What is ACP?
In principle, Japan Customs does not permit a foreign entity to act as the Importer of Record (*IOR).
*The IOR is the entity responsible for the import of the goods to Japan and will be responsible for all the Customs duties and taxes.
However, even such a foreign entity can act as a non-resident importer (IOR), 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 a 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!
Here are list of the Japanese ACP’s insights what ACP Japan would like to highlight:
- Customs Valuation in Japan – overall structure
- Customs Valuation when you import by ACP
- Consumption Tax for import
- IOR and ACP
- ACP’s limitation
- ACP’s application
- ACP’s qualification
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: :
- Quotation Review to Contract Conclusion: Upon receiving your contact details, we will promptly provide a quotation for your review.
- Commencing the Registration of ACP (Attorney for Customs Procedure) to Japan Customs: This process is generally completed in about two weeks.
- 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.
Japanese Customs System Reform (Obligatory Use of ACP for Foreign Sellers)
Effective from October 1, 2023, the Japanese Customs authorities have implemented a significant reform in response to increasing instances where foreign sellers incorrectly designate third parties (like forwarders or customs agents) as importers.
This revision mandates foreign entities to comply with new regulations, which include the compulsory utilization of an Attorney for Customs Procedures (ACP). Under this new framework, it is expressly forbidden for foreign sellers to appoint another Japanese service provider in the role of Importer of Record (IOR).
For additional information, please refer to the following resources:
- Japan Customs: Leaflet(English) Revision of Import Declaration Items and Attorney for Customs Procedure (ACP) System
- English: Announcement from Japan Customs | Directive to use ACP – Attorney for Customs Procedure
*We are pleased to announce that our ACP/IOR services can support the importation of various regulated items, including those under the Food Sanitation Act (such as food products, tableware, cooking utensils and kitchen tools).
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.
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).
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”. —–