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海外へのお荷物の送り方|初心者ガイド|~初めて海外にお荷物を送るあなたもこのページがあれば大丈夫です!~

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I want to send a package to my friend in the U.S., but I'm worried because it's my first time to do so.

The rules and required documents for sending packages overseas differ from those when sending packages in Japan.
They also vary depending on the destination country or territory.

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I see. The procedures for sending packages overseas seem difficult.
I don't understand English, either.

Don't worry. We will use videos and illustrations to explain the 5 steps involved in sending packages overseas.
If you want to send a letter or a postcard, the procedure is different, so please check here.so please check here.

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In just 2 minutes you can learn how to send packages overseas.

There are customs inspections and other procedures before a package arrives at an overseas destination.
It is essential to follow the appropriate procedures to send packages overseas.

  • Are the items listed on the customs declaration the same as the contents of your package?

    Customs inspection when shipping from Japan

  • Dangerous items cannot be transported.

    International Transportation

  • Check the whether the contents may be imported.

    Customs inspection upon arrival in the destination country or territory

  • We will deliver it with care.

    Delivery at destination

Step1

Check whether the item(s) can be sent.

I've heard that there are things that can't be sent overseas, but what can't be sent?

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For example, did you know that perfume cannot be sent to any country?
In international mail service, there are (1) items that cannot be sent anywhere in the world and (2) items that cannot be sent depending on the destination country. Be sure to check before sending, otherwise your package may be returned or even seized by customs.

For example, you can’t send these things.
Examples of dangerous items that cannot be loaded on aircraft or ships.

  • Spray cans

  • Perfume

  • Fireworks/
    firecrackers

  • Items containing over 24% alcoholSunblock

  • Nail polish

  • Items containing over 24% alcoholHair tonic

  • Electronic cigarettesAlcoholic beverages

  • Electronic cigarettes

  • Portable battery charger

Examples of prohibited items that people often try to send

  • Liquor

  • Tobacco

  • Meat / Vegetables / Fruits

In cases where beef is prohibited, the following items may not be sent:

  • Instant cup noodles

  • Curry

  • Instant consomme

For packaging materials (cardboard boxes, bags, etc.),
the following items may not be sent:

Reusing packaging materials and boxes with pictures of meat products, vegetables, fruits, etc. as shown below may suggest prohibited items, so we may not be able to accept your package.

Step2

Choose a mailing method.

Now I know what I can send, but how do I choose how to send it?

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There are a variety of ways to send items, depending on the size of your package, the postage rate, the time needed for delivery, etc. Currently, due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the handling of some items may be suspended temporarily depending on the mailing method and the destination country/territory.
First, check the situation in the destination country/territory.

First, check the shipping availability for each country/territory.

Depending on the destination country/territory, available mailing methods may differ or service may be temporarily suspended due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, first check the "Service availability by country/territory" or "Check the postage rate and the time needed for delivery" below.

On the page for "Check the postage rate and time needed for delivery", you can find the delivery time, postage rate, and shipping availability for each mailing method by entering the destination, items to be sent, and their weight.

Differences in postage rates and delivery times depending on the mailing method

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Available services differ depending on the size of the package. You can choose a mailing method that fits your needs according to the postage rate and time needed for delivery.

Reasonable

Rates

Expensive

When time matters less

Time needed for delivery

When time matters

Surface mail

Although it takes time, it’s inexpensive.

SAL

It’s less expensive than airmail and quicker than surface mail.

Airmail

Delivery is quick via air transport.

EMS

Delivery is the fastest among international mail services.

Large package2 kg or more

International parcels

This is a basic international mail service. The sending method can be selected according to the desired delivery speed and postage rate.

Click here for details.

EMS is handled with the highest priority among international mail services and delivered promptly.

Click here for details.

Small packageLess than 2 kg

Small packets

Small, light items can be sent inexpensively compared with EMS. You can select the delivery speed.

Click here for details.

All SAL shipments have been temporarily suspended.

This service can be used by preparing a special label online for sending a small packet via SAL with tracking service.

