Market Reports/Tariffs
Textiles, Apparel, Footwear and Travel Goods

Japan

Import Tariffs
Documentation/Procedures
Restrictions
Standards
Labeling
Market Information

Last updated on 08/03/2017

If you have any questions about the following information, please contact Linda Martinich at the U.S. Department of Commerce- Office of Textiles and Apparel at 202-482-4058 or click here for e-mail access.

**The following information is provided only as a guide and should be confirmed with the proper authorities before embarking on any export activities.**


Import Tariffs - Japan
Tariff duties are assessed on the c.i.f. (cost, insurance and freight) value at ad valorem or specific rates, and, in a few instances, are a combination of both. Tariffs are administered by the Customs and Tariff Bureau of Japan's Ministry of Finance. Goods from the United States are charged WTO rates unless a lesser "temporary" rate exists.

Japan: Tariff Rates on Textiles, Apparel, Footwear and Travel Goods
HS Chapter/Subheading
Tariff Rate Range (%)
Yarn
-silk
5003-5006
0 - 6.9
-wool
5105-5110
0 - 2.7
-cotton
5204-5207
1.9 - 5.6*
-other vegetable fiber
5306-5308
0 - 7.9
-man-made fiber
5401-5406/5501-5511
0 - 6.6
........................
Woven Fabric
-silk
5007
10 - 12.5
-wool
5111-5113
5.3 - 7.9*
-cotton
5208-5212
3.7 - 7.4*
-other vegetable fiber
5309-5311
2.5 - 10
-man-made fiber
5407-5408/5512-5516
4 - 10
........................
Knit Fabric
60
4 - 9.8
........................
Non Woven Fabric
5603
0 - 4.3
........................
Industrial Fabric
59
2.8 - 6.6
........................
Apparel
61-62
4.4 - 12.8
........................
Home Furnishings
including: bed, bath, kitchen linens, etc.
63
0 - 10.9
........................
Carpet

Footwear

Travel Goods
57

64**

4202
0 - 8.4

3.4 - 30*

2.7 - 16
* Some products may be subject to specific per unit tariffs.
** Certain leather footwear (HS 6403-6405) is subject to the Tariff Quota (TQ) system. That is, a lower tariff rate (primary rate) is assessed on import quantities within the limits of the annual tariff quota and a higher rate (secondary rate) is assessed on import quantities in excess of the tariff quota.

For more detailed tariff information, see the following webpages: the Japan Customs Tariff webpage (Use "WTO" column); the Japan Tariff Association webpage; or the Current Situation of Schedules of Members on the World Trade Organization website.

Additional Import Taxes and Fees--A 5 percent consumption tax (general excise tax) is levied on all goods sold in Japan. The consumption tax is assessed on the c.i.f. value of the product plus the import duty.

Temporary Entry/Samples--Advertising materials, including brochures, films and photographs, may enter Japan duty fee. Articles intended for display but not for sale at trade fairs and similar events are also permitted to enter duty free in Japan only when the fair/event is held at a bonded exhibition site. Japan is a member of the ATA Carnet system.

ATA Carnet--An ATA Carnet or "Merchandise Passport" is a document that facilitates the temporary importation of products into foreign countries by eliminating tariffs and other import taxes or charges normally required at the time of importation. For more information or to apply for an ATA Carnet, see the United States Council for International Business website.

If your product is primarily made in the U.S. of U.S. originating components it may qualify for duty-free entry into countries with which the U.S. has a free trade agreement (FTA). The U.S. currently has FTAs with the following countries: Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, Peru, Singapore and South Korea. See the FTA Tariff Tool, to determine the duty-free status or reduced duties that apply to products eligible under these free trade agreements.

Additional resources for tariff information:

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Import Documentation/Procedures (Japan)


Certificate of origin--Products made from certain types of leather or animal products may require a certificate of origin issued by an agency of the government of the exporting country and an import authorization issued by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showing that importation of the product is not prohibited. See the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora website for more details.

Formaldehyde in building materials--U.S. exporters of building materials to Japan, including wall covering manufacturers, can receive formaldehyde certification in the United States testing firms that have been approved by Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transportation - MLIT, to certify building materials as being compliant with MLIT's "sick house" regulations.

