Category Archives: ACP

Urgent Compliance Alert for E-Commerce Sellers: Avoid Penalties with Japan’s New Import Regulations – Act Now!

As previously mentioned in another article (“Announcement from Japan Customs | Mandatory to use ACP – Attorney for Customs Procedure”), from October 2023, overseas sellers, especially those on e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Rakuten, and Shopify, must utilize ACP and become the Importer of Record (IOR) themselves. Therefore, schemes involving designating other Japanese corporations as the IOR are now prohibited. Despite clear directives to this effect, we observe certain IOR businesses providing unauthorized IOR services.

The prevalence of such questionable practices necessitates this article as a cautionary note. Sellers operating in Japan must strive to understand and comply with the correct legal framework and avoid unnecessary penalty.

 

Please be careful, having a proper local ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures) / IOR (Importer of Record) in Japan is significantly crucial. Without this, your goods will be held up at customs, leading to huge delays and costs. To avoid these risks, we recommend appointing us as your ACP. As professionals in this area, we have a proven track record of successfully resolving numerous cases by working closely with Japan Customs.

 

Problematic Practices – Violation of Customs Laws

There are instances where transactions seem to exist between overseas businesses and Japanese IORs (who are merely importers in name), with manipulated documents like invoices reflecting undervalued declared prices for customs clearance. In reality, these goods are not directly shipped to fulfillment centers like Amazon but temporarily stored in domestic warehouses. Here, they are labeled before being sent to the final fulfillment destination. This scheme aims to avoid detection by customs as e-commerce products. Such actions are illegal and not in compliance with the law, and I strongly urge an immediate cessation of these practices.

Importing through illegal schemes often leads to undervalued import declarations. Even if customs clearance is initially granted, subsequent Post Clearance Audit by customs can lead to substantial penalties. Legally, the IOR is liable for these payments, which can lead to disputes between overseas sellers and IOR businesses. Typically, the financial burden of import duties and taxes falls on the overseas sellers, making conflicts predictable.

Both the uninformed overseas businesses using these illegal schemes and the IOR operators bear responsibility.

Observing extremely low prices for products by overseas sellers on e-commerce platforms like Amazon often gives an impression of an unfair competitive environment. Legitimate overseas businesses pay appropriate taxes and add these costs to their selling prices, putting them at a disadvantage against sellers who avoid proper tax payments. This unfairness is precisely why the customs system was revised in October 2023.

For businesses with low compliance awareness, the issues likely extend beyond just declared values. Often, they might also be non-compliant with intellectual property laws and other regulations.

 

 

 

Concerns Over Cost Impact of Customs Valuation/Import Declarations

When overseas sellers import goods for e-commerce into Japan, whether through ACP or as the another IOR company, there is no “import transaction” with a Japanese buyer, leading to the exceptional determination method for declared import values, typically based on the domestic selling price.

There are concerns about high valuation leading to excessive duties and taxes. However, this is a determination method based on the Customs Tariff Law, which must be adhered to. The cost impact of the valuation is not as significant as often feared.

The taxes on import are mainly customs duties and consumption tax. Japan’s import tariffs are relatively low on a global scale, and many industrial products are duty-free. As for consumption tax, which is a uniform 10%, it is an indirect tax borne by the final consumer, not a cost for the overseas seller. Taxable businesses regularly file consumption tax returns to the tax office, adjusting the tax paid on imports against the tax collected from sales, neutralizing the cost impact. However, this necessitates that the overseas business itself becomes the importer, achievable only through using ACP.

With the start of the consumption tax invoice system in October 2023, many overseas businesses might have registered as qualified invoice-issuing entity. For B2C businesses, registration as a qualified invoice-issuing entity is not always necessary, but many companies seem to register without fully understanding the system. I recommend that overseas businesses seek advice from qualified professionals to navigate these changes correctly.

 

As seasoned experts in customs and trade facilitation, we at ACP JAPAN are here to navigate these complexities on your behalf. Our approach, grounded in professionalism and profound regulatory knowledge, ensures a seamless, compliant, and strategic entry into Japan’s vibrant market.

We invite you to reach out to us — let’s discuss how we can support your business’s successful and compliant expansion into Japan. Your peace of mind is our top priority.

We look forward to your inquiry!

 

 

 

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.

 

Three Steps to Initiate Shipments Under the ACP Program: :

  1. Quotation Review to Contract Conclusion: Upon receiving your contact details, we will promptly provide a quotation for your review.
  2. Commencing the Registration of ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedure) to Japan Customs: This process is generally completed in about two weeks.
  3. Initiation of First Shipment, Import/Export

 

 

 

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.

     

 

 

FAQ for ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures)

What is the role of ACP (ACP Japan)?

  • Representation: ACP (ACP Japan) represents the foreign importer and liaises with Japan Customs and the Forwarding Company/Customs Broker.
  • Documentation and Compliance: ACP assists in preparing essential import documents (e.g., Invoices) in compliance with Japan Customs Law and formally requests the Customs Broker to proceed with customs clearance.
  • Expert Consultation and Troubleshooting: We are a team of legal experts in Customs Laws, providing direct consultations with Japan Customs to ensure compliance and address issues, including troubleshooting unique challenges in non-resident imports.

 

How long time does it require to get ACP’s registration?

It will take approximately 2 weeks until getting an approval from Japan Customs Office.
The breakdown of the task is as follows.

  • Prepare the necessary documentation between us
  • Start pre-consultation with Japan Customs Office and proceed initial review
  • Submit paper-based set of application documents to Japan Customs Office for final review

 

What kind of documents to be necessary for ACP application?

Not limited, but for instance – Power of Attorney, Company Registry, The calculation method of Customs Valuation, Catalog of the import goods, business/logistic flow

 

ACP can handle all kinds of goods?

ACP, is not capable to handle all kinds of goods. If the goods are subject to specific regulations requires importer to be resident in Japan, such goods can not be handled under the ACP. Restricted regulations are, for instance, Act on Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices, or PSE/PSC.

 

Which regions in Japan are we covering?

Any region in Japan, we can handle.

 

What is difference between ACP and IOR?

ACP is not the Importer. ACP enables non-resident entities to become IOR (Importer of Record).

 

—–

[Our Service]

Our ACP Service for Importer of Record (IOR)

Our ACP Service for Exporter of Record (EOR)

 

[Knowledge Pages]

What is ACP? – Attorney for Customs Procedures

Steps of using ACP, how foreign entity can import into Japan by ACP

What is IOR? – Importer of Record

Amazon won’t become an IOR

Customs Valuation System in Japan

Customs Valuation When You Import By ACP

Consumption Tax in Japan

IOR and ACP

IOR Service

ACP’s Limitation

ACP’s Qualification

ACP’s registration

 

[Recent Updates]

Urgent Compliance Alert for E-Commerce Sellers: Avoid Penalties with Japan’s New Import Regulations – Act Now!

October 2023: Introduction of Two New Systems in Japan – (1) Switching from IOR Provider to ACP & (2) QIS: Japan Consumption Tax’s Qualified Invoice System

ACP Japan Became Amazon’s SPN Provider as Qualified ACP Service Provider

Taxes on Imports: Customs Duty and Japan Consumption Tax (JCT)

Import Permit Document and Alert on IOR Service

New Japan Qualified Invoice System and import JCT (Japan Consumption Tax)

 

 

October 2023: Introduction of Two New Systems in Japan – (1) Switching from IOR Provider to ACP & (2) QIS: Japan Consumption Tax’s Qualified Invoice System

For Foreign Corporations Without a Base in Japan:

We are informing you about the two new systems that commences in October 2023. These systems are distinct and must be approached separately. However, there are aspects where they intersect and must be understood collectively. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

 

Switching from IOR Provider to ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures)

The customs system is set to undergo a significant shift.

Starting October 2023, foreign corporations (non-residents) without a base in Japan will be mandated by Customs to act as importers themselves. Previously, it was allowed to use another company (such as an Importer of Record Representative (IOR)) acting the role of the importer.

For foreign corporations without a Japanese base to become importers, they must appoint an ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures). Therefore, the ACP system becomes indispensable.

 

Please be careful, having a proper local ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures) / IOR (Importer of Record) in Japan is significantly crucial. Without this, your goods will be held up at customs, leading to huge delays and costs. To avoid these risks, we recommend appointing us as your ACP. As professionals in this area, we have a proven track record of successfully resolving numerous cases by working closely with Japan Customs.

 

Why this System Change?

There have been instances where foreign corporations, along with importing agents unfamiliar with customs laws or lacking proper compliance awareness, have collaborated. Such collaborations often result in the failure to accurately pay the necessary duties and consumption taxes upon importation by utilizing undervalued invoices, almost simulating a sales transaction. To address this issue, Japan Customs now instructs foreign corporations to engage with ACP. Using ACP mandates that commercial distribution transaction details be presented to the customs office, ensuring the declaration of an appropriate import value.

Typically, the import declaration value is derived by subtracting certain domestic costs from the projected domestic sales price, in line with the Japanese Customs Tariff Law. However, we believe there’s no significant cause for concern regarding this value. Japan’s tariff rate is relatively low on an international scale, and the import consumption tax is primarily a “tax borne by the end consumer”. Though a 10% consumption tax is required at the point of import, it can be recouped from customers during sales. If a tax return is accurately filed, any overpayments will be refunded.

Moreover, to claim credits for the consumption tax on purchases (paid upon importation), the seller—a foreign corporation—must assume the role of an importer. Alongside appointing an ACP, foreign entities should also designate a tax accountant to act as a tax agent. This ensures the accurate filing of consumption tax returns with the tax office.

As seasoned ACP professionals, we lead consultations with Japan Customs proactively to guarantee seamless import customs clearance and oversee the determination of import declaration values, among other critical aspects. Our expertise extends to countless import/export projects, and we pride ourselves on a flawless record of customs clearance.

 

 

Related Readings:

 

 

 

Qualified Invoice System (QIS) for Japan Consumption Tax (JCT)

The forthcoming alteration pertains to the national tax system.

The advent of the consumption tax invoice system means a surge in overseas companies becoming consumption tax invoice issuers. For Japanese customer (buyer) during a consumption tax return filing must emanate from a registered invoice issuing entity, otherwise the Japanese customer can not claim the purchase tax credit on the consumption tax paid to a seller. 

Should an overseas company opt to become an invoice issuing entity, it is automatically becoming as a taxable entity for consumption tax. This necessitates the submission of a periodical consumption tax return with the tax authorities. Therefore, companies are urged to carefully consider whether they cater to B2C consumers (typically not filing consumption tax returns) or B2B entities (usually filing such returns), before deciding on registration.

 

 

For the case of a non-resident entity (Company-A), when Company-A imports and sells to customers in Japan, following 3 steps are the standard procedure.

(1) Pay import JCT to a customs office, 10% of the import customs value when Company-A imports.
<PAY TO CUSTOMS OFFICE>
(2) Obtain JCT from a customer in Japan, 10% of the sales price when Company-A sells
(3) Submit JCT tax return
   (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 input JCT (import consumption tax) at the time of tax filing mentioned above (3). 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 input JCT (import consumption tax). Therefore, you have to pay all the amount of (2) to a tax office (mentioned above (3-2).

On the other hand, by importing with ACP and becoming the IMPORTER, you can deduct the input JCT (import consumption tax) when filing JCT tax returns as mentioned above (3). Therefore, you would only need to pay the difference amount (2) – (1) to a tax office (as mentioned above (3-1).

This is one of the significant advantages of using the ACP service instead of the IOR service.

For this reason, we strongly recommend using ACP so that you can become IOR.

 

Related Readings:

 

 

 

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.

 

Three Steps to Initiate Shipments Under the ACP Program: :

  1. Quotation Review to Contract Conclusion: Upon receiving your contact details, we will promptly provide a quotation for your review.
  2. Commencing the Registration of ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedure) to Japan Customs: This process is generally completed in about two weeks.
  3. Initiation of First Shipment, Import/Export

 

 

 

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.

     

 

 

FAQ for ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures)

What is the role of ACP (ACP Japan)?

  • Representation: ACP (ACP Japan) represents the foreign importer and liaises with Japan Customs and the Forwarding Company/Customs Broker.
  • Documentation and Compliance: ACP assists in preparing essential import documents (e.g., Invoices) in compliance with Japan Customs Law and formally requests the Customs Broker to proceed with customs clearance.
  • Expert Consultation and Troubleshooting: We are a team of legal experts in Customs Laws, providing direct consultations with Japan Customs to ensure compliance and address issues, including troubleshooting unique challenges in non-resident imports.

 

How long time does it require to get ACP’s registration?

It will take approximately 2 weeks until getting an approval from Japan Customs Office.
The breakdown of the task is as follows.

  • Prepare the necessary documentation between us
  • Start pre-consultation with Japan Customs Office and proceed initial review
  • Submit paper-based set of application documents to Japan Customs Office for final review

 

What kind of documents to be necessary for ACP application?

Not limited, but for instance – Power of Attorney, Company Registry, The calculation method of Customs Valuation, Catalog of the import goods, business/logistic flow

 

ACP can handle all kinds of goods?

ACP, is not capable to handle all kinds of goods. If the goods are subject to specific regulations requires importer to be resident in Japan, such goods can not be handled under the ACP. Restricted regulations are, for instance, Act on Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices, or PSE/PSC.

 

Which regions in Japan are we covering?

Any region in Japan, we can handle.

 

What is difference between ACP and IOR?

ACP is not the Importer. ACP enables non-resident entities to become IOR (Importer of Record).

 

—–

[Our Service]

Our ACP Service for Importer of Record (IOR)

Our ACP Service for Exporter of Record (EOR)

 

[Knowledge Pages]

What is ACP? – Attorney for Customs Procedures

Steps of using ACP, how foreign entity can import into Japan by ACP

What is IOR? – Importer of Record

Amazon won’t become an IOR

Customs Valuation System in Japan

Customs Valuation When You Import By ACP

Consumption Tax in Japan

IOR and ACP

IOR Service

ACP’s Limitation

ACP’s Qualification

ACP’s registration

 

[Recent Updates]

Urgent Compliance Alert for E-Commerce Sellers: Avoid Penalties with Japan’s New Import Regulations – Act Now!

October 2023: Introduction of Two New Systems in Japan – (1) Switching from IOR Provider to ACP & (2) QIS: Japan Consumption Tax’s Qualified Invoice System

ACP Japan Became Amazon’s SPN Provider as Qualified ACP Service Provider

Taxes on Imports: Customs Duty and Japan Consumption Tax (JCT)

Import Permit Document and Alert on IOR Service

New Japan Qualified Invoice System and import JCT (Japan Consumption Tax)

 

 

Navigating the Intricacies of Importing Tech Goods to Japanese Data Centers

The increasing demand for importing and delivering goods to data centers in Japan is largely driven by the tech and AI boom. Often, clients, who are non-resident companies, seek to deliver goods—either their own or their end-clients’—to these data centers without making a sale. To facilitate this, the clients need to handle the import process into Japan on their own.

However, there’s a challenge: Japanese Customs mandates that only resident entities can act as importers. This is where the ACP – Attorney for Customs Procedures comes into play. It allows non-resident entities to act as the Importer of Record (IOR), bridging the gap in this process.

At ACP Japan, we possess a wealth of experience in supporting the import and delivery of goods to data centers. Typically, products shipped to these data centers are non-regulated items like servers, switches, transceivers, cables, and more. We’re here to assist you with your needs. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.  

 

 

Please be careful, having a proper local ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures) / IOR (Importer of Record) in Japan is significantly crucial. Without this, your goods will be held up at customs, leading to huge delays and costs. To avoid these risks, we recommend appointing us as your ACP. As professionals in this area, we have a proven track record of successfully resolving numerous cases by working closely with Japan Customs.

 

   

Japanese Customs System Reform (Instruction to use ACP)

Due to the increasing occurrence of cases where foreign entities attempt to import goods by falsely designating third parties such as forwarders or customs agents as importers, starting from October 1, 2023, a system reform has been implemented to address this issue. The Japanese Customs authorities request foreign entities to comply with the law and use Attorney for Customs Procedures to act as importers.

Japan Customs: 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 

 

 

 

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.

 

Three Steps to Initiate Shipments Under the ACP Program: :

  1. Quotation Review to Contract Conclusion: Upon receiving your contact details, we will promptly provide a quotation for your review.
  2. Commencing the Registration of ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedure) to Japan Customs: This process is generally completed in about two weeks.
  3. Initiation of First Shipment, Import/Export

 

 

 

 

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 does the Japanese New Invoice System affect?  – 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.

Before the Invoice system is introduced (before Oct 2023):

  • A company that paid consideration of goods or services (=Company-B) is able to deduct Input JCT of the consideration regardless of whether the vendor (issuer of invoice, =Company-A) is a JCT-taxable or Non JCT-taxable company.
  • There is no way to confirm whether the vendor (=Company-A) is JCT-taxable or Non JCT-taxable company.

