Documents necessary for importing used cars from Japan

Last Updated on 6月 14, 2021 by Carusedjp

Keep in mind that there are three documents necessary for import

The three documents needed to import a used car from Japan are Export Cancellation Certificate, Invoice, and BL!

When importing a used car from Japan, there are documents that need to be prepared. It is necessary to prepare the documents according to the instructions of the forwarder and freight forwarder.

Here, all necessary documents such as Export Cancellation Certificate (export Cancellation Proforma Certificate or export schedule notification certificate), invoice, BL, and other maritime insurance certificate or certificate of origin when insured, and export cancellation certificate in English, Export inspection certificate (JAAI, JEVIC, EAA, BUREAU, VERUTAS, etc.) are to be explained.

documents for import invoice

1. Export Cancellation Certificate

When a used car arrives, it will go through the import clearance, and the documents required are export cancellation certificate.

Japanese used car exporter will send the original copy of the export cancellation certificate to the importer. However, some importing countries may require the document written in English as well. In that case, you need to receive the export cancellation certificate both in Japanese and English.

2. Invoice

Similar to the above, an invoice is required for import clearance.

The entries include the car name, quantity, and price of the used car to be imported, and terms of freight contract of an exporting car.

If you choose LC as the payment method, you need to submit the invoice to the bank according to the instructions of LC.

3. BL (Bill of Lading)

The document required to receive a used car arrived at the port of the importing country is called BL, which is a document to exchange for the vehicle.

BL is also a transportation agreement between the shipping company and the shipper. The shipping company issues the BL as proof that the shipping company has received and loaded a used car in accordance with the transportation agreement with the shipper.

Also, if you choose LC settlement, BL will be treated as marketable securities. By transferring BL to the bank, the ownership of the used car will become the bank, and the cost of a car will be paid by the bank.

BL is normally issued 3 original documents of BL (1st, 2nd, and 3rd for the risk of loss, etc.), and any 3 documents can be used to exchange for a vehicle. However, 1st and 2nd will generally be sent from Japan.

If one of the 3 BLs in the importing country is submitted to the shipping company of the importing country and the vehicle is exchanged, the remaining BLs are no longer ineffective.

In addition, there is a surrendered B/L that can receive the vehicle without submitting the BL, which is a means to avoid the delivery time and the risk of loss of BL, but please note that you cannot change the contents of the BL once the surrendered B/L had submitted.

So far, the 3 documents required to import a used car from Japan are described.

From here, we will introduce other necessary documents.

documents for import BL

Marine insurance is required when making a Distribution Agreement with CIF.

If the Distribution Agreement is CIF condition, the Japanese side needs to arrange the marine insurance and the marine insurance company will issue the marine insurance accordingly.

Institute Cargo Clause condition (C) is generally used for used cars, and insurance is applied only if the vehicle is completely damaged by the sinking of the ship or the fire.

When LC condition is selected, it will be under Institute Cargo Clause (A) condition and insurance coverage can cover car damage that occurred during transportation.

Cargo Institute Clause (C) is often selected when importing used cars due to low insurance costs.

Check the certificate of origin and the rules of the importing country that may be necessary for import clearance!

A certificate of origin is a document that certifies that a used car imported from Japan is “Made in Japan” and is required by some countries for import clearance.

It is necessary to confirm the number of copies to prepare and the description contents.

Other documents

Depending on the importing country, there are some countries that require re-export inspections such as JAAI, JEVIC, EAA, BUREAU, VERITAS in Japan.

Vehicles cannot be imported without inspection certificates in the countries requiring the above inspections, so all vehicles undergo the inspections required by the importing countries before export.

Please refer to the table below to confirm the inspection required by the importing country, prepare a certificate that it has been inspected for import clearance.



Type of examinationImporting country
Radiation measurementAll exporters from Japan (for all vehicles)
BEREAU VERITASSri Lanka, Mauritius
EAATanzania, Uganda
JAAISri Lanka, Mauritius, Tanzania
JEVICKenya, Uganda, Zambia
MAFNew Zealand
QISJKenya, Tanzania


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