For information on import documentation and other requirements see, JETRO's Standards and Regulations webpage: see:

For more information on local customs rules and regulations:

For information on common export documents, such as transportation documents, export compliance documents, certificates of origin, certificates for shipments of specific goods, temporary shipment documents, and other export-related documents, see the Export.gov webpage on Common Export Documents.

For country-specific information on import procedures and documentation requirements, see the
Country Commercial Guides (CCG) on the export.gov website.

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Import Restrictions (Japan)
No information is currently available on any bans, quotas, or other restrictions.
U.S. Export Restrictions:

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the U.S. Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, and international narcotics traffickers and their agents in accordance with U.S. foreign policy and national security goals. The OFAC website includes summaries of sanctions programs for various countries and the “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” (SDNs) list of entities and individuals with whom U.S. persons may not conduct business and whose property must be blocked if under the control of a U.S. person.

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in the U.S. Department of Commerce is responsible for implementing and enforcing the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), which regulate the export and re-export of most commercial items. BIS maintains the Denied Persons List, which consists of individuals, and companies that have been denied export and re-export privileges by BIS, and the Entity List, which consists of foreign end users who pose an unacceptable risk of diverting U.S. exports and the technology they contain to alternate destinations for the development of weapons of mass destruction
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Standards - Japan

The Japan Industrial Standards Committee - JISC plays a central role in the establishment and maintenance of Japan Industrial Standards (JIS). Many domestic products and imported products alike are subject to product testing and cannot be sold in Japan without certification of compliance with prescribed standards. Some standards are mandatory and some are voluntary. JIS standards can be found on the Japan Standards Association website.

Flame retardant regulations--The Fire Service Law specifies that some textile products such as carpeting and curtains installed in most commercial building must comply with flame retardant regulations. Products conforming to the standards must have flame-retardant labels and those without such labels may not be sold as flame-retardant products. The Japan Fire Retardant Association publishes English language information on the Japanese Flame Retardant Law and its testing methods.

Cords and drawstrings on children's clothing--JIS L4129 - Safety of Children's Clothing-Cords and Drawstrings on Children's Clothing-Specification is a voluntary safety standard. The JIS requires suppliers to meet the standards for all clothing with cords or drawstrings designed for children under 13 years of age.

Hazardous Substances
In Japan, textile products are regulated under the “Act on Control of Household Products Containing Harmful Substances, Act No. 112 of 1973”. The law bans various substances for use in textile products, including the following:
  • Organomercury compounds
  • Formaldehyde (prohibited in baby clothes age 0-24 months)
  • Tris (1-Aziridinyl) phosphinne oxide
  • Dieldrin
  • Tris (2,3-Dibrompophyl) phosphate
  • Triphenyltin compounds
  • Bis (2,3-Dibrompophyl) phosphate
  • 4, 6-Dichrode-7-(2,4,5-Trichlorophenoxy)
  • Trifluoromethylbenzimizole
  • Azo dyes

Voluntary industry standards, "Guidelines for Nonuse of Harmful Substances for Textiles and Clothing" provide recommended standards to further eliminate harmful substances. Leather goods (including fur goods) are regulated, in addition to textile products, under the regulations on azo dyes. Leather (and fur) that are used as subsidiary materials of textile products are subject to the guidelines. See the Japanese Textile Federation - JTF guidelines for further information.

Tris - Products containing tris (i-aziridinyl) phosphineoxide (APO) in any quantity are banned, and the use of more than 30 ppm of dieldrin is prohibited in textile goods for household use (clothes, carpets, bedding, etc.) and knitting wool. Use of the fire retardant tris (2,3 dibromopropyl) phosphate and triphenyltin compounds in certain household products including sleepwear, bedding, curtains, carpets, babywear, underwear, gloves, hosiery, household adhesives, and paint and wax shoe polish is prohibited under the household Commodities Regulations Law.

For further information on these regulations, see the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

See the Japan External Trade Organization - JETRO's Standards and Regulations webpage for the following publications:

Local standards organization and other resources:


The National Center for Standards and Certification Information (NCSCI) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. Department of Commerce provides information on U.S. and foreign standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures for non-agricultural products. NCSCI staff responds to requests for information by identifying relevant standards and regulations, and by referral to the appropriate standards-developers or private-sector organizations. Under copyright restrictions, NCSCI cannot provide copies of standards, but NCSCI does provide sources for accessing standards.


