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Difficulty getting frame and forks through customs


Maximum Pace
Oct 14, 2007
No idea what is going here, and wondered if anyone else had hit this kind of hurdle.

Had a custom frame and forks made in USA, and they were sent to me via USPS last week. Have previously had a frame built by the same person, and delivered to me in the same way. I just paid the customs duty to the mailman.

This time something seems to be up. By USPS online tracking I could see that the package has been in Japanese customs since the 1st. Toady a mailman handed me a somewhat baffling envelope containing several bits of paper ... A friend could tell me this much: Japan Post Office won't process the package through customs until I fill in the form and send it back.

I filled in the form, and sent it back - but does anyone know what the heck is going on? How come it didn't just breeze through customs, and why do I have to fill in a form to get it processed?

(I sent an email to Strong Frames to see if they can chase it from their end, but they will be out of the office for a few days.)
Richard, Customs just want to check that it's for private use. second time is probably an automatic red flag. Same happened with mine. If you can call customs and tell them the details they should release it soon. Don't worry it's just the process. You'll have your frame in short time.
Many thanks. I sent the form already, so they should be getting it tomorrow.

Interesting point about 2nd time delivery to same address - though it's annoying, I can kind of understand why they are asking.

Gnashing my teeth though ..........
Ahhhh. I sent an email to a customs 'help desk' prior to posting here, and just got this response.

I am still a tad confused, but fingers crossed things will go smoothly now.

¥200,000 doesn't seem that high - I guess quite a few of you have had to go through this process recently?

Dear Richard Hawking,

Thank you for your mail.

Since February 16th 2009, a parcel with a total customs value more than ¥200,000 is required to declare to customs. You can choice that you declare by yourself or you ask Post Office or other Customs brokers as a proxy to declare at overseas mail customs sub-branch. You may receive the parcel by paying duty after declaration.

The documents you added are sent by Post Office, not Customs. One of the documents is a notification that your parcel is needed import declaration. Another is Power of Attorney for clearance.

If you have already sent the documents to Post Office, Post Office on behalf of you will declare to Customs. Therefore, please directly ask Post Office if the declaration has been already submitted to Customs. 03-5665-4200

Please note that a parcel with a total customs value ¥200,000 or less is not required to declare to customs. You may receive the parcel by paying duty and handling charges upon delivery.

Best regards,


Customs Counselor's office

Tokyo Customs

Cripes! I asked about paying the duty, and the kind lady at customs replied. This looks like it is going to take a while ... Be warned if you are buying expensive kit from overseas.
Dear Richard Hawking,

Thank you for your mail.

You need to pay duty in accordance with Post Office's instruction. I hear that they don't pay the duty for you. After Post Office declared Customs, they inform you that you pay duty at ATM. Then, they deliver your package to you.

Concerning detail information, please directly ask Post Office, not Customs. I am afraid to say that it is not Customs matter.
Glad I have the US Military postal system to use to avoid all this. Sorry to hear about the issues you are dealing with. But I would like to thank you for sharing your experience. Good Luck.

Received a box from Wiggle over 200 00 JPY and fortunately the post office took care of the paperwork. It was just a matter of paying a few hundred yen in taxes (at PO).
End game

Had to go through 2 phone calls with Japan Post, and had to send a fax, in addition to the document I had to post to them.

A bewildering experience! Don't know if it was the repeat delivery of a similar product item from the same US supplier - or if it was the new "over ¥200,000" law. Or maybe both .... The cranky woman from Japan Post who called me seemed to be under the impression that I knew what was going on. "In need more information!" she kept saying to me. "But what do you want to know?" was all i could say ...

Anyway, frame and fork were just delivered. ¥6,200 duty paid to the postman (in spite of being told on the phone I would have to pay via ATM).

Phew ...
Glad it worked out, all's well that ends well, eh?

Looking forward to seeing pics of the build.
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