Click here for details.

This service can be used by preparing a special label online for sending a small packet via registered airmail.

Click here for details.

Compare mailing methods based on the postage rate and time needed for delivery.

I want it to be delivered quickly, so I think EMS is good.
Choosing a mailing method by comparing the postage rate and time needed for delivery.

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Compare
by rates

From Tokyo to Seoul,
South Korea

Light1-kg package

Heavy5-kg package

Compare by time needed for delivery

From Tokyo to Seoul,
South Korea

The time required for customs clearance is not included. Delivery times vary depending on the transportation method, customs clearance, local handling conditions, etc.

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The insured value for indemnification in the event of loss or damage and tracking availability also vary, so please check the details of each service.

Mailing methods that are currently unavailable are shown in gray.
Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, delivery may take more time than indicated.

Step3

Prepare a shipping label and other documents.

Now I understand how to send a package, but how do I prepare a shipping label? What are the required documents?

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Just as you submit your passport and immigration documents when traveling abroad, you need documents for customs inspection when sending packages overseas.
With the International Mail My Page Service, you can easily prepare a shipping label and necessary documents all at one time.

What is International Mail My Page Service?

It’s a free tool provided by Japan Post specifically for sending international mail.
You can prepare a shipping label and other documents required for overseas shipments.
The information you enter will be sent to the destination country/territory as Electronic Advance Data (EAD).

What is Electronic Advance Data (EAD)?

This tool is easy to use not only on a computer but also on a smartphone, so we can prepare the necessary documents without worry.

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Exactly! It's easy once you learn how to use it.
You can see how to use the International Mail My Page Service in this video.

How to use on a PC
How to use on a Smartphone
Prepare from a PC
  • Step1

    Enter the required information via the International Mail My Page Service.

  • Step2

    Print out a shipping label from your own printer.

  • Step3

    Receive a pouch at a post office.

  • Step4

    Put the printed shipping label in the pouch and attach the pouch to the package.

What is a pouch?

It’s a bag for attaching necessary documents to a package.
The pouch is half the size of an A4 sheet of paper, so the package should be large enough for attaching it.

Prepare from a Smartphone
  • Step1

    Enter the required information via the International Mail My Page Service.

  • Step2

    A 2D URL code will be sent to the email address you specify.

  • Step3

    Go to a post office and scan the 2D code using a dedicated Yu-pri Touch terminal there.

  • Step4

    The shipping label will be printed out.

  • Step5

    Please mail your package at the postal service counter.

If you have prepared a shipping label with three or more items on your smartphone, a number for printing the label will be displayed on My Page instead of a 2D code. Please show the number to the clerk at the postal service counter.
If you go a post office without a Yu-pri Touch terminal, please tell the reference number for printing the label to the postal clerk.

Click here for details on how to prepare a label from a smartphone.

CAUTION!

Your postal item may not be delivered if you use a handwritten label

In 2021, it became mandatory to transmit Electronic Advance Data (EAD) for enhanced security when sending packages via international mail. EAD digitizes information, such as the sender’s name and address and contents of a package, for advance transmission to the customs office in the destination country/territory.
Since EAD cannot be sent with handwritten labels, we cannot accept packages to the United States, Europe and many other countries/territories with handwritten labels. Moreover, sending a package to such countries/territories with a handwritten shipping label may cause a delivery delay or return of the package.

Click here for more information on mandatory transmission of EAD.

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Now, do you understand how to use the International Mail My Page Service?
Here are three documents that can be prepared using the International Mail My Page Service.

Documents required when sending items overseas
  • ※EMSの例

    Shipping label

    This is a document that describes the information necessary for sending a package overseas, such as the sender’s and recipient’s information, names of the contents, and number of items.

  • &
  • ※EMSの例

    Customs declaration

    This is a document that declares the contents of a package to the customs authorities of both the sending and receiving countries when sending packages overseas.

  • +
  • ※EMSの例

    Invoice

    This is a document required for customs declaration and inspection when sending packages overseas.

