- Moving F.A.Q.

General F.A.Q.

How big is a container ? Big moves


20’ Standard Dry Container - Household goods load capacity approx 28m3

Interior Dimensions

Door Opening

Tare Weight


Cubic Capacity


5.440 m

17'10 3/16"




2,750 kg

24,250 kg

27.9 cbm.


2.294 m

7'6 1/4"


2.286 m


6,062 lbs

53,460 lbs

986 cu.ft.


2.237 m

7'4 1/16"


2.238 m

7'4 1/16"





40’ Standard Dry Container - Household goods load capacity approx 56m3

Interior Dimensions

Door Opening

Tare Weight


Cubic Capacity


12.035 m

39'5 13/16"




3,700 kg

28,800 kg

67.0 cbm.


2.350 m

7'8 1/2"


2.339 m

7'8 1/16"

8,156 lbs

63,491 lbs

2,393 cu.ft.


2.393 m

7'10 3/16"


2.274 m

7'5 1/2"





40’ High Cube Dry Container - Household goods load capacity approx 60m3

Interior Dimensions

Door Opening

Tare Weight


Cubic Capacity


12.030 m

39'5 9/16"




3,930 kg

28,570 kg

76.0 cbm.


2.350 m

7'8 1/2"


2.340 m

7'8 1/16"

8,663 lbs

62,984 lbs

2,714 cu.ft.


2.690 m

8'9 7/8"


2.579 m

8'5 1/2"





40’ Standard Reefer Container -  Commercial (refridgerated)

Interior Dimensions

Door Opening

Tare Weight


Cubic Capacity


11.577 m

37'11 3/4"




3,950 kg

7,910 kg

58.7 cbm.


2.294 m

7'6 1/4"


2.286 m


8,708 lbs

61,529 lbs

2,073 cu.ft.


2.210 m



2.238 m

7'4 1/16"






How big is a cubic meter ? Small moves

1m3 is about 23 small boxes

Small Size: 46cm x 33cm x 29cm (0.044m3 per box)

1m3 is about 5 medium and 14 small boxes

Medium Size: 44cm x 44cm x 41cm (0.079m3 per box)

1m3 is about 2 large, 5 medium and 14 small boxes

Large Size: 44cm x 44cm x 60cm (0.116m3 per box)


Can ship motor cycles, cars?

Yes!  When requesting a rate advise model, year, location in Japan, destination port, and final address. Also, be sure to check your applicable country's customs home page to ensure you meet eligibility requirements to import.

Does provide an air cargo service?

Yes, we do. When requesting a rate please advise: Japan address, destination airport, final address, number of items, dimensions (Length, Width, Height in cm) and approximate weight in kilograms.

Can I send alcohol? noodles? dry food? tea?

No, all food & beverage products are strictly prohibited and cannot be sent. Food and beverages includes spices, dietry supplements, vitamins, teas, medicines etc.  Sending such items can result in significant added expenses and fines.  For detailed information on restricted items that cannot be sent check with your customs and quarantine authority at destination.

Please also refer to Customs F.A.Q.


I have overstayed my visa. Can I still send my things home by sea?

Yes. No extra documentation is required.

Can I ship my friend's personal effects?

As long as he/she has left Japan in the last 3 months, he/she may still ship her belongings as "personal affects". will ship under her name only. We require the same documents as any other shipment.

Who can use's moving service?

To use Moving Japan's moving service you must either plan to leave Japan or have already left Japan. This is to satisfy Japan's export Customs regulations.

Vehicle F.A.Q.

How many cars can I send in a container ?

For commercial shipments it is possible to load 3, 4 sometimes 5 cars into a 40 HC container.

Lashing and loading of cars is a specialist job and we are able to provide such services in Yokohama & Kobe for commercial customers.


I have a car as well as personal effects. What do you suggest ?

Normally customers ship cars  by specialised car carrier (Roll on Roll Off) and personal effects seperately by container.  Containers can also be arrranged but are more expensive. (Luxury cars to avoid potential dents, scratches etc are normally container shipped)

How do I get a estimate?

Email or fax a copy of the vehicle`s shakensho (Car registration document) , and advise Japan address, destination country port and contact details



Can I pack items in the car ?

Roll On Roll Off Service: No, shipping companies prohibit items to be packed inside the car. Additional handling expenses will be incurred for cars that are not in a bare state or prepared correctly.

