Import Duty From Japan To USA Guideline

Import Duty From Japan To USA

When it comes to working on the freight forward process, you receive high volumes of inquiries for import duty. This is a significant part of the import process, applied for every country, including Japan and America. The Import Duty From Japan To USA contains many different rates, so you need to understand it well to make sure that your item can come to your hands safely.

I. What is Import Duty and Who Pays It?

1. What is import duty and how do they decide the duty rate? 

You may often hear the word “import duty” on the daily news. Import duty is defined as a kind of tax for importing foreign goods imposed by a country. Depending on the context, import duty may be understood as customs duty, tariff, import tax, or import tariff. 

Import duties have two primary purposes: to increase income for local governments and to protect domestically produced or cultivated products that are not subject to import duties. The third related purpose is sometimes to punish a particular country by charging high import taxes on its products.


How do they decide the custom duty rate? The structure of deciding custom duty for import exists in each country in the world, including the US. The World Customs Organization (WCO) is engaged in the standardization of customs and customs duty processes. WCO develops a system of customs duty called Harmonized System (HS). This system is joined by most countries in the entire world, and they use HS code with six digit numbers to categorize items for import and export.

The import duty rate for each importing country is different. In America, Congress has mandated import taxes. The Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) lists import taxes and is published by the International Trade Commission (USITC). 

Different rates are applied depending on the status of countries’ trade relations with the United States. The normal rate applies to countries that have normal trade relations with the United States. Special rates for countries that are not developed or do not qualify for the international trade program.

2. Who pays the import duty? 

Import duty is generally imposed on the importers. The classification of the HS code is significant to identify the correct customs duty rate, which will relate to the payment amount for an importer. 

Individuals can be the ones who pay the import duty. However, the process will be complicated and take time. As a result, people usually hire a third-party carrier to take care of this process. 

II. Import duty from Japan to USA.

If you need some supporting information about the import taxes from Japan to US, we’ve rounded up the main points. 

Basically, there are two types of import duties from Japan to the US: standard tax and preferential tax.


1. Standard tax rates

The standard tax rate is outlined for all products on the customs tariff schedule. The duty rate in the US can be proportionate to the estimated value of the goods or transaction or specific. It varies from 0 to 37.5%.

2. Preferential tax rates

America has signed Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with several countries to protect developing countries’ industries. To be granted this kind of tariff treatment, the goods must meet the requirements of the origination. 

The US and Japan signed an agreement, which reduced or eliminated import tax from Japan to USA for certain agricultural and industrial products. For more information, you can rely on the US Customs and Border Protection

3. Other taxes

In addition, there are other taxes applied when importing goods from Japan to the US, such as sales tax, provisional tax, conventional tax, or federal excise tax, according to Cargo Services

Import duties from Japan to USA are decided based on the price of CIF on an invoice. CIF price includes the product cost, transportation cost, freight cost, and insurance cost. 

III. How do you calculate import duty in the US?

The biggest question now is how to calculate import duty for USA imports. We’ll give you a brief explanation of how to obtain import duty.


Step 1: Contact licensed broker or freight forwarder

You’ll want to contact the licensed broker or freight forwarding company based in the US. Fill in the form of the goods origin, product description and product materials. 

Step 2: Receive HTS code and duty

Type the HTS code directly on the Harmonized Tariff Schedule; then you will find the duty applied to the product. 

Step 3: Calculate duty 

There are some small steps you should take to calculate the total fees. Firstly, request the commercial invoice from the manufacturers or suppliers. Besides, you also need to determine if the products will be delivered by air or sea freight as the duty and fees will be different between these two kinds of delivery. 

Secondly, you ought to determine the incoterms agreed with suppliers. If it is EXW, you will have to add origin fees to the duty calculation. On the other hand, FOB and CIF incoterms mean that no local fee will be added to the measure. 

Let’s take a simple example with the fishing basket package delivered by sea and has an HS code of 4602.11.05. The total amount of the goods is $12,000. 

The duty percentage of this product is 5% 

5% x $12,000 = $600

The merchandise process fee (min. $26.79/ max. $519.76) 

0.3464% x $12,000 = $41.568

The harbor maintenance fee 

0.125% x $12,000 = $15

Total: $600 (duty) + $41.568 (MPF) + $15 (HMF) = $656.568

IV. How to pay import tax?

You should pay the duties and taxes before your products are released from US customs. The sellers have to pay the tax, and consignees will be the ones who take responsibility for remitting the sales tax (or VAT). 

  • If you do all the steps by yourself, the customs will notify you via mail; then, you have to do the procedures and pay the taxes. It would be time-consuming. 
  • If you entrust the task to a third-party carrier, they take care of all the procedures to make sure your goods are delivered quickly – and they’ll invoice you for the fee. You do not need any import tax from Japan to use the US calculator; just wait to see the bill. You should double-check to ensure that they can do this before shipping.

Janbox is one of the most trustworthy freight forwarding companies which provide 2-way freight service between Japan and the US. Not only America, Janbox can carry products to several countries and areas in the world, like China, Korea, Singapore, and so on. 


Janbox not only helps you deal with the import tax and duty but it also provides you with incredible additional optional services. They include package consolidation, inspection service, photo service, insurance, and protective packaging. You no longer have to worry about the risks of losing or breaking the goods. 

Janbox’s transportation service follows dedication, professionalism, and reputation criteria to provide clients with the best experience. With the advanced and smart purchasing service, you can easily get Japanese items and send them to the USA. The complicated process of paying import taxes and duties no longer gives you a headache. 

Moreover, you are able to keep track of the package path once you use Janbox’s delivery service. You can keep updating the information on Janbox’s website or via the phone app

>>> Read more: Shipping from Japan to USA – Janbox Express


There are tons of things needed to be kept in mind when it comes to import duty from Japan to USA. Fortunately, you don’t have to finish all the steps to get your items from Japan; a third-party carrier can do it. Janbox is a great service you can consider. We can deliver your packages more quickly at a much more affordable price. 

We hope that the information above helps you understand the import tax and purchase goods online more easily. Like Janbox’s fanpage to get the latest news and experience the incredibly fantastic online shopping process from Japan to the US.