I'm relocating to Tokyo next month, does anyone know the customs situation with bringing your belongings into Japan, I have quite a bit of computer and musical equipment to bring with me, someone I talked to recently said that I may have to pay import duty on some of it?
2002-05-10, 12:41 PM
If obviously personal belongings, and used looking, should not have to pay. Customs get worried when they see brand new items in boxes, still wrapped in original packaging materials. That is when they start charging you a lot.
If they are arriving separately, you'll need to fill in a duplicate unaccompanied bagage declaration when arriving in Narita. Otherwise you will have problems clearing and have to write an apology letter. You may need a Japanese speaker to help you clear the items, or pay an agency to do it for you - expensive.
Bear in mind Japan is 100v, so you should ensure your gear is multi-voltage or be prepared to pay for transformers. Most of Japan is also ungrounded, so be aware of hum loops and electrical safety when connecting gear up. Voltage protection - UPS/ Spike filters are also recommended.
Make sure that you have a means of transporting them from the customs place to where you will be living, and that they will not be stored for a long time. Storage and transportation are very expensive here. A couple of years back I spent 1,000 GBP on a shipment from Europe to Tokyo (10days over15,000km, and then 800GBP from Tokyo to Yokohama (4 days over 45km)!
2002-08-06, 04:04 PM
There is a complete list of customs duties and limits