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Getting a leather jacket sent to japan - apparently illegal?! Is this true?

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Jun 14, 2008
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Hi guys,

Recently bought a leather motorbike jacket from a shop in the UK (recently passed my bike test here) and asked my parents to send it to me. According to the royal mail website, leather products (without some sort of certificate of origin) are banned from import into Japan! A searched a little more on the japan customs website and it vaguely mentioned animal products are not currently importable due to foot and mouth etc, but the notice seemed to be mainly concerned with meat etc.

Has anyone here recently tried to import leather, and had any problems? Thinking about just trying and see what happens, but the jacket wasn't cheap and i don't want it disappearing on me.
 

Mike Cash

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Googling Japan customs leather reveals tariff rates for leather goods, which would lead me to believe you can import leather....

Call Customs and ask. They have English speaking staff and authoritative information.
 
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That's what i thought. Not sure when this 'ban' was put in place though.

I'll have a go at calling them. There's sometimes a difference between the official line and reality though. For example, that's what the website says, but I can't imagine them asking people with leather handbags to leave them at customs when they enter japan.
 

mdchachi

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I don't see anything at Customs Answer(FAQ)Â :Â Japan Customs
that leads me to believe there would not be an issue. Section 2001, prohibited items, doesn't mention leather. The general customs guide at http://www.customs.go.jp/zeikan/pamphlet/tsukan_e.pdf makes no mention of leather. I think your biggest risk is being made to pay duty on it. I would mail it with a generic label such as "clothing" and if you're insuring it keep the valuation as low as possible.
 
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I appreciate you checking that out! You're right, it doesn't mention anything about that there. But I think this is a recent ban due to foot and mouth disease outbreaks in various parts of the world.

Turns out that if we include an invoice from the place we bought it which specifies the type of leather, it's safe. If not apparently it will be destroyed if discovered. Just a heads up for anyone else who's planning to do the same thing as me!
 
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