Container Service:  Yes, subject to

a) Detailed Packing list and Shipping Marks  on packed items  

b) Destination customs treatment.  (Extra handling may be required).


Note: Customs clearance for vehicles and household effects are different. Which means 2 customs clearances will need to be made if sending both vehicles and household goods/ Personal effects.




Do you ship motorcycles ?

Yes, we ship a lot of motor cycles. They must be adequately prepared for shipment. i.e. Fuel removed and cased.

Recently, shared container service is restricted to some destinations and a complete container must be used. If sending by full container, a wooden base instead of complete case may be acceptable.


Freight F.A.Q.

How does Air Freight differ to sea freight ?

Air freight uses a volumetric weight calculation

In accordance with IATA (International Air Transport Association) volumetric standards, volumetric weight will apply if a shipment is below a certain weight density. The chargeable weight of airfreight is the higher of the actual gross weight or the volumetric weight. Volumetric weight: Height (cm) x Length (cm) x Depth (cm) 6,000. For example, the volumetric weight of a box of 40 x 60 x 50 cm will be 20. If the gross weight of this box is 25 kg, the chargeable weight is 25 kg (25 is larger than 20), however if the weight of this box is only 1 kg, then the chargeable weight will be 20 kg (20 is larger than 1). Volumetric weight is likely to apply when shipping objects low in weight density such as duvets, guitars or bicycles.

How does determine the size of my shipment? Can I tell you the size?

First of all, the shipment size is determined by shipping company warehouse measurer or an independent 3rd party surveyor from the Japan Measurement Association. The size is reported to Moving Japan who in turn will invoice accordingly. There are two types of measurements: (1) Individual and (2) BULK. With an "Individual" measurement, each box is measured separately. With a "BULK" measurement, all boxes are placed together and measured. BULK measurements can be different from individual measurements, however, both are common practice. Non stackable items are sometimes assessed as BULK. To avoid "BULK" measurements, limit the number of different size boxes to a minimum (eg. 4 different sizes) and make sure they can be stacked.

Submitting your own measurement list is also a good idea. There is no guarantee it will be accepted, however, it is good shipping policy and shows you are organized.

At reservation time, we require you to provide an estimate of the size of the shipment. This is used to arrange suitable truck size. The official measurement will be completed as described above.

How much is a typical move to

We offer rates online. We suggest you (1) Request an E-Brochure (prices included) and (2) After receiving a username and password, login to "Online Estimate" and get quick and easy online estimates.

Can I send Lithium Batteries ?

Lithium batteries may be considered hazardous. Unless there is a MSDS ( MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET) and  dangerous goods  form it may be prohibited to carry by air or sea. Battery powered bicycles  from some manufacturers cannot be shipped for this reason. If planning to ship please check there is a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) (also known as PSDS (Product safety data sheet)  form from the manufacturer showing details of lithium batteries.


Lithium Ion Batteries are classified as follows:


UN Number

Proper Shipping Name




Lithium ion batteries

Batteries (that are not packed with or installed in equipment)

e.g. loose mobile phone batteries / laptop batteries / power tool batteries



Lithium ion batteries packed with equipment

Batteries packed together with equipment but not attached to the device

e.g. mobile phone + loose (spare) unattached battery, power tool with loose (spare) battery



Lithium ion batteries contained in equipment

Batteries contained in equipment, i.e. installed/integrated in the device

e.g. MP3 player with integrated battery / Mobile phone with integrated battery/laptop with integrated battery / power tool with integrated battery

Lithium Metal Batteries are classified as follows:


UN Number

Proper Shipping Name




Lithium metal batteries

Batteries (that are not packed with or installed in equipment)

e.g. replacement batteries for watches or calculators



Lithium metal batteries packed with equipment

Batteries packed together with equipment but not attached to the device

e.g. watch with loose battery (not installed in the watch)



Lithium metal batteries contained in equipment

Batteries contained in equipment, i.e. installed/integrated in the device

e.g. watch with integrated battery / calculator with integrated battery

It may be possible to send as an “Excepted” Lithium Battery shipment but only if they are shipped in line with applicable regulations.




Packing F.A.Q.

Can I send my suit case(s) ?

