What is ACP? – Attorney for Customs Procedure
In principle, Japan Customs does not permit a foreign entity to act as the Importer of Record (*IOR).
But the foreign entity can act as a non-resident importer (IOR – Importer of Record) if you appoint an ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedure) who can handle the customs procedure on your behalf.
We, ACP japan provide this service as being ACP. On behalf of non-resident clients, we support by ensuring the import customs procedure.
We support many import projects including E-commerce such as Amazon’s FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) program and Rakuten for the international sellers.
Our ACP Service: The Best Solution for the Japan Importer of Record (IOR)
Attorney for Customs Procedures (ACP) is the best solution for addressing the issue of Japan IOR – Importer of Record. Below is an outline of our primary services and a diagram illustrating the operational structure of the ACP service. Upon successful ACP registration, a foreign entity can become the Japan IOR – Importer of Record.
Basic Scope of Services:
- Consultation with the Japan Customs Office for successful ACP registration.
- Liaising with stakeholders, including Logistics Forwarding Companies and the Customs Offices, on behalf of non-resident clients (i.e., non-resident Japan IOR) to ensure the secure importation of goods.
- Assistance in preparing the necessary documentation for import clearance.
- Support of calculation of Customs Value (Customs Valuation Formula), in accordance with appropriate compliance under the Japan Tariff Customs Law.
- Documents keeping, required under article 95 – Japan Customs Law
**Both import and export activities can benefit from the use of an ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures). This support is applicable in scenarios where a non-resident acts as the Importer of Record (IOR) for imports and as the Exporter of Record (EOR) for exports.
How we proceed the works
Step.1) Please send us information through the contact form, regarding:
- The website (URL link) or catalogue of the exact goods planning to import to Japan.
- Approximate volume, varieties, and shipping frequency of the goods to import to Japan.
Step.2) ACP Japan to submit quotation and scope of works, for a specific client.
Step.3) Once the client agrees with the quotation, we’ll proceed signing of a service agreement between us.
Step.4) Then, we’ll start preparation of documentation regarding ACP application. The documents we need to prepare are, for instance, power of attorney, a certificate of company registry, the calculation formula of the customs valuation.
Step.5) Once set of documentations prepared, we will start communication with Japan Customs Office to obtain an approval of ACP.
Our Customers – Japan IOR / Attorney for Customs Procedures (ACP) Service
All our clients have successfully become Japan Importer of Record (IOR) and imported goods into Japan under our guidance.
Logistics Companies with Collaboration Experience
Here is a list of our partner logistics and forwarding companies with whom we have had successful collaborations. Please note that this list is not exhaustive, as we are open to working with any logistics or forwarding companies. As Attorneys for Customs Procedures (ACP), we represent non-resident clients (IOR) and coordinate with these logistics companies, who manage the transportation of goods to and from Japan.
Why choose us?
- Customs and International Trade Professionals – Our CEO, Mr. Sawada, is a Certified Customs Specialist in Japan. With years of experience providing services in the Trade & Customs field, his leadership at KPMG and the establishment of his own company, SK Advisory, ensures our commitment to excellence and high-quality service.
- Full Adherence to Japanese Customs Law – Our top priority is to maintain full compliance with Japanese Customs Law and safely import / export our clients’ goods into / from Japan. We meticulously manage all import compliance aspects, including Japan Importer of Record (IOR) matter, HS code classification and the correct Customs Valuation of goods entering Japan. We support to complete all the necessary shipping documents, such as Invoice, Packing List and BL, on behald of non-resident / foreign Japan IOR.
- Communication in English, Chinese, and Japanese – Our team, with extensive international experience, excels in communication in English, including facilitating English-language meetings, and has earned considerable trust from clients. We also have staff capable of communicating in Chinese, making us equipped to handle Chinese-language support as well. Naturally, as a Japan-based team, we’re totally fluent in Japanese, ensuring seamless communication across these three key languages.
