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I am relocating from Europe (Italy) to Japan, and I will ship most of my personal belongings to my new residence in Japan (a guesthouse in a research institute). Most of the boxes are filled with clothes, and a few electronic devices and some musical instruments. I will ship it with MBE.

Do I need to pay custom charges for moving my personal belongings? I will declare the approximate value of my stuff, because I would prefer to have an insurance coverage in case of damage/loss. Consider that my name appears in both the "sender" and the "recipient" field.

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You should not have to pay customs charges for your personal effects that you are sending to Japan. While MBE should provide you with the regulations and documents, this fact sheet from Atlas International, a US shipper, is an excellent summary of what is required.

Customs Regulations:

Narita Airport Customs officials follow strict enforcement of packing list descriptions/values. Clear descriptions/quantities and value for every item drastically reduces likelihood of having added fees/charges. Proof of overseas residence of more than 6 months; either the visa or Residence Permit must show both the effective date and expiry date.

Required Documents:

  • Passport Copy – All stamped pages including photo page, entry stamp (must match date on the C5360/2 Form) & visa pages
  • Japanese Visa – Copy; must be valid for 1 year
  • Residence Permit - copy
  • OBL/AWB or Express Release/Waybill
  • Comprehensive Valued Inventory List - in English or Japanese, descriptions such as PBO, HHG, MISC are not allowed; list must contain value, count and description i.e. 9 pants, 25 shirts, 3 coats
  • Customs Form C5360-2 for non-Japanese or Form 5360 for returning Japanese citizens
    o Obtained on airplane or at the Customs counter at airport of entry
    o Must complete two sets and submit to Japanese Customs at the airport
    o Fill out occupation with name of the company
    o Customs will stamp both will receive a seal, keep one original to be sent to Destination Agent in Japan (copies or faxed copies not accepted)
  • Delivery address and telephone number
  • Thank you for the answer...I think this is what I was looking for. I just don't understand if I have to give this documents to the shipping company or when I will land at the airport. For example I will not get the residence permit before landing in Japan. – sintetico Jan 27 '17 at 8:18
  • Understood. I'd ask that of MBE. It may be that MBE also serves as the agent in Japan (it has offices there). The document probably goes with the shipment, and you would want to have a copy with you. – Giorgio Jan 27 '17 at 14:08

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