Customer Guideline

Import Regulations of Hong Kong's Major Trading Partners

Japan Import Requirements

Exports and imports in Japan have been liberalised on the basis of free trade. The measures necessary in doing foreign international trade are simply the formal procedures in engaging in foreign trade. However, as in many other countries, Japan has laws requiring permission, approval, import quota and testing of specified products before imports into the country to ensure public safety and health. Quotas are applied to the three broad categories of products:

  • State-controlled trade items, include weapons, alcohol, explosives, firearms and swords, nuclear materials, narcotics, and controlled food items (rice);
  • Residual import restrictions, include the five marine products, herring, sardines, scallops and other seafood.
  • Plants and animals listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

The Product Liability Law effective from July 1995, makes manufacturers liable for compensation for injury, death or damage to property resulting from the sale of defective products whether or not such defects can be attributed to accidental or willful faulty manufacture. Manufacturers should take full notice that revisions of the Civil Proceedings Act effective in early 1998, have made it easier for lawsuits to be filed and heard in court.

Useful contacts for information relating to doing imports/exports in Japan:-

Japan Patent Office, 3-4-3 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo-100-8915 (Tel: (81)-3-3581-1101) Website: