Consumption Tax – Import to Japan

Consumption Tax

In case a non-resident entity imports by taking advantage of Attorney for Customs Procedure (ACP), the non-resident entity becomes an Importer in Japan. It means that the non-resident entity has to pay (1)Customs Duties and (2)Japanese Consumption Tax (JCT, Japanese VAT), when import.

With regards to the (1) Customs Duties, it is only required for the non-resident entity to make payment only, very simple.

Regarding the (2) Consumption Tax, the non-resident entity has to pay 10% of the value of goods when import. After import, if the non-resident entity sells goods to Customer in Japan, the non-resident entity receives Consumption Tax 10% of sales value from the Customer in Japan.

Tax Liability

In principle, the consumption tax the non-resident entity receives has to be paid to the national tax office. However, if you are a small business with less than 10 million yen in your sales in Japan (namely “taxable sales in the base period”), you may be exempt from the tax obligation.

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.


Tax Representative (Tax Agent)

On the other hand, there may be cases where the imported goods stored at inventory warehouse in Japan for a certain period of time after importation. And, the inventory period is long, in which case only the payment of import consumption tax occurs and the cash flow burden is large. In such case, you can submit a “taxable enterprise selection notification” to the tax office to become a taxable enterprise. In this way, you can receive a refund of the import consumption tax paid.

If the non-resident entity has tax liability or the entity selects as to be a taxable enterprise, then the non-resident entity has to appoint of Tax Representative(Tax Agent), apart from ACP.

We can support both ACP and Tax Representative as one stop service.

Our strengths

  • Professional of Customs and International Trade – The CEO, as a Certified Customs Specialist in Japan – Mr. Sawada has been providing consulting services in the Trade & Customs area for many years. He was in a management position at KPMG, then started with his own company – SK Advisory to continue the customs-related services to the international clients.
  • Fully compliance in accordance with Japanese Customs Law – Maintaining the service quality with full compliance with Japanese Customs Law. ACP Japan is capable to manage all the necessary import compliance issues, including the classification of HS code, and setting of the appropriate Customs Valuation of the import goods to Japan.
  • Experienced and credible partner – As ACP Japan has been providing ACP services to many clients as demand has increased, you can totally rely on us as a credible partner. We registers 40+ ACP customers every year, the customers from around the world. In this way, all customers successfully became non-resident IOR – Importer of Record in Japan. You can see a list of our customers in here “Experiences”.
  • Qualified ACP service provider in Amazon SPN (Service Provider Network) – ACP Japan has officially become a qualified ACP service provider in Amazon’s Service Provider Network (SPN) under the Compliance category.


Our Customers

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”.   —–


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