Yes, provided that:

1. There is a shipping mark. (It is possible to tape a square of cardboard to suitcase and draw shipping mark with black marker pen on the cardboard)
2. It is not locked (Customs are permitted to break open in event of customs inspection)
3. A luggage strap is fastened to prevent case opening.

It is a good idea to keep the weight below 18 kg.




How much is`s Packing Service?

Packing service is priced with the following criteria in mind:

Number of packing staff required, and time it will take.

Building access, and location

Packing materials - types and amount required.

Trash  disposal, and other associated services.

As packing requirements differ considerably pricing also varies.




Does sell packing supplies?

Yes, we offer packing supplies as a service, however, you may also purchase the same materials elsewhere.

To see a list of our featured packing supplies, please click
Online Shop.

Do I have to use Moving Japan's packing service to be insured?

No, you may pack for yourself and we encourage you to do so.



Can we pack items inside chest of drawers, cabinets etc or must they be empty?

There are advantages and disadvantages of packing inside furniture items


1) Reduced overall volume

2) Protection of fragile items i.e. crystal.   (Rather than casing can pack and secure inside furniture)



1) Weight increases, making handling more difficult. Potential damage due to dropping.

2) Movement of  items during transit.  If items can move in recess area, drawer area etc - damage to internal packed item, and furniture can occur.

3) Displacement - if furniture item is stowed on it`s side, or upside down - internally packed items disperse. (Potential damage)

4) Customs inpection. - in the event of customs inspection, costs associated with unwrapping, re wrapping furniture items are more expensive.


Recommended tip:  If packing inside furniture, ensure items cannot move in transit, and pack light items rather than heavy items.



Where can I get packing materials?

Tokyu Hands carries a large assortment of packing materials from cardboard boxes, tape and nylon pp-bands to rolled cardboard, bubble pack and shipping labels (eg. This side up, red fragile stickers, etc).

Can I use wooden tea boxes to ship in ? Plastic cases ?

No, there are severe quarantine restrictions on international shipping using wood. Unless it is fumigated, or heat treated and has an official ISPM 15 verification stamp ~ it cannot be used.

Plastic cases can be used. On the condition they are sealed, strapped closed and have a shipping mark. It is common to tape a square of cardboard to plastic cases, and then to write the shipping mark on the cardboard.

Can I use boxes with hand holes ?

No, boxes cannot arrive at warehouse with holes, rips or tears.  Even if it has a hand hole for lifting, it can be reported as "damaged", causing costly delays.

Please tape over hand holes to avoid damage reports, and to ensure the box is sealed, so moist air (causing mold & mildew) cannot flow into and out of the box.

If box is heavy, fasten with pp bands to enable easy lifting and handling.






Should I pack my drivers licence, Passport in packing boxes ?

Not a good idea. Very difficult to clear customs in Japan without a passport. Illegal in many countries to drive without a drivers licence.

Please avoid unnecessary expense, and wasted time retrieving important items that should not, or were mistakenly packed.

Our advice, nominate a special suitcase or bag where all important items are put, i.e. air tickets, passports, licences that will travel separately as hand baggage..



Why should I use double ply international shipping boxes ?

Import terminal reports, "4 cartons were broken and 30 cartons dented-seems that the cartons used were too soft/thin and when these have been loaded on top of each other part of the cartons have been damaged/lost their shape-they are not quadrangle anymore. Broken cartons seemed to include clothing ,and seems that most of the goods are OK, but we can know better only after goods have been delivered."

p001_1_03 Damaged_Inadequate_Packing2
Single and double ply cardboard Example of crushed single ply boxes/inadequate packing


Notes: Domestic moving boxes are normally "single ply" and not recommended for international shipping.

Quality packing materials and professional packing reduces probability of damage by more than 80% .








What is the biggest item I can send ? Is there a weight limit ?

Size limits: For sea shipments, anything that can fit inside a standard 20 feet shipping container can be sent. Internal container dimensons are: Lenght 5.89 meters x Width 2.35 meters x Height: 2.38 meters. (Length 19.4 feet x Width 7.8 feet x Height 7.10 feet)

Weight limits: 600 KGS per cubic meter (shared container), or 14,000KGS self use 20 feet container.

Note: If items are too large/too heavy for 1 person to handle, online estimates for domestic trucking, will change.









What is the difference in packing for Air Shipments and Sea Shipments ?

