Importing a Bike To Japan

theDude

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Oct 7, 2011
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Recently had a complete bike shipped from the US via FedEx.

Declared value was rather low, 800 bucks or so (vs a couple thousand), shop did that without me even asking.

The minus I suppose is if something happens, insured value (I presume it was insured) would be lower, but if the shop did it on there own and there was damage, not sure.... thankfully didn't have to deal with that.

Anyway, box arrived. I expected something in the mail from fedex but never got hit with anything later in the mail....

Shipping contents was "Demo Bike"

well, i stand corrected. 3 months later and I got a bill from fedex, coming to just over 5% of the amount.....

:(
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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FedEx whill bill you no matter what. Call them and contest it.
 

StuInTokyo

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well, i stand corrected. 3 months later and I got a bill from fedex, coming to just over 5% of the amount.....

:(
On woodworking tools I've had the same thing from FedEx many times, it is a pain, I no longer use FedEx I use other carriers.
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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FedEx whill bill you no matter what. Call them and contest it.
If FedEx paid the consumption tax when they brought it into the country, what's there to contest, except for the exact amount?

As discussed, it should be 5% of 60% (i.e. 3%) of the declared cost including shipping and insurance. If the cost of the bike was declared as $800 and shipping was say $200 then the amount due is 5% of $600 = $30 = JPY 2300.
 

FarEast

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Sorry i was under the impression that you didn't need to pay the tax.
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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Japan Post / EMS has been very consistent lately. In the past , many items came through without duty or consumption tax charged. And some items came through with one or the other. Oftentimes mis-categorised. Now - I'm getting a 'proper' consumption tax statement AND import tax statement with each parcel. JP collects the fees at your door - while most expediters (like Fedex) will take care of any fees internally, then bill you later - if you have an account - or collect at the delivery, if you don't.

If you have a commercial account, then you can choose how to handle fees. Either pre-paid or post-paid or hybrid.

All of this falls under informal entry procedures. Formal entry procedures are much different and require a licensed import brokerage to handle. You <can> do it your self, but trust me, the logistics are mind-boggling.

In any case - there should be no mystery about the rate, thanks to Bird!
 

theDude

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If I follow the rate posted, it doesn't add up for me. There is no breakdown on the fedex bill, just a single number. Are there any rules to the 'handling' or 'convenience' charge they have?

I suppose if I have some free time I'll call. Not massively fussed about the charge, even if over by 1500 yen or so. I'd be more annoyed if the bike was properly used and I got charged tax. This only applies to new things, right? When I imported my motorcycle when I moved here, I had to prove it was used 'enough'. (i failed as my paperwork was in my container, so had to pay, but at least there was an out).

i guess i could see, the bike was shipped as a demo bike. which means it theoretically could/should have been used equipment.... hmm.
 

joewein

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This only applies to new things, right? When I imported my motorcycle when I moved here, I had to prove it was used 'enough'. (i failed as my paperwork was in my container, so had to pay, but at least there was an out).

i guess i could see, the bike was shipped as a demo bike. which means it theoretically could/should have been used equipment.... hmm.
If you bring in personal effects (i.e. moving your household) then all your stuff is tax free, but it's expected to look used.

A used bike is only tax free when you bring it into Japan if it has been used in your household in your old country before you moved to Japan, not used at a dealer for demonstration purposes and then sold and shipped to you in Japan. If it's not personal effects but goods you bought commercially then it doesn't really matter if it's new or not, you're liable for taxes / customs duties.

If it's a dealer demo item, that might help to make a lower than list price plausible, but taxes are still due on the declared value.
 

Malte

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Sep 26, 2011
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If you bring in personal effects (i.e. moving your household) then all your stuff is tax free, but it's expected to look used.

A used bike is only tax free when you bring it into Japan if it has been used in your household in your old country before you moved to Japan ...
Getting a bike looking used is maybe not a problem, but how seriously do they check "before you moved to Japan" for self accompanied items?
 

joewein

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Getting a bike looking used is maybe not a problem, but how seriously do they check "before you moved to Japan" for self accompanied items?
In my personal experience, not very.