After the Invoice system is introduced (after Oct 2023):

  • A company that paid consideration of goods or services (=Company-B) is able to deduct Input JCT of the consideration only if the vendor (Company-A) has its invoice registration number.
  • Company-B requests Company-A to issue the qualified invoice. If Company-A cannot submit qualified invoice, Company-B will no longer want to buy from Company-A.

**If Company-A only sells to consumers (not business entities), it may not require for Company-A to issuethe qualified invoice since normally consumers would not tend to do tax return. 

 

 

 

Once the Comapny-A (Seller/Supplier) obtains the JCT invoice registration number, which means this company becomes a taxable entity that is obligated to file JCT tax returns on a regular basis.

For the case of a non-resident entity (Company-A), when Company-A imports and sells to customers in Japan, following 3 steps are the standard procedure.

(1) Pay import JCT to a customs office, 10% of the import customs value when Company-A imports.
<PAY TO CUSTOMS OFFICE>
(2) Obtain JCT from a customer in Japan, 10% of the sales price when Company-A sells
(3) Submit JCT tax return
   (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 input JCT (import consumption tax) at the time of tax filing mentioned above (3). 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 input JCT (import consumption tax). Therefore, you have to pay all the amount of (2) to a tax office (mentioned above (3-2).

On the other hand, if you import with ACP, means that you became an IMPORTER thus you can deduct the input JCT (import consumption tax), when you do JCT tax return mentioned above (3). Therefore, you only need to pay the difference amount (2) – (1) to a tax office (mentioned above (3-1).

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.

 

 

 

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:

*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).

Contact us

 

 

FAQ for ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures)

What is the role of ACP (ACP Japan)?

  • Representation: ACP (ACP Japan) represents the foreign importer and liaises with Japan Customs and the Forwarding Company/Customs Broker.
  • Documentation and Compliance: ACP assists in preparing essential import documents (e.g., Invoices) in compliance with Japan Customs Law and formally requests the Customs Broker to proceed with customs clearance.
  • Expert Consultation and Troubleshooting: We are a team of legal experts in Customs Laws, providing direct consultations with Japan Customs to ensure compliance and address issues, including troubleshooting unique challenges in non-resident imports.

 

How long time does it require to get ACP’s registration?

It will take approximately 2 weeks until getting an approval from Japan Customs Office.
The breakdown of the task is as follows.

  • Prepare the necessary documentation between us
  • Start pre-consultation with Japan Customs Office and proceed initial review
  • Submit paper-based set of application documents to Japan Customs Office for final review

 

What kind of documents to be necessary for ACP application?

Not limited, but for instance – Power of Attorney, Company Registry, The calculation method of Customs Valuation, Catalog of the import goods, business/logistic flow

 

ACP can handle all kinds of goods?

ACP, is not capable to handle all kinds of goods. If the goods are subject to specific regulations requires importer to be resident in Japan, such goods can not be handled under the ACP. Restricted regulations are, for instance, Act on Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices, or PSE/PSC.

 

Which regions in Japan are we covering?

Any region in Japan, we can handle.

 

What is difference between ACP and IOR?

ACP is not the Importer. ACP enables non-resident entities to become IOR (Importer of Record).

 

 

—–

[Our Service]

Our ACP Service for Importer of Record (IOR)

Our ACP Service for Exporter of Record (EOR)

 

[Knowledge Pages]

What is ACP? – Attorney for Customs Procedures

Steps of using ACP, how foreign entity can import into Japan by ACP

What is IOR? – Importer of Record

Amazon won’t become an IOR

Customs Valuation System in Japan

Customs Valuation When You Import By ACP

Consumption Tax in Japan

IOR and ACP

IOR Service

ACP’s Limitation

ACP’s Qualification

ACP’s registration

 

[Recent Updates]

Urgent Compliance Alert for E-Commerce Sellers: Avoid Penalties with Japan’s New Import Regulations – Act Now!

October 2023: Introduction of Two New Systems in Japan – (1) Switching from IOR Provider to ACP & (2) QIS: Japan Consumption Tax’s Qualified Invoice System

ACP Japan Became Amazon’s SPN Provider as Qualified ACP Service Provider

Taxes on Imports: Customs Duty and Japan Consumption Tax (JCT)

Import Permit Document and Alert on IOR Service

New Japan Qualified Invoice System and import JCT (Japan Consumption Tax)

 

 

 

Announcement from Japan Customs | Mandatory to use ACP – Attorney for Customs Procedure

We would like to inform you about the recent announcement from the Japan Customs regarding the revision of the Import Declaration Items and Attorney for Customs Procedure system, effective from October 1, 2023.

Foreign entities can no longer utilize a Japanese company as their IOR, or Importer of Record. As a result, sellers are now required to act as the IOR (Importer of Record) themselves and must use the ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures) service, a mandatory stipulation.

Reform in the Japanese Customs System (Mandatory Use of ACP; IOR services Prohibited)

 

In recent years, there have been numerous cases of improper importation of the goods for E-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Rakuten, where forwarders and customs agents have been falsely declared as importers, leading to undervalued import prices. To address this issue, the Japan Customs now requires the use of a Attorney for Customs Procedure (ACP) by non-resident importers to ensure proper import procedures and compliance with regulations. In some cases, the Japan Customs may even designate an ACP on behalf of the non-resident importer.

If you are a non-resident or foreign company using forwarders or customs agents as importers, it is recommended that you promptly switch to utilizing an ACP to ensure proper compliance with the law. We also encourage you to review the accuracy of the declared import prices (we can assist with verification). Additionally, by using an ACP, you can enjoy the benefits in terms of Japan Consumption Tax treatment (link: Consumption Tax Treatment and Benefits of Using ACP).

As a professional ACP firm, we follow the law to facilitate proper import procedures. You can entrust us with your importation needs with confidence. We look forward to discussing further with you.

 

Please be careful, having a proper local ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures) / IOR (Importer of Record) in Japan is significantly crucial. Without this, your goods will be held up at customs, leading to huge delays and costs. To avoid these risks, we recommend appointing us as your ACP. As professionals in this area, we have a proven track record of successfully resolving numerous cases by working closely with Japan Customs.

 

Case Study: Directives to use ACP

Case 1: Importing Goods Using FS (Fulfillment Services) by Non-resident Sellers

A non-resident seller plans to import goods for sale domestically using FS provided by EC platform operators. At the time of import declaration, there is no sales contract between the seller and the consumer. The seller (non-resident) is the main entity for sales on the EC platform after domestic pickup of the goods. Therefore, the seller, who aims to sell the goods in accordance with the purpose of import, needs to become the import declarant and appoint Attorney for Customs Procedure (ACP) to carry out the import declaration.

 

Case 2: Importing Goods Using FS by Non-resident Sellers

A non-resident seller plans to import goods for sale domestically using FS provided by EC platform operators. At the time of import declaration, there is no sales contract between the seller and the consumer. The seller (non-resident) entrusts domestic customs clearance arrangements to Company-A (located in Japan), but the main entity for selling the goods within the domestic market using FS remains the seller (non-resident). It is planned that the seller (non-resident), who intends to sell the goods on the EC platform after domestic pickup, should become the import declarant and appoints Attorney for Customs Procedure (ACP) in accordance with the purpose of import declaration.

 

 

Case 3: Importing Goods Using FS by Non-resident Sellers

A non-resident seller plans to import goods for sale domestically using FS provided by EC platform operators. At the time of import declaration, there is no sales contract between the seller and the consumer. The seller (non-resident) entrusts the transportation of the goods from overseas sellers to Japan to an overseas forwarder, but the main entity for selling the goods within the domestic market using FS remains the seller (non-resident). It is planned that the seller (non-resident), who intends to sell the goods on the EC platform after domestic pickup, becomes the import declarant and appoints Attorney for Customs Procedure (ACP) in accordance with the purpose of import declaration.

 

Case 4: Importing Goods for Consignment Sales

Goods (consignment sales goods) intended for domestic sale by an assignee who has received consignment sales from a non-resident consignor are imported. The imported goods are stored in an FS warehouse and sold on the EC platform under the name of the assignee. The assignee is the main entity for selling the goods within the domestic market using FS.

Either of the following options is necessary:

The consignor (non-resident) who has the authority to dispose of the consignment sales goods becomes the import declarant, appoints Attorney for Customs Procedure (ACP), and carries out the import declaration.

The assignee (i.e., the seller on the EC platform) who conducts the act of selling on behalf of themselves as the purpose of import becomes the import declarant and carries out the import declaration.