Air shipments are rougher than sea shipments. Therefore stronger packing materials are required. Double layer cardboard boxes are a recommended minimum.

May I use second-hand (used) boxes for packing?

Yes, however,  fruit and vegetable boxes are prohibited . (Do "not" use boxes that previously contained food).

Try to limit different sized boxes to a minimum - many different sized boxes, may result in a BULK measurement (see Freight Related F.A.Q.).

Try to, stay away from boxes with company logos and color everywhere. There must be enought space to clearly write the shipping mark (see Freight Related F.A.Q.)

NOTE: Although second hand boxes can be used, "New" boxes are recommended. Plse refer, PACKING F.A.Q. " Why should I use double ply international shipping boxes ?"


What is a crate ? case ? lift van ? pallet ?

Crate                            Crate

                    case2Case                                                                            Wooden Cases or Liftvans


          Pallet with clear film wrapping

A liftvan (Or case) is a wooden or large specially strengthened cardboard box which is lifted by forklift.

Casing is normally required for motorbikes, valuable furniture,and artwork to ensure added protection from other cargo. All wood  used must be specially treated and be compliant with international shipping regulations. Casing generally costs 15~20,000 yen per cubic meter. Expensive but essential for valuable items. .

Advantages: High protection against damage.

Disadvantages: 1) Cost of casing  2) Increased volume = higher ocean freight  3) Added handling - opening and  disposal of case material.

MovingJapan has extensive experience with all these packing options.


Triwall casing for Antiques, Artwork, Glassware, Valuable items ?

Triwall_Casing                          Triwall Commercial Cases ~ Strong, robust, safe



            Come in various Sizes


For valuable, delicate items ~ consolidation inside commercial grade triwall cases adds shipment protection.

Standard case sizes (External dimensions) are:

  •  80 cubic feet (2.27 cubic meters)   LWH 112cm x 115cm x 176 cm 
  • 100 cubic feet (2.83 cubic meters)  LWH 112cm x 115cm x 220cm
  • 200 cubic feet (5.66 cubic meters)  LWH 224cm x 115 cm x 220cm 

MovingJapan has extensive experience with triwall packing ~ please inquire for options and rates regarding special packing requirements.





How do I pack my bike ?

We suggest  getting a bicycle box from a cycle shop.. (Or make a new box with sheet cardboard).

As an idea, you may be able to pay your local bike shop to pack (They have the right tools and packing materials - instruct them to tape over handholes)


Standard bike packing method is

1) Ensure bike is clean (Dirt, insects, cobwebs, seeds etc are removed)

2) Remove pedals and wrap in air cap

3) Loosen handlebars

4) Lower seat

5) Remove front wheel

6) Put frame into box.(Tape pedals to frame)

7) Air cap between items to prevent scratches

8) Aircap front wheel and put into box.

9) Tighten handlebars

10) Cover any remaining items with aircap to prevent scratches

11) Anti absorbent (optional)

12) Seal box, and PP Band  (To assist with safe lifting and handling)

13) Affix Shipping mark.


Bike Box


Bike box pp banded (awaiting shipping mark)


Handholes must be taped over





How important is it that the shipping marks on the boxes match the Packing List ?

Very important. In the event the shipment is inspected and contents do not match the packing list contents ~ it is more likely to have a continued, much more comprehensive & detailed customs inspection.

Tardy attention to shipping marks and packing lists may result in unnecessary additional expenses.


Can Moving Japan move my Piano ?


Yes, utilizing professional Piano specialists, MovingJapan safely moves pianos domestically and internationally.

Staff employ appropriate soft cover protection, appropriate trolleys and jacks, "soft" Air suspension trucks, with power lift, and cranes as necessary for difficult access. Preparation of Piano for international shipping takes approximately 10-12 days.




Grand Piano Upright Piano Cased Grand Piano in warehouse

When requesting rates plse advise

  1. Piano Manufacturer, type, model, Dimensions (Length x Width x Height, + Weight)
  2. Domestic or International move
  3. Japan complete address(s), with access details. (Number of external steps, stairs, Number of internal steps. stairs, roadway access, distance to be moved in/outside aprtment/house, abnormal access through windows, or by crane, elevator sizes)









I have a bicycle, TV etc. How do I pack irregular sized items?