When I moved in '93 I had about a dozen cardboard boxes sent by airfreight to Narita. The following summer I had a huge wooden crate with furniture and other items shipped by sea to Shinagawa. It was big enough to take a forklift truck to load and unload.

I did have to open the lid of the crate with a Philips screwdriver and they looked inside, but undoing the screws took longer than the inspection. They did not check the cardboard boxes at all.

Your mileage may vary. I had my wife and our baby with me. Maybe I looked harmless.

If you don't bring the goods as accompanied luggage but have them sent I think it would matter if the sender was you or a family member or if they were sent from a business address. In my case the unaccompanied luggage was sent either by myself or by my younger brother.
 

Malte

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My new bike and I have arrived back in Japan. I bought it in Germany (Rose) and checked-in a huge cardboard-box (125x85x30cm with wheels). My family and I flew from Frankfurt and JAL charged 117Euro for oversize luggage. I filled the box with many other items to it was a good deal (they couldn't measure the weight as the box didn't fit on the scale, so they believed me it was 23kg :)). After they attached the check-in stickers I went to the customs counter and got the stamp for VAT tax return (19% in Germany) without them checking anything. After arriving in Narita and passing through immigration the box already waited for me at the luggage return. I declared the bike as within the 200.000Yen Tax Free Items (which it is) and the customs officer also didn't ask anything (I also had a baby on my arm). To avoid the hassle of carrying the bike box home I shipped it from the airport for 3150Yen to my house where it arrived the next morning.
 

cosme

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Jan 11, 2020
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www.pedalroom.com
Hello There!

I'm in Japan at the moment and bought a frameset in England.

How should I make it send to me in Japan?

What are the taxes I can be charged and how to get well prepared to those taxes?

I read this thread above but there's a lot of different informations and the regulation might have changed from 2011 so I'm wondering how it would work right now?

Thanks in advance,

Cosme
 

Winston Leg-Thigh

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Hello There!

I'm in Japan at the moment and bought a frameset in England.

How should I make it send to me in Japan?

What are the taxes I can be charged and how to get well prepared to those taxes?

I read this thread above but there's a lot of different informations and the regulation might have changed from 2011 so I'm wondering how it would work right now?

Thanks in advance,

Cosme
I bought a bike from Wiggle last summer. They sent it vie EMS. I got a letter from the customs dept when it arrived and I had to email them (screenshot of the order was okay) a copy of the receipt and they calculated the tax based on that. The bike was about 120,000 and I it ended up costing something between 5,000 - 7,000 yen (can't remember exactly) in tax. I just had to pay the post-office driver when it was delivered. IIRC it took a couple of days for customs to send me the letter and it came registered delivery. Once I emailed them the invoice they released the bike the next day and it was with me that evening. I don't think they said how much the tax was going to be until it arrived.
 
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cosme

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Jan 11, 2020
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www.pedalroom.com
I bought a bike from Wiggle last summer. They sent it vie EMS. I got a letter from the customs dept when it arrived and I had to email them (screenshot of the order was okay) a copy of the receipt and they calculated the tax based on that. The bike was about 120,000 and I it ended up costing something between 5,000 - 7,000 yen (can't remember exactly) in tax. I just had to pay the post-office driver when it was delivered. IIRC it took a couple of days for customs to send me the letter and it came registered delivery. Once I emailed them the invoice they released the bike the next day and it was with me that evening. I don't think they said how much the tax was going to be until it arrived.
Thanks a lot for your answer.
In my case the product is not new, it's second hand from a friend. Can they still tax it? on which value?
 

kiwisimon

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Dec 14, 2006
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You can get your friend to send it to you with no invoice and maybe not cleaning it completely. If it looks obviously used you shouldn't get taxed. Get your friend to use your name and UK address as sender and address it to you in Japan. At most expect a 5% tax on the bike based on the shipping label declared value. Can they tax it, yes. Will they, if you are lucky no, but there will most likely be extra handling and processing charges involved.
 
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