An invoice is required when sending items having a total value of over 200,000 yen.

I know the documents are easy to prepare, but I guess we have to do it in English. Can we abbreviate the names of the contents?

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No.Unless you enter the contents correctly, your package may not pass customs inspection. It may be returned or the recipient may be asked to pay large customs duties.

Enter the detailed names of goods, instead of generic names or trade names.
For example, when sending a stuffed doll or animal, write the name of the article as stuffed doll or animal, instead of the generic name ‘toy’ or the trade name.

Step 4

Put the item(s) into a package.

Is a special packaging method required to send items overseas?

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Shipping overseas takes a long time and may involve many transshipments. The delivery method at the destination may also differ from that in Japan.
Please pack more carefully than for domestic shipments to ensure secure delivery of a precious item to the destination without damage.

Recommendations for safe packaging

What to prepare

A tough cardboard box (a thick box such as a two-ply carton)

Avoid using empty boxes of perishable foods such as meat and vegetables or electrical appliances.Such boxes may be suspected of containing items that are prohibited from being imported, depending on the destination county/territory.
Click here for dedicated packaging products for EMS.

  • Adhesive cloth packing tape

  • Plastic bags
    (Protects the contents from water and dirt)

  • Cushioning materials

How to pack

Apply packing tape as shown in the picture.

It prevents water from entering and increases strength.
Putting cloth packing tape on the edges and in the center of the box makes the box even stronger.
Affix the shipping label so that it does not cover the opening.

When sending small items

Use cushioning materials because the package will be fragile if there is a gap between the box and the contents.

Dangerous packing method

Do not bind multiple boxes together with packing tape or string to make one box.

How to pack fragile items and liquids

Services for "Fragile items" and "This side up" are not available for overseas shipments. If you want to send such items, apply double packaging.

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Checklist

Now, do you understand the procedures for sending items overseas?
Let's review using a checklist.
If you have any questions, please contact your local post office.

  • Have you checked that the item you want to send does not fall under the category of "items that cannot be sent anywhere in the world"?→Step1
  • Have you checked that the item you want to send does not fall under the category of "items prohibited to be imported in the destination country/territory"?→Step1
  • Have you checked the information about suspension of mail service to the destination country/territory and selected an available mailing method?→Step2
  • Have you prepared a shipping label and other necessary documents using the "International Mail My Page Service"?→Step3
  • Did you pack it securely?→Step4

Step5

Mail the package.

I understand the procedure until shipping, but I wonder if someone will come to pick up our package?

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When your package is ready, take it to your local post office or ask for pick-up service. Pick-up service is available only for EMS and international parcels.

When using pick-up service, print out the necessary documents for each destination country/territory, such as shipping labels, customs declarations, and invoices, and put them in a pouch.
If you have any questions, please contact your local post office.

FAQ about international mail

International Mail My Page Service

  • Member registration
  • Preparing a label
  • Printing labels

Products and services

  • Types of postal items
  • Service details
  • Terms used for international mail

Troubles regarding international mail

  • I have not received my mail/parcels.
  • I want to change the recipient’s address.
  • Damaged postal items

Contents

  • What can and cannot be sent overseas
  • Sending documents and goods together

Points to note about receiving mail

  • Forwarding/holding service for international parcel post
  • Delivery flow

Points to note regarding packaging

  • Packaging of printed matter
  • Materials for packaging and how to pack postal items

How to put required information on postal items

  • How to write labels
  • Customs declaration form/invoice

Sending insured remittances overseas

  • How to send money overseas
  • When purchasing insurance for your mail

Customs inspection, etc.

  • Customs procedures
  • Inspection in the destination country

Electronic Advance Data (EAD)

  • About Electronic Advance Data (EAD)
  • About the STOP Act
Inquiries by phone

For inquiries about international mail by phone, please call the following numbers.

(You cannot call from overseas.)

【Service hours】
Weekdays 8:00~21:00
Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays 9:00~21:00
Outside of service hours or when it is difficult to get through to a service representative…
Please check the FAQ.