We suggest  trying to contact the manufacturer for the original box it came in.

One customer didn't have original boxes, so he made his own. Check out his pictures

First I got ready. Blanket on floor, tape, bubblewrap, scissors, PP banding etc

Placed TV on the blanket

Oops, skipped a step. Wrapped in air cap.
Wrapped blanket around and taped.

Next placed on corrugated cardboard.

Wrapped around & taped

Enclosed the ends.


For especially fragile items - 2 or 3 layers is best.

Finally, affixed PP bands, fragile stickers, this way up arrows and shipping mark.



Does MovingJapan use hanger boxes for clothes packing?



Many companies use hanger boxes and they are quite popular. MovingJapan prefers flat pack box packing alternative, due to:

  1. Clothes can fall off hangers
  2. Hanger boxes are top heavy and prone to fall over (during trucking, warehousing, shipping etc)
  3. Empty space in bottom of hanger boxes equates to paying extra for unused space


As clothes become crumpled in such situations, it negates the reason of using hanger boxes in first place. Generally it is much better to send suits, dresses in flat pack boxes (with hangers on) for ease of handling and unpackaing at destination.



The better alternative 

Hanger Box

Flat pack box









Should number of packed items match the Packing List inventory total number of items ?

Yes, Packing list total, and actual number of packed items must match. If they are different it is impossible to receive customs approval and additional remedial work to correct the problem will be required.


Work inside bonded warehouses is prohibited which means getting access to cargo may involve:

a)      Removing cargo from the warehouse (Paying a removal charge)

b)     Trucking (Truck charge)

c)      Sorting (Paying a labor charge)

d)     Unpacking/repacking/ verifying & marking as appropriate. (Paying a labor charge)


For self packed moves please save considerable stress, (and additional expense) by making sure number of items and packing list totals match.


(For a tally sheet to recheck numbers when loading/unloading please request from customer support).









Payments F.A.Q.

Can I pay by credit card ?

Yes, using paypal, invoices can be paid using most major credit cards. A 4.2 % surcharge (3,800 yen minimum) is added to recover fees associated with using the paypal service.

How and when do I pay my invoice ?

Bank transfer to Moving Japan's bank account is the normal payment method.

Invoices are normally issued after all required documents for Japan customs clearance have been received, and after receiving the measurement from carriers warehouse or 3rd party Japan Measurement Association (Typically 3 to 5 days after truck pickup).

Storage F.A.Q.

Your Holiday & Temporary Storage

Many customers wish to travel for a few weeks, or even months, prior to returning to their home country. We often have queries asking for storage rates at destination. What's the best way to handle this? Should you store your Personal Effects in Japan or at destination?

In most countries, in order to import the shipment as Personal Effects, you must present yourself, in person, to the Customs office. In other words, you cannot delegate someone to import your Personal Effects on your behalf. If you are on a holiday somewhere and the shipment has already arrived at destination, it will sit in a bonded warehouse until customs is cleared. A bonded warehouse is a warehouse where Customs officials keep goods that have not cleared customs. Bonded warehouses are not intended for storage and therefore rates are much... much... much higher ~ especially if not picked up promptly.

The solution is to store in Japan! Moving Japan can hold shipments in a low-cost storage facility for up to three months after departure. When you are ready to receive the shipment, simply contact us and we will arrange an appropriate ship, clear Japan customs and send. You get low-cost storage in Japan and avoid high cost mistakes & charges at destination.

Will the warehouse accept goods that are inadequately packed ?

Fortunately no. They will also not accept packages without a shipping mark, or goods without a booking. Additionally due to ISPM  15 regulations they cannot accept wood packaging without a "Compliant" stamp.

If packages arrive at warehouse in an unsatisfactory state which is unsuitable for international shipping additional charges relating to double transportation, packing materials, and labour will be incurred to pack/repack offending items.


What type of storage facilities does Moving Japan have?

All storage is dry and covered. Our warehouses are intended for short term storage while waiting for customs clearance to be completed and while waiting for ship loading. It is possible with prior arrangement to store the shipment for up to 3 months. Please confirm with Moving Japan prior to booking.

If I make a mistake with my packing - can I go into the bonded warehouse to fix ?

Unfortunately No. Bonded warehouses are storage facilities and by law are prohibited to allow packing (and other activities) inside the warehouse. Storage only.

