Need to send a parcel to Japan? At Overland Express, we provide an efficient and cost-effective service, allowing you to compare prices from major courier companies like, DHL and UPS. When you book with us, we'll take the stress out of finding the best courier for the job, plus you can save up to 60% on postage to Japan. Whether you're sending gifts to friends in Tokyo or handmade crafts to Okinawa, you can trust us to deliver the goods. Sound perfect? Read on for more information about Japanese customs, import and export laws and how we can help you navigate it all.
Japan's rising logistics market
Japan has positioned itself as the third-largest global ecommerce market, after China and the United States of America, and it's freight and logistics industry is predicted to grow steadily in the coming years. By implementing new technologies and management systems, including drone tech and automation systems, Japan is setting an example of how to meet the demands of consumers in the ecommerce era. This directly influences the expected annual growth rate of more than 4% a year in this sector alone. Since the pandemic, Japan has seen a major increase in older demographics using online shopping as a solution to their consumer needs. B2C (business-to-consumer) online platforms and marketplaces have seen a consistent increase in annual sales, and with that comes a demand for smart delivery solutions and omnichannel experiences to meet consumers expectations. As a global leader in automobile manufacturing, Japan relies on imports and sea freight of machinery, raw materials, oil and gas from overseas. Osaka, Kobe, and Yokohama being major players in this, utilising their ports which serve as a bridge for international trading.
Prohibited and restricted items
When you prepare to send a package to Japan, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. As with most international deliveries, Japan has an extensive list of prohibited and restricted items that will not be allowed to pass customs. This includes, but is not limited to:
•Heroin, cocaine, MDMA, opium, cannabis, stimulants, psychotropic substances, and other narcotic drugs
•Firearms and ammunition
•Precursor materials for chemical weapons
•Imitation coins, paper money
•Bank notes, or securities, and forged credit cards
•Books, drawings, carvings and any other article which may harm public safety or morals. Like pornography and obscene materials
•Articles that infringe intellectual property rights
Japan has some restrictions on selling and using certain products. Such as medical products, farming products, and chemicals. For goods like these, Japanese Customs will examine the product before shipment, and you'll need licences and/or permits from the relevant legal bodies. Restricted items include:
•Supply of medicines for more than one month. This refers to toxicants, dangerous or prescription drugs
•More than two months' supply of medicines. It refers to non-prescription drugs or quasi-drugs
•More than 24 units of similar cosmetic products
•Plants and animals
We always recommend you check Japan's customs and import laws along with our own list of prohibited and restricted items to ensure your shipment clears customs and arrives safely.
When shipping internationally from the UK, a commercial invoice is required that details the contents and value of the goods being sent. But don't fret! We produce this document for you based on the information you provide us during the booking process:
•Description of the item(s) you are sending
•The value of each individual item in the consignment in GBP
•The HS Code (also known as a commodity code) for each unique item within your consignment
•The country where the item(s) originated or were manufactured
•If you are a VAT registered business, you will need to know your VAT number or EORI number
Failure to provide this information can cause delays and/or seizure of your goods at the Japanese border, and can even leave you accountable for fines and prosecution. We will send you this document via email, you'll need to print it out and attach it to one of the parcels being shipped. It's also worth noting that many deliveries being shipped outside the UK will incur import duty fees on arrival, so it's good practice to inform the recipient of your package that this might occur to avoid any surprise costs.
Why choose Overland Express
In short, we can help you find the cheapest way to send a parcel to Japan. Our quick and easy online booking system means you can have your delivery booked in the blink of an eye. We'll collect your package from your home, office or one of our designated drop-off points for your convenience. We offer shipping options to suit every budget with the latest collection times and fastest transit times, so you can choose the service that fits your needs. Our deliveries are fully tracked and parcels are covered for loss and damages at our expense up to the value of £50.00 (unless specifically excluded). For those more valuable items, you can opt for our independent insurance, which can cover up to £20,000.00 (restrictions apply) at a highly competitive price (we can sometimes offer discounts on insurance, so it's worth asking us to see if this applies to you). Our customer service team is available via telephone, email and Live Chat, so you'll be supported every step of the way in the unlikely event that something goes wrong, or if you just need help and advice before packing and sending your parcel to Japan. Booking with us couldn't be easier.
Get in touch today
Connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. For more information, check out or Frequently asked questions which are posted below. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact one of the Overland Express customer services team.
A cardboard box must be used for the outer packaging due to COVID-19 handling restrictions.
Don't just take our word for it, see what other people are saying about us on Trustpilot.
Fantastic company! Delivered my parcel to the Netherlands which contained liquids and Christmas gifts with no hassle. Great customer service, replied immediately to my emails and very lovely to speak to on the phone. My parcel was collected promptly and delivered within 2 days.
Efficient and effective company who have been a pleasure to deal with. Sending parcels is very straight forward and they have a good range of delivery carrier choices. Helpful staff if needed are at the end of an email.
Shipping tyres is a nightmare, especially when trying to accurately measure them. Overland Express just ask you the size of wheel it goes on. Great value and simple to go through the ordering process. Will definitely use them again and not just for tyres.
That's correct, we won't be beaten on price for the like-for-like service on offer. We recommend that you read the small print of our competitors, as some offer inferior services that are dressed up as premium services.
It should take no longer than five minutes to complete an entire parcel delivery booking through our online system, with just three pages to visit until the checkout is reached. Simple and efficient with no upselling.
Our UPS and Parcel Force courier services both allow parcels to be collected from an address of your choice, up to 7 days in advance. Not going to be in? No problem, just leave your parcel at your local Post Office branch or UPS shop.
All parcel delivery services offered by Overland Express are provided with free tracking services, you can use our website or our courier partner's site to obtain up to date information as to the whereabouts of your parcel.
Parcels that contain Paint and liquid based products can be notoriously difficult to ship due to the nature of them, we have several specialist services that can be used to ship these items in limited quantities by road.
Our United Kingdom based customer support team can be contacted (during working hours) by either telephone, email or live chat which can be found on this web-site. We are one of the only courier companies to offer telephone support.