Consulate-General of Japan in Houston


Visiting Japan
visa Customs & Quarantine



Arrival Quarantine Inspection Immigration Inspection Animal/Plant Quarantine Customs Access into Japan.

You are required to make an oral or a written declaration to Customs about the goods that you bring into Japan.

When the amount of your goods exceeds the limit of tax exemption, please submit the declaration of your accompanied and unaccompanied baggage.

arrowLimits of Tax Exemption (for One Adult)

bikkuri Attention: Commercial goods and commercial samples are taxable and are not subject to tax exemption indicated below.

Name of Product Amount or Price Value
Alcoholic Beverages 3 bottles
Tobacco 400 cigarettes, or 100 cigars, or 500 grams of other tobacco products
Perfume 2 ounces
Others 200, 000 yen (total of overseas market prices)

arrowMain Items Prohibited from Importation

  • Opium, cocaine, heroine, hemp, stimulant drugs, psychotropic substances
  • Pistols and other firearms, ammunition for firearms
  • Obscene or immoral magazines, videotapes etc.
  • Counterfeit brand name products, other articles which infringe upon rights in intellectual property etc.

arrowMain Items Restricted for Importation

  • Animals and plants that require quarantine (please undergo inspection at Animal/Plant Quarantine Counter)
  • Air guns, swords, smoke bombs etc.
  • Pharmaceutical products, cosmetics (subject to quantitative restrictions)
  • Animals and plants stipulated by the CITES (the Washington Treaty)


arrowAnimal Quarantine Regulations

In an effort to reduce the occurrence of rabies, new regulations for dogs, cats, raccoons, foxes and skunks entering Japan have taken effect since November 6, 2004. By following these new regulations, the waiting period for entry into Japan can be made substantially shorter. However, please note that the pre-import preparations are extensive and require considerable time. A procedure manual and all necessary forms are available on the Animal Quarantine Service's website at The United States has not been designated as a rabies-free country. Therefore, procedures for "countries other than a designated region" apply.

The certificates required import must be endorsed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Veterinary Services after being issued by a licensed veterinarian. For details of obtaining USDA endorsement, please contact you local USDA/APHIS office:

APHIS Office / Texas

APHIS / Oklahoma

903 San Jacinto #220
Austin, TX 78701
TEL 512-916-5554

4020 N.Lincoln Blvd. #101
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
TEL 405-427-9413

New regulations also require blood testing to measure rabies antibody levels. Blood must be sent to a laboratory designated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

DOD Veterinary Food Analysis and Diagnostic Laboratory Fort Sam Houston

24272 Shofield Road San Antonio, TX 78234-6232
TEL 210-295-4604
FAX 210-270-2559

Details are available at Please contact the laboratory before you send the blood samples.

In addition, contacting your airline company about the animal well in advance of your travel date is advised since they may have separate requirements as well.

Questions concerning the quarantine procedures can be answered by visiting of FAQs section of the Animal Quarantine Service's website at or by sending an email directly to the Animal Quarantine Service.

arrowTaking Plants and Food Products into Japan

  • Fresh Products Plants and Plant products are subject to plant quarantine to prevent a possible invasion of pests which may inhabit these plants. It is stipulated by Japanese law that a phytosanitary certificate issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture be attached to the plants.
  • Canned Products Canned meat, fruit or vegetable products are allowed.
  • Dried Products Dried fruit or vegetable products are allowed, as long as they are commercially dried (not home-dried) and remain in their original, unopened packaging.
  • Other Processed Foods Items such as biscuits, crackers, sweets, cereals, dried noodles, etc. may be brought into Japan. Most types of nuts (with the exception of walnuts, which are prohibited may be brought into Japan, particularly if they are salted, dried or roasted.
  • Plants and Plant Materials The importation of any soil is strictly prohibited-including soils attached to the roots of living plants.

bikkuri For more information, please check website of Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), Plant Protection Station ( ).


arrowTaking Medication into Japan

If you are traveling to Japan and would like to bring medication with you, please refer to the  Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare’s website, as well as the Q&A form found below. These two resources will provide you with all the information needed to safely and successfully carry medication into Japan.

NOTE: Narcotic, stimulant and psychotropic medications are restricted in Japan. Please consult your doctor to ensure that your over-the-counter or prescription medication does not fall into one of these regulated categories. See the Narcotics Form Instructions for additional direction.

If you have additional questions about this process after referring to both the Ministry website and the Q&A, please contact us at or (713) 652-2977 x2115 .

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare: General instructions for import of medications.

Q&A : Additional instructions for import such as questions about  narcotics, Yakkan Shomei instructions, etc.

Yakkan Shomei and Sample Form : The Yakkan Shomei as well as an example of a correctly completed Yakkan Shomei.

Narcotics Form Instructions : Instructions for how to fill out the Narcotics Form, where to send the completed form, and an example of a correctly completed Narcotics Form.

Narcotics Form : Blank form to import narcotics.