As well as daily storage charges, goods that are put into, or removed from warehouses incur an in/out charge to cover forklift, labor, and administration costs.

If goods do need to be repacked they will have to be removed from the warehouse and will incur the above mentioned fees.

It's best not to remove goods from the warehouse after they have been stored prior to shipping.

Customs F.A.Q.

What Problems Will I face at Customs ?

Each country's customs regulations are different however provided prohibited items are not shipped, customs nightmares can be avoided. It's best to check the relevant custom authority "beforehand" to ensure all items being sent comply. Prohibited items may include:


Antique furniture,

Food, plants, herbs & spices (anything edible or drinkable inclusive of supplements, vitamins, body building formula, teas, medicines).

Any weapon, or items that resemble a weapon.

Firearms, ammunition and explosives

Hazardous items, such as fireworks, toxic or poisonous substances.

Items made from animals on the endangered species list (e.g. ivory)

Unprocessed furs, skins and hunting trophies

Dried flowers, bulbs, seeds, pine cones, etc.

Soil, sand, straw & hay

Used tires,



Some countries also prohibit importation of cosmetics, make up, perfumes, and scented erazers.

Quarantine Inspection - what is this ?

Some countries have strict quarantine regulations and will inspect items to ensure they are "safe" to be imported.

Vacuum cleaners, used camping gear, antique furniture, golf clubs, footwear used on farms, car tires etc are items which are often checked and may cause problems. Refer to each country's relevant customs authority for complete details and restrictions.

What is AMS, ISF ? and what does it mean ?

AMS = Advanced Manifest System (Shipping carriers must report their cargo to destination customs before sailing).

ISF = Importer Security Filing (Prior to loading into container or onto ship, a counter party at destination must register your cargo into the customs system - a kind of AMS reconciliation hand shake).

Non compliance can result in fines up to or exceeding US$5,000.

To comply with the advanced filing requirements a registered customs agent or freight forwarder at destination must be appointed - they also assist with shipping company & customs liaison and can assist with import customs clearance (and transportation where required).


Can I clear Customs at my destination by myself?

Depending on country, and if sending a consolidated (CFS Container Freight Station)  shipment it may be possible to clear customs yourself.  You will need:

(1) Packing List & Shipping Invoice

(2) Unaccompanied Baggage Declaration customs form (Usually obtained by downloading from the government customs webpage).

(3) Bill of Lading (B/L) and proof of living overseas for "X" number of years.

Procedurally, this is generally how to clear import customs:

1) Complete the Unaccompanied Baggage Declaration form downloaded from the relevant customs authority prior to arrival.

2) When exiting through customs at the airport, show the declaration form and receive a stamp (this stamp means you have declared unaccompanied baggage but does not "clear" the cargo for import yet). They will ask questions like how long ago did you purchase the items and how long have you lived overseas. Some countries require you have purchased the items 6 months to 1 year prior to returning. They may ask to see your detailed packing list, so have it handy. Note: Some airport customs staff are unfamiliar with sea imports - you can also do later when the cargo arrives.

3) Receive "Arrival Notice" from Shipping Agent at destination as per contact information provided to when completing online booking in Japan.

4) Take Arrival Notice, the Bill of Lading (B/L), Packing List and Shipping Invoice, Passport, Unaccompanied baggage form and proof of being in Japan for "x" number of years to the Customs authority (The shipping agent will tell you the location/phone number). The cargo must physically be in the country now to import through Customs. Note: Some countries do not accept visa stamps in your passport as proof of being away. You must have evidence such as tax records, a note from your employer or embassy etc. The Customs Authority will "clear" your import .

5) Pickup cargo at the warehouse. The shipping agent will give the address and phone number of the warehouse. Take the approval stamp/letter from Customs to the people at the warehouse. Prompt retrieval is advised as storage charges may accrue.

6) Take your cargo home and unpack.

Procedures and regulations vary by country. The above information is supplied without guarantee and for informational purposes only. If in doubt, you are recommended to consult your consulate, embassy and relevant customs authority.


What is a customs inspection ?

Customs have the right by law to inspect any shipment. This ranges from a simple X-Ray inspection of container, through to container opening and physical inspection. Costs of X-Rays, Physical inspection, associated handling, storage costs etc are billed to your account at cost. * It is important not to send items that will attract intense customs scrutiny & likely penalties.

