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Import Compliance and Logistics in Japan: Podcast Episode with COVUE’s CEO

Import Compliance and Logistics in Japan: Podcast Episode with COVUE’s CEO

After an insightful episode on eCommerce in Japan, our CEO is back on the Scaling Japan Podcast. This marks the second episode on the podcast featuring our CEO, Scott Scofield, joining host Tyson Batino. In this episode, they discuss logistics and compliance when introducing your product to Japan.

Japan is currently undergoing an evolutionary phase with continuously changing rules and regulations. Scott provides in-depth insights into Japanese logistics and compliance, essential knowledge for anyone considering market entry in Japan.

Accompanying the insights shared by Scott, we aim to highlight key points about Japanese logistics and compliance from the episode.

Listen to the full podcast episode here or explore the key points below:

In Japan, products fall into two main groups: regulated and non-regulated. This can shape how you enter the market, and the processes can look very different depending on your category and the regulations that apply to it. 

Recent changes within Japan are impacting how rules and regulations are applying to imported products. Currently, import compliance and taxation are considered some of the primary challenges that companies can face when bringing in new products, and staying on top of compliance means considering both safety and taxes every step of the way.

Navigating Compliance for Regulated Products

When dealing with regulated products—like cosmetics, medical devices, and quasi-drugs—compliance becomes top priority.

Bringing in regulated products require you to have both a “Attorney for Customer Procedure” (ACP) and an in-market partner who holds the required licences to handle the needed steps for your product, including import, manufacturing, sales and marketing. Your choice of partner can make or break the success of your product in Japan, especially if things sour in your business relationship.

Compliance checks for regulated products can vary depending on category, and will often require rigorous safety checks and multiple steps to ensure tax obligations are met at every step.

Navigating Compliance for Non-Regulated Products

Non-regulated products have a faster time to market in Japan, as you do not require pre-approval from regulatory agencies for market entry. However, this does not mean you are free from compliance. Importers must still navigate safety regulations, tax obligations, and customs procedures, as well as appointing an ACP to ensure a smoother import process. Even though these products are ‘non-regulated,’ you are required to work closely with your ACP as your products will undergo rigorous import compliance checks to ensure consumer safety and tax accuracy.

Your Journey with the Right Partner

Entering the Japanese market can be a daunting adventure because of its complex regulations and high standards for compliance. However, with the right guidance and partnership, it is possible to successfully launch and establish your brand. COVUE not only helps you navigate these complex regulations but also provides end-to-end market entry services. This includes handling licensing, product import compliance, post-sales support, and navigating the evolving landscape of Japanese import regulations. In the podcast, Scott emphasizes the importance of choosing the right partner for handling sensitive aspects such as import and sales, which can influence the success of your product in Japan.

If you are considering bringing your products to the Japanese market, you have to be prepared to invest in thorough market research, choose partners wisely, and commit to understanding and adhering to local regulations. With our expertise and support, your business can thrive in one of the world’s most lucrative and promising markets.

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