- Reputable and Reliable Partner -The growing demand for our Attorney for Customs Procedures (ACP) services is testament to our quality. We proudly serve clients globally, registering over 50 ACP customers annually. Our consistent track record underscores our reliability and credibility. For a detailed list of our clientele, please visit our “Experiences” section. Our unwavering commitment ensures all our clients successfully acquire Japan IOR status and import goods seamlessly into Japan.
- Recognized ACP Service Provider on Amazon SPN SPN (Service Provider Network) – We are a certified ACP service provider within Amazon’s Service Provider Network (SPN), listed under the Trade Compliance category. Many international Amazon Sellers have successfully become Japan Importers of Record (IOR) through our ACP services.
How the Japanese New Invoice System affects? – Advantage of using ACP –
Recently, many companies register JCT (Japanese Consumption Tax) because the new invoice system for JCT will start in October 2023. The concept of the new invoice system is very similar to the EU’s VAT invoice system.
Your Japanese customer can’t claim input tax credits unless the sellers(suppliers) issue a qualified invoice that is written a JCT number. To issue a qualified invoice, sellers(suppliers) need to be a taxable entity and get a JCT number.
Since the seller becomes a taxable entity, the seller is obligated to file JCT tax returns on a regular basis.
For the case of a non-resident entity, when you import and sell to customers in Japan
(1) Pay import JCT to a customs office, 10% of the import customs value when you import
(2) Collect JCT from a customer in Japan, 10% of the sales price when you sell
(3) Submit JCT tax return to a tax office periodically
(3-1) If you paid (1) as IOR = Importer, which means you appoint ACP, then you’re required to pay only the difference amount (2) – (1)
(3-2) If you paid (1) but you were not IOR = Importer, then you’re required to pay all the amount of (2). You can’t deduct (1).
Please be careful that only the IMPORTER can deduct the import consumption tax at the time of tax filing. In other words, if another IOR service provider became the IMPORTER when you import, basically it would not be possible for the non-resident entity to deduct the import consumption tax. Therefore, you have to pay all the amount of (2) to a tax office.
On the other hand, if you import with ACP, means that you became an IMPORTER thus you can deduct the import consumption tax, when you do JCT tax return. Therefore, you only need to pay the difference amount (2) – (1) to a tax office.
This is one of the significant advantages to use ACP service, not IOR service.
For this reason, we strongly recommend using ACP so that you can become IOR.
Our Tax Representative service (optional)
We, ACP Japan provide one-stop services by supporting as ACP and Tax Representative for Japanese Consumption Tax (JCT) issues. We provide following services by collaborating with a Tax Accountant to ensure the all the service to be served in accordance with Tax Laws.
- Support notification to become a taxable company for Japan Consumption Tax.
- Support notification of tax representative appointment.
- Support preparation/submission of the JCT return.
- Communication with stakeholders including National Tax Office.
- Cash handling support (e.g. Payment of the JCT to National Tax Office)
Reform in the Japanese Customs System (Mandatory Use of ACP; IOR services Prohibited)
Effective from October 1, 2023, the Japanese Customs authorities have implemented a significant reform in response to increasing instances where foreign sellers incorrectly designate third parties (like forwarders or customs agents) as importers.
This revision mandates foreign entities to comply with new regulations, which include the compulsory utilization of an Attorney for Customs Procedures (ACP). Under this new framework, it is expressly forbidden for foreign sellers to appoint another Japanese service provider in the role of Importer of Record (IOR).
For additional information, please refer to the following resources:
- Japan Customs: Leaflet(English) Revision of Import Declaration Items and Attorney for Customs Procedure (ACP) System
- English: Announcement from Japan Customs | Directive to use ACP – Attorney for Customs Procedure
*We are pleased to announce that our ACP/IOR services can support the importation of various regulated items, including those under the Food Sanitation Act (such as food products, tableware, cooking utensils and kitchen tools).