 

 

 

 

For more information regarding the revised regulations by the Japan Customs, please refer to the following:

(Link: Revision of Import Declaration Items and Attorney for Customs Procedure (ACP) System) Ministry of Finance, Japan Customs July 2023 With the expansion of cross-border e-commerce, the importation of goods for online shopping has increased, leading to a significant number of cases involving the smuggling of illegal drugs and counterfeit goods that infringe upon intellectual property rights. Particularly concerning are instances of tax evasion, where goods imported through fulfillment services (FS) are declared at unreasonably low prices to evade customs duties.

In light of these circumstances, we have conducted a review of the existing system to ensure the continued facilitation of smooth imports while effectively combating smuggling activities and ensuring proper taxation. Effective from October 1, (2023), there will be an addition to the import declaration items under the Customs Law Enforcement Order, requiring the inclusion of the “address and name of the person intending to import the goods” at the time of import declaration.

Furthermore, there will be additions to the declaration items for Attorney for Customs Procedure (ACP), including information regarding the relationship between the declarant and the Attorney for Customs Procedure (ACP). Additionally, it will be mandatory to submit the contractual documents between the declarant and the ACP. For specific details regarding the revisions to the system, please refer to the following reference materials.

 

Reference (Japan Customs)

Leaflet: “Review of Import Declaration Items and ACP system

Case Study: “Clarification of the Significance of Import Declarants”

Revision of the ACP Application Form

 

 

 

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.

     

 

 

 

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.

 

Three Steps to Initiate Shipments Under the ACP Program: :

  1. Quotation Review to Contract Conclusion: Upon receiving your contact details, we will promptly provide a quotation for your review.
  2. Commencing the Registration of ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedure) to Japan Customs: This process is generally completed in about two weeks.
  3. Initiation of First Shipment, Import/Export

 

 

 

Limitations of Using ACP for Specific Goods by Foreign Japan IOR

It’s important to note that ACP may not be suitable for handling certain types of goods. Goods subject to specific regulations, such as the Act on Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices (including cosmetic items), or PSE/PSC regulations, cannot be imported by appointing ACP. These regulations require importers to be Japanese resident entities.

When a non-resident entity utilizes ACP for their imports, they essentially become the importer. Therefore, for products that fall under the aforementioned regulations, ACP cannot be appointed for importation. To ensure compliance and avoid any restrictions on importing goods, we prioritize checking the eligibility of goods in the first step.

 

***With our Japanese ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures) / IOR (Importer of Record) service, we can also support the importation of some other regulated items into Japan (e.g., Food Sanitation Law (food products, tableware, kitchenware, cooking utensils, etc.)).

 

 

 

Japan Consumption Tax (JCT) Compliance

Understanding the handling of JCT (such as payment of import JCT, collection of sales JCT from customers, and JCT returns) is crucial to avoid significant cost burdens. This is a vital aspect, so please ensure a thorough understanding to determine the most optimal business model.

Basic Process of JCT Handling

The JCT treatment for foreign corporations without a base in Japan, importing and then selling in Japan, can be broadly outlined in the following three steps:

  1. At Import: Pay import VAT (10% of the declared value) to customs – Supported by ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures)
  2. At Sale: Collect VAT (10% of sales) from customers
  3. Final Tax Return (usually annually): Deduct the import VAT paid (step 1) from the JCT collected from customers (step 2), and pay or receive the difference to/from the tax office – Supported by a Tax Representative (Certified Tax Accountant)

Note: Using ACP to become the importer (IOR) is essential for JCT deductions and refunds. If another company acts as the IOR, you cannot deduct the input tax (step 1), and must pay the entire VAT collected (step 2) to the national tax authorities, leading to significant costs.

If you are a JCT-exempt business, the process ends at steps 1 and 2. For taxable businesses or invoice-registered businesses, step 3 (Final Tax Return) is obligatory.

In the Final Tax Return (step 3), if the JCT paid (step 1) exceeds the provisional JCT received (step 2), the difference is refunded. Conversely, if the provisional JCT received (step 2) exceeds the JCT paid (step 1), the difference must be paid to the tax office.

Is Being the Importer Important?

It is very important. Without acting as the importer (IOR) through ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures), you cannot deduct input tax in step 3. You must pay the full amount of JCT collected in step 2 to the tax office, with no possibility of a refund, resulting in substantial costs. Be careful not to let another company act as the importer.

 

Are we a Tax-Exempt Business?

Firstly, the JCT collected from customers in step 2 is typically payable to the national tax authorities. JCT applies to asset transfers conducted domestically in Japan by businesses, hence even non-residents are subject to JCT taxable sales transaction.

However, there are cases where payment to the tax office is not necessary, such as for tax-exempt businesses. For instance, businesses newly operating in Japan or small-scale businesses with annual domestic sales (taxable sales in the base period) less than 10 million yen may be exempt from tax obligations.

The general criteria are as follows:

  • Invoice-qualified businesses: Tax obligation present – Final Tax Return (step 3) required
  • Sales exceeding 10 million yen in the base period (roughly two fiscal years prior): Tax obligation present – Final Tax Return required
  • Sales below 10 million yen in the base period but exceeding 10 million yen in a specific period (first six months of the previous fiscal year): Tax obligation present – Final Tax Return required
  • Sales below 10 million yen in the base period (and the first six months of the previous fiscal year): No tax obligation – Final Tax Return not required
JCT taxable sales in the Base Period JCT taxable sales in the Specified Period Taxable Entity or Exempt Entity
Registered Invoice Issuer
Taxable Entity
Over 10 million JPY Taxable Entity
Equivalent or less than 10 million JPY Over 10 million JPY Taxable Entity
Equivalent or less than 10 million JPY Exempt Entity

(*1) The base period generally means the fiscal year 2 years prior to the current fiscal year.

(*2) The specified period generally means the first 6 months of the previous fiscal year.

(Note) Regardless of whether or not a company is a JCT-Taxable company, the company (Importer of products) has to pay import JCT to Japan Customs office when the company imports a product.

Please refer to the Tax Authority’s guideline (page3), you can see what is “BASE PERIOD”.  general_00.pdf (nta.go.jp)

Also check this website (No.6 Taxable Person): Basic knowledge|National Tax Agency (nta.go.jp) 

 

 

 

 

Can Tax-Exempt Businesses Receive Refunds?

Yes, it’s possible, but a final tax return (step 3) is necessary. Even if you’re an exempt business, you are still able to opt to submit a “Taxable Business Selection Notification” to the tax office, intentionally becoming a taxable business to file a final tax return and receive a refund for the paid import JCT. This is applicable only if the JCT paid at import (step 1) exceeds the provisional JCT collected (step 2). Note that using an ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures) to act as the importer is essential for input tax deduction and refunds.

 

Is It Better to Become a Registered Invoice Issuer?

This depends on individual circumstances, but generally speaking, for B2B where customers are corporations, it’s better to be a Registered Invoice Issuer (as corporations file JCT returns and need qualified invoices for input tax deductions). For B2C where customers are primarily consumers, the necessity is somewhat reduced (as most consumers do not file JCT returns).

Many companies seem to become Registered Invoice Issuer without fully understanding the system. Being a registered business mandates the filing of a final tax return (step 3). Please seek advice from appropriate experts.

 

Is Support from a Certified Tax Accountant Necessary?

For non-residents conducting tax office procedures (step 3) in Japan, appointing a Tax Representative is required. The ACP handles customs procedures, while the Tax Representative deals with national tax (tax office) matters. Under the Certified Tax Accountant Act, the following tasks are exclusively performed by the Certified Tax Accountants, making their support essential:

  • Preparation of tax documents
  • Tax representation
  • Tax consultation

Our company, in partnership with Certified Tax Accountants skilled in international taxation, will provide support in these areas.

 

 

 

How to determine the Import Declaration Value?

Primary determination method

The process of determining the Import Declaration Value of imported goods is known as “Customs Valuation.” In most cases, when an import is based on an “Import Transaction”※1 between an overseas seller and a buyer in Japan, the primary determination method can be utilized.

※1:An “Import transaction” refers to a transaction where a buyer in Japan engages in a sales transaction with an overseas seller for the purpose of shipping goods to Japan, and the goods subsequently arrive in Japan.

 

Under the primary determination method, the Customs value of the imported goods is determined as the transaction price paid by the buyer (CIF basis).

Customs Duty is calculated by multiplying the Customs Value (Transaction Value) by the Duty Rate, which varies depending on the HS code of the goods.

Consumption Tax, on the other hand, is calculated by multiplying the Customs Value plus Customs Duty by the Consumption Tax rate (currently 10%).

