Why Amazon Cannot Be Your Importer of Record (IOR)?
A common mistake we frequently encounter among Amazon FBA sellers is the incorrect assumption that Amazon can serve as the Importer of Record (IOR) for shipments headed to Japan.
The Risks of Designating Amazon as the IOR
When shipping inventory to Japan, many sellers use logistics providers that may not be well-versed in Japan’s trade restrictions. These providers typically proceed with import procedures even if Amazon Japan is listed as the IOR on the invoice. This oversight often comes to light when the goods reach Japan, where local logistics providers are well aware that Amazon cannot act as the IOR.
At this stage, the process grinds to a halt, and sellers find themselves in a bind as they risk their inventory being shipped back at additional costs.
In many instances, the logistics providers on the Japanese side will start issuing alerts that your goods are ineligible for import clearance due to incorrect IOR information. If the logistics provider is accommodating, they may guide you to find an Attorney for Customs Procedure (ACP) but will only store your goods for a limited time. Thus, many sellers find themselves in urgent situations, having to pay unnecessary shipping fees, and their inventories remain stuck at the Japan Customs.
Latest Updates from Japan Customs
Starting October 1, 2023, Japan customs has decided to tackle the rising number of cases where foreign businesses incorrectly name third-party entities like forwarders or customs agents as their Importers of Record (IOR). Under the new regulations, foreign entities are no longer allowed to designate a Japanese company as their IOR. Instead, sellers are now obligated to serve as their own IOR and must also enlist the services of an Attorney for Customs Procedures (ACP), as mandated by the updated rules.
COVUE’s ACP & IOR Services
It’s essential to designate the appropriate ACP or IOR before shipping, thereby eliminating the risk of additional fees and delays. We frequently receive emergency inquiries from Amazon FBA sellers facing this dilemma. Our ACP/IOR services are fully equipped to resolve such situations.