What is the difference between "Commercial" and "Personal Effects" customs clearances ?

Exports (from Japan)

Personal effects and household goods clearances: Duty and tax free, Shipment must depart within 6 months of shippers(your) departure from Japan.

Commercial goods clearances:  Shipment may be considered commercial at destination, and subject to import country`s import duties & taxes. (Personal effects are normally duty free but depends on country)

Note: Motor cycles and cars require a  commercial customs clearance.


1) If sending personal effects and vehicles together, 2 customs clearances (Commercial & Personal efffects) are required.

2) If goods are put into storage and not shipped within 6 months of customers departure, a commercial customs clearance is required.


Imports (into Japan)

Personal effects and household goods clearances: Duty and tax free.

Commercial goods clearances:  Shipment is subject to import import duties/excises & taxes. (Duties and tax depends on commodity classification).

Note: Vehicles genenerally are duty/excise free but subject to 5% consumption tax (based on value)




Customs Duties & Excises - what are these ?

Most countries allow personal effects to be imported "duty free" but there are exceptions depending on each country's respective regulations.

i.e. non holder of applicable visa in some cases may have to pay VAT, GST  or customs excise taxes based on the value of the item(s) shipped.

What is a Power of Attorney ? Is it needed ?

A power of attorney ("Ininjyo" in Japanese) gives a 3rd party the authority to act on your behalf. As per Japan export regulations it is necessary however the requirement is often waived. In local ports it is likely a signed "ininjyou" will be required in order to complete export customs clearance successfully.

What happens if the packing list doesn't match ?

If the number of items on the packing list is different to the number of items received at the warehouse ~ customs export approval cannot be received and additional handling expenses to remedy the problem will be incurred.

Insurance F.A.Q.

What does Insurance cover ?

Marine insurance covers damage and loss in transit from Port warehouse to final destination. If goods will be stored in destination warehouse for more than 2 weeks,  insurance coverage will expire. If destination storage is required, additional insurance coverage can be purchased providing storage duration is specified in advance prior to departure from Japan.

Do I have to have insurance ?

Yes, we cannot ship without insurance. As well as protecting you in the event of damage it is a safeguard in the event your cargo damages others.

Can I just insure the things I want and leave the other items with no value?

You cannot partially insure your shipment. Shippers often put a nominal value i.e. 1000 yen for items that have a low value, and put full price for items which have high values.

Note: Each item or group of items must have a value.

How do I make a claim ?

If damage has occurred, take digital photo's and immediately contact the claim agent which is listed on the insurance policy for your country. It is important to do this promptly in order to have the claim settled smoothly.

Trucking F.A.Q.

Can I give my packing list to the driver?

No, the driver goes directly to the warehouse so do not give packing list or any other documents to him.  All documents need to come to the main office unless otherwise arranged.

What type of trucks does have?

Moving Japan employs anything from a 1/4 truck up to a full size truck. All trucks are covered and some come with loading ramps and dollys.

What time is an AM pickup ?/Dropoff ?

Depending on location

AM pickups & dropoffs are normally 10:30 AM ~ 15:00,

PM Pickups & dropoffs are normally 12:00~18:00. 

Actual  time is influenced by other pickups, drop offs, weather, driving conditions etc. Can request a particular time but without guarantee.

If a specific time is required, a self use truck  can be arranged at added expense. (Not common for small volumes).

Who loads the truck at my house?

Prices provided by Moving Japan include the truck and one driver. You are encouraged to help load the truck. If additional labor is required, or items are too large for one person to handle please contact Moving Japan as special truck arrangements will be required.

Except for full service moves, all items must be packed with shipping mark identification, and be ready for immediate loading to truck.

Can I deliver my own shipment to your warehouse or should I use your service?

You may personally deliver your cargo to our warehouse or send it by courier (takyubin) or however means you wish. Prior to sending to our warehouse, you should make a reservation and get the warehouse's address.

Available FAQ's

>Payments FAQ

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>Trucking FAQ

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>Storage FAQ

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>Packing FAQ

{loadposition packingfaq}

>Insurance FAQ

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>General FAQ

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>Vehicle FAQ

{loadposition vehiclefaq}

>Freight FAQ

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>Customs FAQ

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Vancombe Inc is a division of Vancombe Inc

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