Exceptional determination method (e.g. when to use ACP)

In cases where a non-resident company imports goods into Japan without engaging in a sales transaction, the primary method cannot be utilized. Simply using an Invoice Value is not appropriate.

To calculate the Customs Value in such situations, it is necessary to apply the Exceptional Determination Method.

Within the exceptional determination method, several methods can be considered:

  • Transaction Value of Identical or Similar Goods Method: If you have previously imported goods that possess identical or similar conditions to the goods in question, the transaction value of those goods can be used.
  • Domestic Selling Price Method (Deductive Method): If you can identify the sales price (can be an estimated sales price), the domestic selling price method can be employed.
  • Cost of Production Method (Cost plus Method): If the exporter is a manufacturer and can provide production costs, the production cost method may be applicable.

If none of the above methods are suitable, “Other methods” are utilized as a flexible determination method, taking into account the calculation methods mentioned earlier.

In the practical scene, most of the cases we use this “Other methods” which is a determination method in a flexible way through considering the previously mentioned calculation methods.

 

Avoiding Customs Valuation Problems

In recent times, there have been numerous instances of trouble arising from incorrect Customs Value settings.

In the worst-case scenario, goods may fail to clear customs, resulting in significant detention fees and eventual return shipment.

At ACP Japan, we specialize in establishing appropriate Customs Values. We can assist in conducting consultations with Japan Customs on behalf of our clients, effectively avoiding any potential issues down the line.

For Amazon’s FBA business, there is a recommended calculation formula for the declaration value. If you would like to learn more about it, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

 

 

 

FAQ for ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures)

What is the role of ACP (ACP Japan)?

  • Representation: ACP (ACP Japan) represents the foreign importer and liaises with Japan Customs and the Forwarding Company/Customs Broker.
  • Documentation and Compliance: ACP assists in preparing essential import documents (e.g., Invoices) in compliance with Japan Customs Law and formally requests the Customs Broker to proceed with customs clearance.
  • Expert Consultation and Troubleshooting: We are a team of legal experts in Customs Laws, providing direct consultations with Japan Customs to ensure compliance and address issues, including troubleshooting unique challenges in non-resident imports.

 

How long time does it require to get ACP’s registration?

It will take approximately 2 weeks until getting an approval from Japan Customs Office.
The breakdown of the task is as follows.

  • Prepare the necessary documentation between us
  • Start pre-consultation with Japan Customs Office and proceed initial review
  • Submit paper-based set of application documents to Japan Customs Office for final review

 

What kind of documents to be necessary for ACP application?

Not limited, but for instance – Power of Attorney, Company Registry, The calculation method of Customs Valuation, Catalog of the import goods, business/logistic flow

 

ACP can handle all kinds of goods?

ACP, is not capable to handle all kinds of goods. If the goods are subject to specific regulations requires importer to be resident in Japan, such goods can not be handled under the ACP. Restricted regulations are, for instance, Act on Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices, or PSE/PSC.

 

Which regions in Japan are we covering?

Any region in Japan, we can handle.

 

What is difference between ACP and IOR?

ACP is not the Importer. ACP enables non-resident entities to become IOR (Importer of Record).

 

 

Contact us

—–

[Our Service]

Our ACP Service for Importer of Record (IOR)

Our ACP Service for Exporter of Record (EOR)

 

[Knowledge Pages]

What is ACP? – Attorney for Customs Procedures

Steps of using ACP, how foreign entity can import into Japan by ACP

What is IOR? – Importer of Record

Amazon won’t become an IOR

Customs Valuation System in Japan

Customs Valuation When You Import By ACP

Consumption Tax in Japan

IOR and ACP

IOR Service

ACP’s Limitation

ACP’s Qualification

ACP’s registration

 

[Recent Updates]

Urgent Compliance Alert for E-Commerce Sellers: Avoid Penalties with Japan’s New Import Regulations – Act Now!

October 2023: Introduction of Two New Systems in Japan – (1) Switching from IOR Provider to ACP & (2) QIS: Japan Consumption Tax’s Qualified Invoice System

ACP Japan Became Amazon’s SPN Provider as Qualified ACP Service Provider

Taxes on Imports: Customs Duty and Japan Consumption Tax (JCT)

Import Permit Document and Alert on IOR Service

New Japan Qualified Invoice System and import JCT (Japan Consumption Tax)

 

 

Import Permit Document and Alert on IOR Service

The Import Permit Document holds significant importance in import clearance procedures. It serves as evidence for the deduction of Japan Consumption Tax (JCT). When filing periodical JCT returns, this document is necessary to claim deductions or refunds for the amount paid during import. It is crucial to ensure that the Import Permit accurately reflects the information of the Importer of Record (IOR) as it directly impacts the eligibility for JCT deduction.

Non-resident entities utilizing the services of an Attorney for Customs Procedures (ACP) will have their names clearly stated on the Import Permit as IOR, allowing them to successfully claim JCT deductions.

 

Alert: Importer (IOR) Service Provider Not in Compliance with Customs Laws

Attention must be given to cases where IOR service providers or forwarders act as the IOR but MASK (ERASE) their information on the Import Permit Document. This raises concerns about their compliance with Japan Customs Law, such as Customs Valuation. It is important to be cautious when encountering such situations as they may indicate underlying issues.

Importers are responsible for paying penalties, such as additional taxes (penalty), when there is a shortfall in the tax amount owed. It is the importer’s obligation to fulfill their tax payment requirements. However, it should be noted that IOR service providers may not be cooperative in the event of a customs post clearance audit.

Unfortunately, we actually observe that some non-resident entities suffer from the 10% import consumption tax is not deductible (refundable), and they were penalized by the customs post clearance audit. In the end they decided to use ACP, not IOR service provider.

While not all IOR service providers are non-compliant, it is observed that certain providers engage in inappropriate practices. Opting for these providers based on cost-saving measures may result in the inability to deduct or refund 10% JCT, leading to hidden costs and detrimental business outcomes.

As a reputable Customs professional, SK Advisory strictly adheres to Japan Customs Law and confidently provides clients with the Import Permit Document. We are listed as the ACP, while clients are appropriately identified as the IOR on the document.

 

Please be careful, having a proper local ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures) / IOR (Importer of Record) in Japan is significantly crucial. Without this, your goods will be held up at customs, leading to huge delays and costs. To avoid these risks, we recommend appointing us as your ACP. As professionals in this area, we have a proven track record of successfully resolving numerous cases by working closely with Japan Customs.

 

Import Permit Document Sample

Upon completion of import clearance procedures, Japan Customs issues an Import Permit document. 

Please refer to the sample Import Permit document below:

Japan Consumption Tax (JCT) is set at a fixed rate of 10%. On the other hand, the tariff rate for Customs Duty varies depending on the HS Code assigned to the imported goods. To verify the applicable tariff rate, you can refer to the Japan Customs Tariff Schedule on their official website here:  Japan Customs Tariff Scheudle

 

 

 

Benefits of Using ACP

For non-resident entities, choosing ACP is strongly recommended. We ensure full compliance with the Japan Customs Law and offers the best solution for correct JCT deduction/refund.

For more information on JCT, please visit the JCT section on our website: Consumption Tax

 

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:

*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).

 

 

 

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.

     

 

 

 

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.

 

Three Steps to Initiate Shipments Under the ACP Program: :

  1. Quotation Review to Contract Conclusion: Upon receiving your contact details, we will promptly provide a quotation for your review.
  2. Commencing the Registration of ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedure) to Japan Customs: This process is generally completed in about two weeks.
  3. Initiation of First Shipment, Import/Export

 

 

 

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.

Contact us

 

 

 

FAQ for ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures)

What is the role of ACP (ACP Japan)?

  • Representation: ACP (ACP Japan) represents the foreign importer and liaises with Japan Customs and the Forwarding Company/Customs Broker.
  • Documentation and Compliance: ACP assists in preparing essential import documents (e.g., Invoices) in compliance with Japan Customs Law and formally requests the Customs Broker to proceed with customs clearance.
  • Expert Consultation and Troubleshooting: We are a team of legal experts in Customs Laws, providing direct consultations with Japan Customs to ensure compliance and address issues, including troubleshooting unique challenges in non-resident imports.

 

How long time does it require to get ACP’s registration?

It will take approximately 2 weeks until getting an approval from Japan Customs Office.
The breakdown of the task is as follows.

  • Prepare the necessary documentation between us
  • Start pre-consultation with Japan Customs Office and proceed initial review
  • Submit paper-based set of application documents to Japan Customs Office for final review

 

What kind of documents to be necessary for ACP application?

