Automotive rental, trading and export – Japan

Import Regulations and procedures for major export markets

Select your respective country for a drop down information box (sorted A to Z).

These guides are summaries of the key barriers that importers often face and may not take into consideration all processes or costs within the destination country. It is always wise to find out exactly what standards must be met, from your local authorities.
Note; Every customs agency requires you to provide; The Bill of Lading, the invoice and the export certificate. Other documents may be required, so you should enquire with the local authorities and do your homework before ordering!

Australia

Restrictions: While there are many ways to get an import into Australia, the regulations are strict and generally only allow for models that weren’t initially sold new in Australia to be imported. A vehicle like the Nissan skyline is eligible for entry as a special interest/enthusiasts vehicle (SEV), but most Subaru’s are not. It’s essential to do your homework on this one before starting the buying process.  See RAWS great list of SEV’s which have previously been imported to Australia. For a comprehensive guide to the import regulations, we recommend this guide.
Process: 1. Research the necessary regulations and find out if the car or cars in question are eligible for use on Australian roads. 2. Apply for import approval. 3. Order a vehicle from Japan! 4. Steam clean the vehicle and discharge air conditioning gases. 5. Ship the order. 6. Take delivery of the shipping documents. 7. Contact your customs agent to organise and gain customs clearance. 8. Pay the necessary taxes. 9. Order and pass the quarantine inspection (you or your agent may need to be present). 10. Meet the import approval conditions (modify if necessary) and register the vehicle. 11. You finally get to enjoy your hard earned import!!

Cameroon

Restrictions: Import duty of about 20%
Process: 1. Order a vehicle. 2. Take delivery of the shipping documents. 3. Ship vehicle. 4. contact clearing agent. 5. Pay local import taxes and take delivery of vehicle.

Canada

Import Regulations: The only regulation governing import of a vehicle to Canada is that the car must be at least 15 years old. Newer cars cannot be imported from Japan.
Process: 1. Order a vehicle older than 15 years old. 2. Take delivery of the shipping documents. 3. Ship vehicle and contact clearing agent. 4. Pay local import taxes and take delivery of vehicle.

Jamaica

Restrictions: There are simple age restrictions on imports to Jamaica; cars – 5 years, pick-ups and 7 seaters – 6 years and trucks – 10 years.
Process: 1. Order a vehicle. 2. Contact clearing agent and apply for import licence. 3. Ship the vehicle. 4. Take delivery of the shipping documents.  4. Acquire a Bill of Sight from the clearing agent. 5. Attain tax compliance from TCC. 6. Enjoy your new Japanese Import!

Kenya

Import Regulations: All import vehicles must (1) be right-hand drive, (2) not be older than 8 years (from first registration, so some 9 year old) and (3) must acquire the JEVIC inspection certification prior to export from Japan. (4) Duty; this is the based on the month of import to Kenya and the month of first registration of the vehicle in Japan. The rules says, a car should be imported before the month of first registration  in Japan, otherwise it’s subjected to higher fees. For example, if the vehicle was registered first in Japan in June, it would be need to imported to Kenya before the June of the year of import to avoid higher duty payments.
Process: 1. Order a vehicle that is within the guidelines. 2. Submit the vehicle to the JEVIC inspection. 3.Ship the vehicle. 4. Take delivery of the shipping documents. 5. Contact clearing agent. 6. Pay local import taxes, duty and take delivery of vehicle. 7. Drive your new, used vehicle.

Myanmar

Import Regulations: Cars under 2000cc should be 2009 or newer, trucks – 2004 or newer and  (however, one mistake is allowed). Cars above 2000cc need an import permit. Some 07 models have import permits available, so please ask at your local authority.

Process: 1. Acquire a import permit (in the case of 2000cc+ cars and cars older than 09. Get an import licence. 3. Order a vehicle. 4. Take delivery of the shipping documents. 5. Ship vehicle and contact clearing agent. 6. Pay local import taxes 7. Take delivery of vehicle.

Mozambique

Restrictions: There is only one requirement to import to Mozambique. Vehicles require a Intertek inspection before the vehicle leaves Japan.
Process:  1. Order a vehicle. 2. Apply for Mozambique number ASAP. 3. Have the vehicle pass the Intertek inspection by booking with Mozambique number and the engine code. 4.Take delivery of the shipping documents.  5. Ship vehicle and contact clearing agent. 6. Pay local import taxes and take delivery of vehicle.

