Food and beverage import to Japan

Japan feeds 126 million every year by importing 60% of its food.

Importing food and beverage to Japan

In order to import food and beverage to Japan, there are a few challenges, which we will outline below. Forme Brand Office Tokyo has an experienced team that can help overcome the challenges of importing food and drink products into Japan.

You need a Japan based business to import

Importing food for commercial sales in Japan requires a business registered in Japan. This is to ensure there is a Japanese based entity responsible for import duties and product safety (this is also called the Importer of Record - IOR). There are two ways to approach this. The most expensive route is to register your business in Japan, the second easier route is to have a Japanese based importer be the proxy for your food import. Forme Brand Office Tokyo is able to act as a proxy and we will share the responsibility of getting your products through customs to your customers or warehouse.

Notify customs of food import

You'll need to submit to Japanese customs some paperwork to declare your intentions to import food. You can submit the notification documentation to the Food Automated Import Notification and Inspection Network System ( FAINS). Submissions should take place within a week of your products arriving in Japan.

Provide supporting documents to customs

Certificate of Analysis (COA) for ingredients from your country is required.

Labelling food and drinks for import to Japan

Japanese food import regulations requires that food be labelled in Japanese. It will vary based on food type.
The basics details are outlined below, these will need to be specified in Japanese:

  • Product Name
  • Use by/Best before date
  • Storage instructions
  • Ingredients
  • Nutrition Information
  • Country of Origin
  • Possible allergens (e.g. nut content)
  • Weight
  • Importer name and contact details (Japanese based business - we can act as your proxy)

The above points are just a rough guide, we can help determine the exact labelling requirements for your product. We can also design and print the labels for you too.

Our add on services

In addition to our food and beverage import services, we provide entire packages from importing products, photography, to getting them selling in Japan.

See our services here

Ready sell in one of the worlds largest markets? Let's work together and import food or beverage to Japan.

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