Not limited, but for instance – Power of Attorney, Company Registry, The calculation method of Customs Valuation, Catalog of the import goods, business/logistic flow

 

ACP can handle all kinds of goods?

ACP, is not capable to handle all kinds of goods. If the goods are subject to specific regulations requires importer to be resident in Japan, such goods can not be handled under the ACP. Restricted regulations are, for instance, Act on Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices, or PSE/PSC.

 

Which regions in Japan are we covering?

Any region in Japan, we can handle.

 

What is difference between ACP and IOR?

ACP is not the Importer. ACP enables non-resident entities to become IOR (Importer of Record).

 

—–

[Our Service]

Our ACP Service for Importer of Record (IOR)

Our ACP Service for Exporter of Record (EOR)

 

[Knowledge Pages]

What is ACP? – Attorney for Customs Procedures

Steps of using ACP, how foreign entity can import into Japan by ACP

What is IOR? – Importer of Record

Amazon won’t become an IOR

Customs Valuation System in Japan

Customs Valuation When You Import By ACP

Consumption Tax in Japan

IOR and ACP

IOR Service

ACP’s Limitation

ACP’s Qualification

ACP’s registration

 

[Recent Updates]

Urgent Compliance Alert for E-Commerce Sellers: Avoid Penalties with Japan’s New Import Regulations – Act Now!

October 2023: Introduction of Two New Systems in Japan – (1) Switching from IOR Provider to ACP & (2) QIS: Japan Consumption Tax’s Qualified Invoice System

ACP Japan Became Amazon’s SPN Provider as Qualified ACP Service Provider

Taxes on Imports: Customs Duty and Japan Consumption Tax (JCT)

Import Permit Document and Alert on IOR Service

New Japan Qualified Invoice System and import JCT (Japan Consumption Tax)

 

 

 

 

New Japan Qualified Invoice System and import JCT (Japan Consumption Tax)

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.

Before the Invoice system is introduced (before Oct 2023):

  • A company that paid consideration of goods or services (=Company-B) is able to deduct Input JCT of the consideration regardless of whether the vendor (issuer of invoice, =Company-A) is a JCT-taxable or Non JCT-taxable company.
  • There is no way to confirm whether the vendor (=Company-A) is JCT-taxable or Non JCT-taxable company.

After the Invoice system is introduced (after Oct 2023):

  • A company that paid consideration of goods or services (=Company-B) is able to deduct Input JCT of the consideration only if the vendor (Company-A) has its invoice registration number.
  • Company-B requests Company-A to issue the qualified invoice. If Company-A cannot submit qualified invoice, Company-B will no longer want to buy from Company-A.

**If Company-A only sells to consumers (not business entities), it may not require for Company-A to issuethe qualified invoice since normally consumers would not tend to do tax return. 

 

Please be careful, having a proper local ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures) / IOR (Importer of Record) in Japan is significantly crucial. Without this, your goods will be held up at customs, leading to huge delays and costs. To avoid these risks, we recommend appointing us as your ACP. As professionals in this area, we have a proven track record of successfully resolving numerous cases by working closely with Japan Customs.

 

Once the Comapny-A (Seller/Supplier) obtains the JCT invoice registration number, which means this company becomes a taxable entity that is obligated to file JCT tax returns on a regular basis.

For the case of a non-resident entity (Company-A), when Company-A imports and sells to customers in Japan, following 3 steps are the standard procedure.

(1) Pay import JCT to a customs office, 10% of the import customs value when Company-A imports.
<PAY TO CUSTOMS OFFICE>
(2) Obtain JCT from a customer in Japan, 10% of the sales price when Company-A sells
(3) Submit JCT tax return
   (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 input JCT (import consumption tax) at the time of tax filing mentioned above (3). 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 input JCT (import consumption tax). Therefore, you have to pay all the amount of (2) to a tax office (mentioned above (3-2).

On the other hand, if you import with ACP, means that you became an IMPORTER thus you can deduct the input JCT (import consumption tax), when you do JCT tax return mentioned above (3). Therefore, you only need to pay the difference amount (2) – (1) to a tax office (mentioned above (3-1).

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 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.

 

Three Steps to Initiate Shipments Under the ACP Program: :

  1. Quotation Review to Contract Conclusion: Upon receiving your contact details, we will promptly provide a quotation for your review.
  2. Commencing the Registration of ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedure) to Japan Customs: This process is generally completed in about two weeks.
  3. Initiation of First Shipment, Import/Export

 

 

 

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.

     

 

 

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:

*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).

 

 

 

FAQ for ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures)

What is the role of ACP (ACP Japan)?

  • Representation: ACP (ACP Japan) represents the foreign importer and liaises with Japan Customs and the Forwarding Company/Customs Broker.
  • Documentation and Compliance: ACP assists in preparing essential import documents (e.g., Invoices) in compliance with Japan Customs Law and formally requests the Customs Broker to proceed with customs clearance.
  • Expert Consultation and Troubleshooting: We are a team of legal experts in Customs Laws, providing direct consultations with Japan Customs to ensure compliance and address issues, including troubleshooting unique challenges in non-resident imports.

 

How long time does it require to get ACP’s registration?

It will take approximately 2 weeks until getting an approval from Japan Customs Office.
The breakdown of the task is as follows.

  • Prepare the necessary documentation between us
  • Start pre-consultation with Japan Customs Office and proceed initial review
  • Submit paper-based set of application documents to Japan Customs Office for final review

 

What kind of documents to be necessary for ACP application?

Not limited, but for instance – Power of Attorney, Company Registry, The calculation method of Customs Valuation, Catalog of the import goods, business/logistic flow

 

ACP can handle all kinds of goods?

ACP, is not capable to handle all kinds of goods. If the goods are subject to specific regulations requires importer to be resident in Japan, such goods can not be handled under the ACP. Restricted regulations are, for instance, Act on Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices, or PSE/PSC.

 

Which regions in Japan are we covering?

Any region in Japan, we can handle.

 

What is difference between ACP and IOR?

ACP is not the Importer. ACP enables non-resident entities to become IOR (Importer of Record).

 

 

—–

[Our Service]

Our ACP Service for Importer of Record (IOR)

Our ACP Service for Exporter of Record (EOR)

 

[Knowledge Pages]

What is ACP? – Attorney for Customs Procedures

Steps of using ACP, how foreign entity can import into Japan by ACP

What is IOR? – Importer of Record

Amazon won’t become an IOR

Customs Valuation System in Japan

Customs Valuation When You Import By ACP

Consumption Tax in Japan

IOR and ACP

IOR Service

ACP’s Limitation

ACP’s Qualification

ACP’s registration

 

[Recent Updates]

Urgent Compliance Alert for E-Commerce Sellers: Avoid Penalties with Japan’s New Import Regulations – Act Now!

October 2023: Introduction of Two New Systems in Japan – (1) Switching from IOR Provider to ACP & (2) QIS: Japan Consumption Tax’s Qualified Invoice System

ACP Japan Became Amazon’s SPN Provider as Qualified ACP Service Provider

Taxes on Imports: Customs Duty and Japan Consumption Tax (JCT)

Import Permit Document and Alert on IOR Service

New Japan Qualified Invoice System and import JCT (Japan Consumption Tax)

 

 

 

 

ACP Import under VMI – Vendor Managed Inventory

We have been receiving an increasing number of requests from new customers (parts/materials manufacturers outside Japan) in the automotive and machinery parts industries.

The background of the increase in needs is that the Japanese end-customer, a manufacturer of finished goods, has requested to switch to VMI (Vendor Managed Inventory), which means that the inventory management is done by the vendor (supplier) side.

Before using the VMI scheme, when trading between an overseas parts/materials manufacturer (seller) and a Japanese finished goods manufacturer (buyer), the buyer would act as the importer and import the goods, and the buyer would manage the goods as its own inventory.

After switching to the VMI scheme, the parts/materials manufacturer (seller) outside Japan imports the goods themselves, manage the inventory near the customer in Japan, and deliver the goods to the buyer’s factory just in time (JIT) when the finished goods manufacturer (buyer) wants the goods.

In this way, the buyer avoids the cumbersome of managing inventory but still can have the seller deliver the required quantity at the required time. Furthermore, since the buyer is not the importer, it is relieved of various responsibilities required of importers (for example, it is no longer necessary to keep import-related documents and books, or to respond to customs post-clearance audits as required by law).

