As an online retailer, one of the easiest ways to see a quick growth in sales volume is by expanding your reach to international locations, and Japan is definitely one of those places that could garner you a lot more business. However, shipping internationally can always bring about some new and unfamiliar territory as a retailer, especially when it comes to shipping overseas to a country like Japan. Take a look at these tidbits of information you will need to know about shipping to Japan if you are planning to extend your online retail business to Japan.
Japan has restrictions on incoming shipments just like any other country.
Almost any item shipped internationally must clear through the country's customs before the package will be allowed into the country and Japan is no different. There is a full list of items set forth by Japan Customs that explains what you cannot send through the mail in a parcel. Some examples of restricted items include:
- firearms and ammunition
- imitation coins or paper money
- explosive materials
While it may seem fairly easy to avoid these kinds of shipments, you have to keep in mind that some things would fall under these regulated terms. For example, if you sell fireworks, the shipment would likely not be welcomed through Japanese Customs because fireworks contain explosive materials.
You must be specific when filing customs labels before mailing.
Because there are items prohibited from coming into the country, shipments sent through the mail to Japan will need proper customs paperwork before the trip. When you are filling out this paperwork for customer shipments, it is crucial to be as detailed as possible in the description to avoid problems. If a customer orders a gift item, for example, make sure the description box on customs labels says more than just "gift." Not having a clear description of a package's contents will just slow down the shipping process once the package arrives at customs in Japan.
Shipping to remote parts of the country can come along with additional handling charges.
When most people think of Japan, they envision the busy city life in Tokyo or other densely populated areas. However, Japan is also home to some really geographically remote areas that are much harder to reach by postal carriers. because of this, delivery of shipments to some places can be quite a bit more expensive. This is something you will have to research and get familiar with as an online retailer to ensure you charge enough for shipping to those hard-to-reach destinations.