Includes information on average tariff rates and types that U.S. firms should be aware of when exporting to the market.
Japan’s tariff schedule as of June 27, 2020 is listed here:
Note also WTO World Tariff Profiles 2019.
The Customs and Tariff Bureau of Japan’s Ministry of Finance administers tariffs. The average applied tariff rate in Japan is one of the lowest in the world. Simple average applied Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariff for Japan, according the WTO data, is as follows:
- Total — 4.3%
- Agriculture products — 15.5%
- Non-agriculture — 2.5%
Japan: Average industry sector MFN applied duties (selected industries)
- Non-electrical machinery — 0.0%
- Electrical machinery — 0.2%
- Transport equipment — 0.0%
- Manufactures, n.e.s. — 1.1%
- Clothing — 9.2%
- Chemicals — 2.3%
Harmonized System (HS) codes are used to determine the tariff rate. Japan shares the same HS trade classification system as the United States. Tariff categories are organized by six-digit HS code.
Japan’s tariff schedule has five rate columns:
1) General Rate
2) Temporary Rate
3) WTO Rate
4) GSP Rate - Preferential Rate for designated developing countries
5) LDC, which covers a series of country-specific “EPA” (Economic Partnership Agreement) Rates
U.S. origin goods have the WTO rate applied unless a lower Temporary Rate exists (e.g., U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement, phase 1). Japan assesses tariff duties on the c.i.f. (cost, insurance + freight) value at ad valorem (based on the value of the goods) or specific rates, and in a few cases, charges a combination of both. Japan’s preferential system of tariffs grants lower or duty-free rates to products imported from developing countries.
A simplified tariff system for low-value freight valued at less than ¥200,000 (approximately $1,887 at ¥106/$1), such as small packages, simplifies determination of tariff rates. This system eliminates the time necessary to classify the product and its precise value and minimizes customs broker charges. Importers can choose either the normal rate or the simple tariff, which could be higher or lower depending on the product. See this link.
Japan Customs can provide advance rulings on tariff classification and duty rates. The Japan Customs website has information on Japan’s customs procedures, customs valuation system, import procedures, temporary admission procedures, refunds and duty drawback payments, as well as relevant customs forms.
For further reference, visit Japan Customs.
See also The Japan Tariff Association for trade statistics and other information.