On the other hand, the foreign parts/materials manufacturer (seller) has to use an Attorney for Customs Procedures (ACP) for the seller to act as the importer. In addition, as a response to national taxation, since sales in Japan (taxable sales under the Consumption Tax Law) will occur, it is necessary to appoint a Tax Representative (of JCT – Japan Consumption Tax) to register as a taxable business operator for consumption tax and to perform periodic tax filing duties.

Considering the invoice system for consumption tax, the use of a tax representative is also essential for B2B transactions, as the seller must become a registered business in order to be able to deduct purchases when filing consumption tax returns on the buyer’s side.

 

Switching to the VMI method (example)

Before introducing of VMI program

Foreign parts/materials manufacturer (seller)   → Sales →    Japanese finished goods manufacturer (buyer)

  • Inventory control on the Japanese side: Buyer
  • Importer: Buyer
  • Seller’s sales subject to consumption tax in Japan: No

 

After introducing of VMI program

Foreign parts/materials manufacturer (Seller)   → Sales →   Japanese finished goods manufacturer (Buyer)

  • Inventory control in Japan: Seller
  • Importer: Seller   ACP – Attorney for Customs Procedure is required (for Customs purpose)
  • Sales subject to consumption tax in Japan on the seller’s side: Yes    JCT Tax Representative is required (for National Taxation purpose)

 

Please be careful, having a proper local ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures) / IOR (Importer of Record) in Japan is significantly crucial. Without this, your goods will be held up at customs, leading to huge delays and costs. To avoid these risks, we recommend appointing us as your ACP. As professionals in this area, we have a proven track record of successfully resolving numerous cases by working closely with Japan Customs.

 

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.

 

Three Steps to Initiate Shipments Under the ACP Program: :

  1. Quotation Review to Contract Conclusion: Upon receiving your contact details, we will promptly provide a quotation for your review.
  2. Commencing the Registration of ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedure) to Japan Customs: This process is generally completed in about two weeks.
  3. Initiation of First Shipment, Import/Export

 

 

 

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:

*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).

 

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.

     

 

 

 

FAQ for ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures)

What is the role of ACP (ACP Japan)?

  • Representation: ACP (ACP Japan) represents the foreign importer and liaises with Japan Customs and the Forwarding Company/Customs Broker.
  • Documentation and Compliance: ACP assists in preparing essential import documents (e.g., Invoices) in compliance with Japan Customs Law and formally requests the Customs Broker to proceed with customs clearance.
  • Expert Consultation and Troubleshooting: We are a team of legal experts in Customs Laws, providing direct consultations with Japan Customs to ensure compliance and address issues, including troubleshooting unique challenges in non-resident imports.

 

How long time does it require to get ACP’s registration?

It will take approximately 2 weeks until getting an approval from Japan Customs Office.
The breakdown of the task is as follows.

  • Prepare the necessary documentation between us
  • Start pre-consultation with Japan Customs Office and proceed initial review
  • Submit paper-based set of application documents to Japan Customs Office for final review

 

What kind of documents to be necessary for ACP application?

Not limited, but for instance – Power of Attorney, Company Registry, The calculation method of Customs Valuation, Catalog of the import goods, business/logistic flow

 

ACP can handle all kinds of goods?

ACP, is not capable to handle all kinds of goods. If the goods are subject to specific regulations requires importer to be resident in Japan, such goods can not be handled under the ACP. Restricted regulations are, for instance, Act on Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices, or PSE/PSC.

 

Which regions in Japan are we covering?

Any region in Japan, we can handle.

 

What is difference between ACP and IOR?

ACP is not the Importer. ACP enables non-resident entities to become IOR (Importer of Record).

 

 

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.

Contact us

 

 

—–

[Our Service]

Our ACP Service for Importer of Record (IOR)

Our ACP Service for Exporter of Record (EOR)

 

[Knowledge Pages]

What is ACP? – Attorney for Customs Procedures

Steps of using ACP, how foreign entity can import into Japan by ACP

What is IOR? – Importer of Record

Amazon won’t become an IOR

Customs Valuation System in Japan

Customs Valuation When You Import By ACP

Consumption Tax in Japan

IOR and ACP

IOR Service

ACP’s Limitation

ACP’s Qualification

ACP’s registration

 

[Recent Updates]

Urgent Compliance Alert for E-Commerce Sellers: Avoid Penalties with Japan’s New Import Regulations – Act Now!

October 2023: Introduction of Two New Systems in Japan – (1) Switching from IOR Provider to ACP & (2) QIS: Japan Consumption Tax’s Qualified Invoice System

ACP Japan Became Amazon’s SPN Provider as Qualified ACP Service Provider

Taxes on Imports: Customs Duty and Japan Consumption Tax (JCT)

Import Permit Document and Alert on IOR Service

New Japan Qualified Invoice System and import JCT (Japan Consumption Tax)

 

 

ACP Service – Attorney for Customs Procedure

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.

Please feel free to contact us!

Please be careful, having a proper local ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures) / IOR (Importer of Record) in Japan is significantly crucial. Without this, your goods will be held up at customs, leading to huge delays and costs. To avoid these risks, we recommend appointing us as your ACP. As professionals in this area, we have a proven track record of successfully resolving numerous cases by working closely with Japan Customs.

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.

     

 

 

FAQ for ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures)

What is the role of ACP (ACP Japan)?

  • Representation: ACP (ACP Japan) represents the foreign importer and liaises with Japan Customs and the Forwarding Company/Customs Broker.
  • Documentation and Compliance: ACP assists in preparing essential import documents (e.g., Invoices) in compliance with Japan Customs Law and formally requests the Customs Broker to proceed with customs clearance.
  • Expert Consultation and Troubleshooting: We are a team of legal experts in Customs Laws, providing direct consultations with Japan Customs to ensure compliance and address issues, including troubleshooting unique challenges in non-resident imports.

 

How long time does it require to get ACP’s registration?

It will take approximately 2 weeks until getting an approval from Japan Customs Office.
The breakdown of the task is as follows.

  • Prepare the necessary documentation between us
  • Start pre-consultation with Japan Customs Office and proceed initial review
  • Submit paper-based set of application documents to Japan Customs Office for final review

 

What kind of documents to be necessary for ACP application?

Not limited, but for instance – Power of Attorney, Company Registry, The calculation method of Customs Valuation, Catalog of the import goods, business/logistic flow

 

ACP can handle all kinds of goods?

ACP, is not capable to handle all kinds of goods. If the goods are subject to specific regulations requires importer to be resident in Japan, such goods can not be handled under the ACP. Restricted regulations are, for instance, Act on Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices, or PSE/PSC.

 

Which regions in Japan are we covering?

Any region in Japan, we can handle.

 

What is difference between ACP and IOR?

ACP is not the Importer. ACP enables non-resident entities to become IOR (Importer of Record).

 

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)

  Please see, the details of the article for Japanese Consumption Tax (VAT) issues.

 

 

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:

*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).

 

 

 

[Our Service]

Our ACP Service for Importer of Record (IOR)

Our ACP Service for Exporter of Record (EOR)

 

[Knowledge Pages]

What is ACP? – Attorney for Customs Procedures

Steps of using ACP, how foreign entity can import into Japan by ACP

What is IOR? – Importer of Record

Amazon won’t become an IOR

Customs Valuation System in Japan

Customs Valuation When You Import By ACP

Consumption Tax in Japan

IOR and ACP

IOR Service

ACP’s Limitation

ACP’s Qualification

ACP’s registration

 

[Recent Updates]

Urgent Compliance Alert for E-Commerce Sellers: Avoid Penalties with Japan’s New Import Regulations – Act Now!

October 2023: Introduction of Two New Systems in Japan – (1) Switching from IOR Provider to ACP & (2) QIS: Japan Consumption Tax’s Qualified Invoice System

ACP Japan Became Amazon’s SPN Provider as Qualified ACP Service Provider

Taxes on Imports: Customs Duty and Japan Consumption Tax (JCT)

Import Permit Document and Alert on IOR Service

New Japan Qualified Invoice System and import JCT (Japan Consumption Tax)

ACP Japan, became Amazon’s SPN provider as qualified ACP service provider.

ACP Japan (SK Advisory) has officially become a qualified ACP service provider in Amazon’s Service Provider Network (SPN) under the Compliance category.
The service provider in SPN is qualified officially by Amazon, has a role to support Amazon Sellers. We are registered in the “Compliance Category” and supporting Amazon Sellers especially to provide ACP/IOR service to fulfill Japanese import regulations.

Why ACP service is necessary?