New Zealand

Import regulations: New Zealand has strict rules governing the import of older vehicles into the country. The main two barriers are the emissions standard (2005) and the frontal impact standard (1999). These restrictions mean the car must be newer than 2005, with the exception of some 2004 Toyota models (however, some continued models after 2005 may still not meet the emissions requirements). If the car fails to meet these standards, there is only two possibilities; import a special interest vehicle or import as a personal import.
Process: 1. Check with local authority or A-ret cars that the car in question can be registered on NZ roads. 2. Order the vehicle and ship vehicle. 3. Steam cleaning (bio-security) 4. Contact your customs clearing agent to discuss pick up (right after shipping documents have been received). 5. Pick up vehicle from the port. 6. Register vehicle and comply with the LTSA and warrant of fitness. 7. Drive your freshly imported vehicle home!
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Pakistan

 Import Regulations: All imported vehicles require duty payments. This is divided into two categories. Cars that are special regime, and cars that aren’t.
Process: 1. Order a vehicle. 2. Take receivership of the shipping documents. 3. Pay the duty fee for the vehicle. You can calculate the cost of the vehicle here. 4. Pick up the vehicle.

Tanzania

Import Regulations: When importing to Tanzania, there are three main considerations; 1. (Japan Automobile Appraisal Institute) JAAI inspection and certificate. 2. Age: Imports older than 10 years are subject to higher or very high taxation, so we advise selecting newer vehicles. 3. Import taxes for vehicles; cars up to 1999cc – 50% of dutiable value. Cars above 1999cc – 65% of dutiable value commercial vehicles – 32% of dutiable value.
Process: 1. Order a vehicle. 2. Take delivery of the shipping documents. 3. JAAI performs the Roadworthiness Inspection and Issues a Certificate. 4.  Ship vehicle and contact clearing agent. 5. Pay local import taxes and take delivery of vehicle.

Uganda

Import Regulations: JEVIC inspection.
Process: 1. Order a vehicle. 2.Submit the vehicle for JEVIC testing. 3. Take delivery of the shipping documents. 4. Ship vehicle. 5. contact clearing agent. 6. Pay local import taxes and take delivery of vehicle.

The United Kingdom

Import Regulations: N/A
Process: 1. Order a vehicle. 2. Take delivery of the shipping documents. 3. Ship vehicle and contact clearing agent. 4. Pay local import taxes and take delivery of vehicle.

The USA

Restrictions: The USA has very strict rules surrounding import vehicles in order to protect their own auto-industry. Vehicles older than 25 years old can be imported quite easily as they are considered ‘classics’. However cars newer than 25 years old need to be brought up to compliance in the fields of emissions and safety;  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and  Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations respectively. Note: If the model of car you want to import was never certified for sale in the U.S., it’s not practical to attempt to import your car (costs will reach the hundreds of thousands as you’ll need to privately test and provide 3 of the same vehicles for crash testing).
We highly recommend consulting a local motor vehicle agency when importing a car to the USA and do your homework to find out how much it will cost you to import the car.
Process: 1.Consult the local motor agency to determine what is needed to get the vehicle up to compliance. 2. Steam clean the vehicle before shipping (bio-security). 3. Ship vehicle to desired port. 4. Prepare EPA and DOT paperwork for the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) clearance (this is required, even for cars older than 25 years). 5. File for CBP upon entry to the country. 6. (For cars older than 25 years, skip to step #8) Modify the vehicle to bring it up to meet EPA and DOT. 7. Tow the vehicle to the transport department. 8. Register the car and drive away!

Zambia

Regulations: Imports are required to gain the JEVIC standard. Local taxes on imports and vehicles.
Process: 1. Order a vehicle 2. Gain JEVIC standard before the vehicle leaves Japan. 3. Ship the car(s). 4. Take delivery of the shipping documents.  5. Contact clearing agent. 6. Pay local import taxes and drive home in your import!

Zimbabwe

Import Regulations: There are no regulations governing the importation of vehicles, however local taxes and fees may apply, especially for luxury vehicles, so always check with local authorities.
Process: 1. Order a vehicle. 2. Take delivery of the shipping documents. 3. Contact a shipping agent in Durban. As you cannot drive the vehicle through South Africa, transport will need to be organised to Beitbridge. 4. Pick up the vehicle.
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