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Things You Should Know When Shipping From Singapore to Japan

E-commerce · 7 min read

Things You Should Know When Shipping From Singapore to Japan

The delightful island of Japan has gradually become a popular destination for trade. Not only that, even customs clearance in Japan is straightforward. However, additional certificates and other import permits are needed for certain regulated goods and medical products. So, if you are looking forward to shipping a parcel from Singapore to Japan, we are here to help you with all the necessary customs regulations that you need to follow. DHL Express shipping makes it easy for you to send important documents and even valuable items to Japan in a seamless condition and on time. 

Customs clearance in Japan

Airline tickets, blank forms. etc.  

  • Airline tickets, issued airline tickets, blank forms, diaries, computer storage devices, maps, photographs, calendars, and inactivated ATM, credit or debit cards must be declared as Worldwide Parcel Express (WPX).

Personal effects

  • Your HAWB, invoice and pre-alert must state 'Personal Effects' or 'Unaccompanied Baggage'. Additionally, the consignee’s full name and phone number is also needed on the invoice and AWB. If it’s unaccompanied baggage, then a customs declaration form with customs stamp and a copy of the consignee’s passport is needed. A delay of 1-3 days is expected after receiving the UB declaration form from the importer.

    Note: Japan’s residence cards cannot be sent through DHL.


  • A food license for foodstuff including grain is needed other than those for personal/sample use up to 10kgs. Also, sending perishable items like vegetables and fresh or frozen fruits, all kinds of beans including cocoa beans, soybeans, fresh/frozen meat, beef jerky, ham, sausages are prohibited in Japan. 
  • There is no refrigerant facility. A certificate under CITES is required for sending 'Caviar' regardless of its weight. If any plant or animal quarantine shipments arrive at any Japan’s gateway, the shipments will be returned to the origin country.


  • If you are sending shoes, then the upper and lower sole materials and type of shoes must be described on the invoice. Samples must be marked and mutilated for duty and tax exemption. 'Marked and Mutilated' must be stated on the invoice.

Coffee (include samples)

  • Green coffee and unroasted coffee are prohibited. Only roasted or processed coffee is acceptable, but a food license is needed from the consignee if it’s for resale or distribution purpose to an unspecified number of the general public; excluding samples below 10kgs (22lbs).

Fabrics (include Samples, swatches)

  • For woven or knitted fabrics including their samples and swatches or textile articles, their materials must be clearly described on the invoice. If it’s a swatch, it must be declared as Worldwide Parcel Express (WPX).


  • An import license is always needed for cosmetics for commercial use. For private use, a total of over 24 pieces need a medical license, otherwise, those up to 24 pieces will be treated as normal WPX. It is not applicable for resale purposes.
  • In case the shipment contains items exceeding the permitted quantities and the consignee is unable to obtain a medical license, then the whole shipment will be returned to the consignor immediately without prior approval for the import customs process.
  • If the shipment is categorized as Dangerous Goods, then please contact the DG coordinator in the source country prior to shipping.

Chemicals, non-hazardous

  • For chemicals and non-hazardous substances, a component analysis table must be attached to the commercial invoice.

Drugs: prescription & in pharmacy w/o prescription

  • An import license is needed from the consignee for prescribed drugs and drugs in pharmacy. If the shipment is categorized as dangerous goods, then please contact the DG coordinator in your country prior to shipping.
  • Psychotropic drugs cannot be imported into Japan. The below mentioned quantities of medicine/supplement or medical equipment for personal use can be imported without license. However, if the shipment contains items exceeding the permitted quantities, the entire shipment will be returned to the consignor immediately without prior approval for import customs process.

    a) Poison, deadly poison – forbidden
    b) Prescription medicine – up to 1 month supply per HS code
    c) Topical medication (excluding poison, deadly poison, prescription medicine) – up to 24 per one item
    d) Pre-filled syringe, self-injection kit (kit of injectable drug and syringe for drug) – up to 1 month supply
    e) Other drug, quasi drug, over-the-counter (OTC) medicine – up to 2 month supply per HS code.

Glass products

  • Glass products as well as liquids and non-hazardous liquids must be well packed to avoid damage. A wooden case and crate are preferable in this case.

Event tickets

  • Sports, concerts, or theatre tickets need to be sent as Worldwide Parcel Express (WPX).
  • According to Japan Customs regulations, it is mandatory to declare the importer’s full name, contact number and full address in case IOR (Importer of Records) is an individual person. If the above information is insufficient, it will cause clearance delay. Private shipments to Japan will require Customs inspection before being able to be delivered to the receiver. 

If you wish to make your shipping process from Singapore to Japan quick, efficient, and smooth, you need to do the following:

1. Creation of an Air waybill (AWB).
2. Prepare a commercial invoice (must be typewritten).
3. Pack your own shipment.
4. Arrange for shipment collection.

What are the advantages of using DHL Express?

The advantages of using DHL Express will not only prevent clearance delays but also reduce the chances of incurring any extra costs. Besides, DHL Express does all of your customs clearance work and completes the declarations of items on your behalf. So, worry no more and get started with DHL’s express shipping services to facilitate smooth and efficient delivery of your parcel.

Its top advantages are as follows:

  • DHL’s wide network covers over 220 territories across the globe
  • It provides easy international door-to-door shipping services
  • DHL Express’s shipping tools such as MyDHL+, MyBill, and ODD (On-Demand Delivery), facilitates the shipping process by leaps and bounds
  • Customers can decide when and where their parcel should be delivered, thanks to its flexible delivery options
  • Shipment pick-up time can be as the customer’s choice.
  • Customers are provided with real-time updates of their shipment’s clearance statuses with DHL Express

These are some of the common goods that you can send to Japan from Singapore by following the mentioned customs rules. For further information about other goods or services, all you need to do is click the button below.

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