Notify U.S. - Member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are required under the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) to report to the WTO all proposed technical regulations that could affect trade with other Member countries. Notify U.S. is a free, web-based e-mail subscription service that offers U.S. companies an opportunity to review and comment on proposed foreign technical regulations that may affect their access to international markets.

Additional resources:

Examples of voluntary formaldehyde labeling programs

American Apparel and Footwear Association's Restricted Substances List

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

ASTM International

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)


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Labeling - Japan

The Ministry of Economy and International Trade and Industry - METI has specific requirements regarding the type of information required on a label, which includes the following:

  • Type of fabric and textile yarn content, with percentage figures for lining, thread, material, etc
  • Care and washing instructions
  • Name of manufacturer/supplier or officially registered number with - METI
Labeling generally must be in Japanese. Under the Household Products Quality Labeling Law - Textile Goods Quality Labeling Regulations (Public Notice of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry No. 558 of October 1, 1997), most apparel items and certain other textile products, including pile rugs, curtains, blankets, and bedspreads, require labeling of their fabric component as well as instructions for care (washing, bleaching, laundering, etc.). Travel goods made of cowhide, horsehide, pigskin, sheepskin or goatskin must be labeled showing the type of leather, care and storing methods, and name and address or telephone number of the party responsible for labeling. For more information, see the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) website. See also the Japanese Household Goods Quality Labeling Handbook (October 2010) and the December 2016 Eratta. Note--effective April 1, 2017 textile quality labeling regulations were further amended, see SGS Softgoods report NO. 074/17 (SGS is a private inspection, verification, testing and certification company).


Effective December 1, 2016, JIS L0001-Care Labeling Code Using Symbols, replaced JIS L0217 and incorporated the use of the ISO international care labeling system (ISO 3758). See the Japanese Standards Association JSA website for a booklet in English on care labeling, as well as other textile-related standards. Also, for further reference, see the Intertek brochure on care labeling (Intertek is a private quality assurance provider).

The name of the country of origin is required on all domestic and imported textile and apparel products. The country of origin labeling standard, established by the Japanese Fair Trade Commission, is based on provisions of the Law Against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representation. Products with vague, confusing or misleading labeling regarding the country of origin may not be imported into Japan.

Labeling of flammability characteristics is required for such items as pile rugs, curtains, and knitted and lace cloth. All topcoats, overcoats, spring coats, and raincoats, etc., must be labeled in Japanese to show whether they are water repellant. Normally, these labels will be prepared by the Japanese importer. Coats without the label cannot be designated as raincoats.

Because certain regulations apply specifically to individual products, it is important to work with a prospective agent/importer to ensure your product meets the requirements, if applicable. In general, most labeling laws are not required at the customs clearance stage, but at the point of sale. Consequently, it is most common for Japanese importers to affix a label before or after clearing customs.

Information on the Japanese sizing system for apparel is available on the JSA website. Relevant sizing publications are listed below.

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Market Information - Japan



U.S. companies may contact the U.S. Commercial Service for information and personalized counseling at every step of the exporting process. Find a U.S. Export Assistance Centers near you.

For information on protecting trademarks, designs, patents and copyrights, see the STOPFAKES.GOV website. STOPFAKES.GOV is dedicated to helping U.S. companies protect their innovations and safely market their products at home and overseas. Find guidance and resources on how to register your company's intellectual property and protect it from counterfeiting and piracy. Also find IPR toolkits for select countries, as well as other country-specific information.

For information on selling to foreign governments, see the Global Procurement Opportunities website.

Other sources for market information and data:

The U.S. Commercial Service Market Research Library contains more than 100,000 industry and country-specific market reports, authored by specialists working in overseas posts. Some market research reports are available only to U.S. companies and U.S. students/researchers that are registered with Export.gov. Available reports are listed below.

  • Contemporary Women’s Wear Market (09/2011)
  • Japanese Industrial Fabrics Market (3/14/2011)

OTEXA Export Market Report (U.S. export data for textiles, apparel, footwear and travel goods)

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service

U.S. Department of State - U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions

U.S. Office of the Trade Representative

Local Industry and Trade Associations

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