider. This guide will give you the basics of what you need to import your personal belongings or vehicle to Japan. 

As always, you should check with local customs officials for the most current guidance. 

Here’s what you need to know: 

Can I Import my Personal Items to Japan?


Yes. What’s more, personal effects are free of duty if they meet requirements. They must be items that have been owned by you for at least a year and are being imported for your ongoing personal use. The goods should be cleared within six months of your arrival in Japan. You will need to be able to provide a detailed packing list. 

While you do not need to physically attend the clearance procedure, you will need to have already arrived in country.

How Do I Import a Vehicle to Japan?

The entire importation process is typically handled by an import agent who will deliver the vehicle to the owner after it has been properly processed and registered. The import agent will handle the following: 

  • Customs – A customs declaration form must be submitted when the vehicle passes through customs. Here the automobile acquisition tax must be paid. This tax is calculated at 5% of the depreciated value of the vehicle. When the car is cleared, a custom clearance certificate will be awarded.
  • Emissions test and preliminary inspection – The vehicle is then delivered to the testing center for inspection. This process can take about a week. 
  • Registration – Your car will need to be registered at the Land Transport Bureau office. Vehicle taxes will be paid and the car registration certificate (shaken sho) is awarded. 
  • National Number Plates - Cars cannot be driven in Japan without a national number plate, which can only be obtained once all other importation steps are complete. 
  • Parking Space Certificate - To own a car in Japan you are required to have a registered parking space. You can apply for a registered parking space at your local police station or transport bureau office. You can also apply online. You will be required to provide documentation and processing takes about a week. 

The Easiest Way to Import Your Vehicle? Hire A Shipping Company 

Japanese customs requirements require a lot of logistics since your vehicle cannot be on the roadway until it is fully processed. At A-1 Auto Transport, we understand how overwhelming it can be to handle the complex requirements for shipping a vehicle or personal belongings overseas. A-1 Auto Transport’s top-notch team of international shipping experts is ready to make your import or export easy and painless. 

If you’re planning to ship a vehicle or household goods from the UK to Japan, look no further than A-1 Auto Transport. Complete the form at the top of this page to receive a free overseas shipping quote. You can also get in contact with our international shipping specialists or give us a call. Our highly-trained specialists will walk you through your options for overseas vehicle transport and assist you with all the paperwork, helping you achieve a carefree moving experience. 

Joe Webster
Written By:Joe Webster
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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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