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Importing a Car from Japan

In this guide, you will find everything you need to know about importing a car from Japan. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at Tullify - we are experts in car and vehicle importation.

Determine the type of car you want to import:

Start by identifying what type of car you are interested in. Consider your needs and preferences, including the car's age, model, condition, and specifications.

It is also important to think about the availability of spare parts and service in Sweden. Some Japanese cars may have limited access to specific parts, which can affect maintenance costs.

Check the car's history and condition:

  • Use Japanese services like JEVIC (Japanese Export Vehicle Inspection Center) or JAAI (Japan Auto Appraisal Institute) to check the car's history and condition.

  • Ensure that the car has not been involved in major accidents or has serious mechanical problems.

Understand the Japanese documents:

  • Export Certificate (Deregistration Certificate): This document shows that the car has been deregistered in Japan and is ready for export.

  • Purchase Invoice: A document that shows the purchase amount and details of the vehicle.

Find a reliable exporter or customs broker:

  • Look for exporters with good reviews and experience in shipping cars to Sweden. You can find exporters by searching online or getting recommendations from car enthusiast groups.

  • Ensure that the exporter is transparent with all costs and provides a detailed quote that includes all fees.

  • Contact us at Tullify - we can help you today.

Quote and agreement when importing a car:

  • Request a detailed quote that includes the car's price, transport costs, insurance, and any fees.

  • Read the agreement carefully and make sure you understand all the terms before signing.

Make the purchase:

Once you have chosen the car and are satisfied with the exporter, proceed with the purchase. Ensure all necessary documents, including the purchase invoice and export certificate, are in order.

It is important to obtain the original documents as these will be needed for customs clearance and registration in Sweden.

Payment methods:

Discuss payment methods with the exporter. Common methods include bank transfer or using an escrow service to ensure the payment is secure.

Choose the transport method:

  • The car is usually shipped by boat, and there are different transport options, including Ro-Ro (Roll-on/Roll-off) and container shipping. Ro-Ro is usually cheaper but less protective, while container shipping offers more protection but is more expensive.

  • Discuss with the exporter which method is best for your car and your budget.

Insurance during transport: Ensure that the car is insured during transport. Transport insurance protects you against damage or loss during shipping.

Shipping documents: The exporter will send you the shipping documents (Bill of Lading) and other necessary papers that you need for customs clearance in Sweden.

Customs and taxes in Sweden:

Arrival at a Swedish port:

When the car arrives at a Swedish port (e.g., Gothenburg or Malmö), it must be cleared through customs. Contact us at Tullify to start this process.

Documents for customs clearance:

You need to submit the following documents to the Swedish Customs (Tullverket):

  • Purchase Invoice

  • Export Certificate (Deregistration Certificate)

  • Shipping documents (Bill of Lading)

The Swedish Customs will use these documents to assess the customs duty and VAT.

Payment of customs duty and VAT:

Currently, the customs duty is 10% of the car's value, and the VAT is 25%. Ensure you have these funds available to pay the fees.

Registration inspection:

  • After clearing customs, the car must undergo a registration inspection. Contact an approved inspection company such as Bilprovningen, Dekra, or Opus to book an appointment.

  • During the registration inspection, it is checked that the car meets Swedish safety and environmental requirements. Any adjustments or repairs may need to be made for the car to be approved.

Identity check:

An identity check of the car is often carried out simultaneously with the registration inspection to ensure that the vehicle matches the documentation.

Notification to the Swedish Transport Agency:

Once the car has been approved at the inspection, you can register it with the Swedish Transport Agency. You need to submit:

  • Certificate of Registration Inspection

  • Identity Check Certificate

  • Purchase Invoice

  • Export Certificate

The Swedish Transport Agency issues Swedish registration plates and a registration certificate.

Insurance and maintenance: - Take out traffic insurance:

Before you can drive the car on Swedish roads, you must have valid traffic insurance. Traffic insurance covers damages to other people and their property.

Compare different insurance companies to find the best insurance for your needs. It can be helpful to check with several companies to get the best premium and terms.

Adaptation to Swedish requirements:

  • Some specific parts of the car may need to be replaced or adapted to meet Swedish regulations and standards. This can include lights, tires, or exhaust systems.

  • Check with the inspection company or a workshop about which specific requirements apply to your car model.

Regular maintenance:

Ensure the car receives regular service and maintenance to ensure its performance and safety. This includes oil changes, brake checks, tires, and other important components.

Common questions and problems with import:

Problems with documentation:

If you have problems obtaining the correct documents from the exporter, contact them directly and explain what is missing. It is important to have all original documents to avoid delays in customs clearance.

Unexpected costs:

Be prepared for unexpected costs that may arise, such as additional shipping fees, storage fees at the port, or repairs required for the car to be approved at inspection.

Contact with authorities:

Maintain regular contact with both the Swedish Customs and the Swedish Transport Agency to ensure all steps in the process run smoothly. They can provide you with guidance and assistance if you encounter problems.

Importing a Car from Japan

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