In Japan, Customs law does not permit foreign entities (non-resident) to act as the Importer of Record (IOR). Having said that, the non-resident can import to Japan by using “Attorney for Customs Procedures (ACP)”. The basic process is that the non-resident importer (NRI) applies to Japan Customs, requesting that the ACP act on its behalf to import into Japan. Once the application is approved, the NRI may engage the ACP to import on its behalf. We provide the service as being ACP then manage the import customs procedures on behalf of NRI.

 

Please be careful, having a proper local ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures) / IOR (Importer of Record) in Japan is significantly crucial. Without this, your goods will be held up at customs, leading to huge delays and costs. To avoid these risks, we recommend appointing us as your ACP. As professionals in this area, we have a proven track record of successfully resolving numerous cases by working closely with Japan Customs.

 

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:

*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).

 

 

 

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.

 

Three Steps to Initiate Shipments Under the ACP Program: :

  1. Quotation Review to Contract Conclusion: Upon receiving your contact details, we will promptly provide a quotation for your review.
  2. Commencing the Registration of ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedure) to Japan Customs: This process is generally completed in about two weeks.
  3. Initiation of First Shipment, Import/Export

 

 

 

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 ACP Service (Attorney for Customs Procedures)

Contact us

 

 

FAQ for ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures)

What is the role of ACP (ACP Japan)?

  • Representation: ACP (ACP Japan) represents the foreign importer and liaises with Japan Customs and the Forwarding Company/Customs Broker.
  • Documentation and Compliance: ACP assists in preparing essential import documents (e.g., Invoices) in compliance with Japan Customs Law and formally requests the Customs Broker to proceed with customs clearance.
  • Expert Consultation and Troubleshooting: We are a team of legal experts in Customs Laws, providing direct consultations with Japan Customs to ensure compliance and address issues, including troubleshooting unique challenges in non-resident imports.

 

How long time does it require to get ACP’s registration?

It will take approximately 2 weeks until getting an approval from Japan Customs Office.
The breakdown of the task is as follows.

  • Prepare the necessary documentation between us
  • Start pre-consultation with Japan Customs Office and proceed initial review
  • Submit paper-based set of application documents to Japan Customs Office for final review

 

What kind of documents to be necessary for ACP application?

Not limited, but for instance – Power of Attorney, Company Registry, The calculation method of Customs Valuation, Catalog of the import goods, business/logistic flow

 

ACP can handle all kinds of goods?

ACP, is not capable to handle all kinds of goods. If the goods are subject to specific regulations requires importer to be resident in Japan, such goods can not be handled under the ACP. Restricted regulations are, for instance, Act on Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices, or PSE/PSC.

 

Which regions in Japan are we covering?

Any region in Japan, we can handle.

 

What is difference between ACP and IOR?

ACP is not the Importer. ACP enables non-resident entities to become IOR (Importer of Record).

 

 

[Our Service]

Our ACP Service for Importer of Record (IOR)

Our ACP Service for Exporter of Record (EOR)

 

[Knowledge Pages]

What is ACP? – Attorney for Customs Procedures

Steps of using ACP, how foreign entity can import into Japan by ACP

What is IOR? – Importer of Record

Amazon won’t become an IOR

Customs Valuation System in Japan

Customs Valuation When You Import By ACP

Consumption Tax in Japan

IOR and ACP

IOR Service

ACP’s Limitation

ACP’s Qualification

ACP’s registration

 

[Recent Updates]

Urgent Compliance Alert for E-Commerce Sellers: Avoid Penalties with Japan’s New Import Regulations – Act Now!

October 2023: Introduction of Two New Systems in Japan – (1) Switching from IOR Provider to ACP & (2) QIS: Japan Consumption Tax’s Qualified Invoice System

ACP Japan Became Amazon’s SPN Provider as Qualified ACP Service Provider

Taxes on Imports: Customs Duty and Japan Consumption Tax (JCT)

Import Permit Document and Alert on IOR Service

New Japan Qualified Invoice System and import JCT (Japan Consumption Tax)

 

ACP Qualification – Import to Japan

Any individuals or companies can be entitled to be an ACP under the Japan Customs Law. However, we highly recommend to appointing to the ACP service company who has capability to manage trade and customs issues under the Japan Customs Law.

Especially, please select an ACP who is familiar with Customs issues including Customs Valuation. Because, recently Japan Customs has been becoming strict on the value setting for Non-resident’s import.

In fact, recently, we observe many troubles due to the inappropriate setting of the Customs Value. In the worst case but often, the goods can not pass the clearance. In the end, Importers paid huge amount of detention fees and finally shipped back.

We,  as qualified Customs professionals, are supporting so as to appropriately import the goods to Japan.

 

Please be careful, having a proper local ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures) / IOR (Importer of Record) in Japan is significantly crucial. Without this, your goods will be held up at customs, leading to huge delays and costs. To avoid these risks, we recommend appointing us as your ACP. As professionals in this area, we have a proven track record of successfully resolving numerous cases by working closely with Japan Customs.

 

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:

*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).

 

 

 

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.

 

Three Steps to Initiate Shipments Under the ACP Program: :

  1. Quotation Review to Contract Conclusion: Upon receiving your contact details, we will promptly provide a quotation for your review.
  2. Commencing the Registration of ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedure) to Japan Customs: This process is generally completed in about two weeks.
  3. Initiation of First Shipment, Import/Export

 

 

 

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.

 

 

FAQ for ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedures)

What is the role of ACP (ACP Japan)?

  • Representation: ACP (ACP Japan) represents the foreign importer and liaises with Japan Customs and the Forwarding Company/Customs Broker.
  • Documentation and Compliance: ACP assists in preparing essential import documents (e.g., Invoices) in compliance with Japan Customs Law and formally requests the Customs Broker to proceed with customs clearance.
  • Expert Consultation and Troubleshooting: We are a team of legal experts in Customs Laws, providing direct consultations with Japan Customs to ensure compliance and address issues, including troubleshooting unique challenges in non-resident imports.

 

How long time does it require to get ACP’s registration?

It will take approximately 2 weeks until getting an approval from Japan Customs Office.
The breakdown of the task is as follows.

  • Prepare the necessary documentation between us
  • Start pre-consultation with Japan Customs Office and proceed initial review
  • Submit paper-based set of application documents to Japan Customs Office for final review

 

What kind of documents to be necessary for ACP application?

Not limited, but for instance – Power of Attorney, Company Registry, The calculation method of Customs Valuation, Catalog of the import goods, business/logistic flow

 

ACP can handle all kinds of goods?

ACP, is not capable to handle all kinds of goods. If the goods are subject to specific regulations requires importer to be resident in Japan, such goods can not be handled under the ACP. Restricted regulations are, for instance, Act on Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices, or PSE/PSC.

 

Which regions in Japan are we covering?

Any region in Japan, we can handle.

 

What is difference between ACP and IOR?

ACP is not the Importer. ACP enables non-resident entities to become IOR (Importer of Record).

 

 

We’re a reliable ACP service provider for Amazon FBA’s seller

In recent, we’ve been supporting many import projects of goods related to the Amazon-FBA program. If you are looking for a reliable ACP service provider, please let us know.  

Guidance by Amazon

According to the seller central website in Amazon, there is a guidance by Amazon that non-resident entity needs to appoint an ACP or IOR. You may check on this “Non-resident requirements”. Also, you can check the document developed by Amazon “Understand ACP and IOR guidance”.   —–

 

Our ACP Service (Attorney for Customs Procedures)

Contact us

 

 

 

[Our Service]

Our ACP Service for Importer of Record (IOR)

Our ACP Service for Exporter of Record (EOR)

 

[Knowledge Pages]

What is ACP? – Attorney for Customs Procedures

Steps of using ACP, how foreign entity can import into Japan by ACP

What is IOR? – Importer of Record

Amazon won’t become an IOR

Customs Valuation System in Japan

Customs Valuation When You Import By ACP

Consumption Tax in Japan

IOR and ACP

IOR Service

ACP’s Limitation

ACP’s Qualification

ACP’s registration

 

[Recent Updates]

Urgent Compliance Alert for E-Commerce Sellers: Avoid Penalties with Japan’s New Import Regulations – Act Now!

October 2023: Introduction of Two New Systems in Japan – (1) Switching from IOR Provider to ACP & (2) QIS: Japan Consumption Tax’s Qualified Invoice System

ACP Japan Became Amazon’s SPN Provider as Qualified ACP Service Provider

Taxes on Imports: Customs Duty and Japan Consumption Tax (JCT)

Import Permit Document and Alert on IOR Service

New Japan Qualified Invoice System and import JCT (Japan Consumption Tax)