UK Customs System for Imports and Exports
Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF), which is a part of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), records the movement of goods by land, air and sea and allows importers, exporters and freight forwarders to complete customs formalities electronically and automatically checks for entry errors.
This system should be used by companies to process declarations for goods entering and leaving the UK/EU through ports and airports.
CHIEF connects with five Community System Providers (CSPs) which are independent trade systems that directly serve hundreds of carriers, transit sheds and freight forwarders to record and track the movement of goods within ports and airports.
CHIEF identifies which goods within a consignment need to be physically examined. This gives legitimate goods and those deemed to be a low-level risk faster passage when they are directly exported to countries from the UK.
An overview of CHIEF, together with user guides and more information can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/chief-trader-import-and-export-processing-system.
Customs in Japan
Goods that are imported into Japan are subject to both customs duty and consumption tax, which is currently 8%. (Prime Minister Abe has not yet announced whether this rate will rise to 10% in April 2017 as planned, or whether he will delay this until October 2019).
In addition to consumption tax, other internal taxes may be applied to certain products such as liquor, tobacco, petroleum and liquefied petroleum gas.
Depending on the nature of the contract signed between UK companies and their Japanese counterparts, customs duties may be paid by either party on the UK side or the Japan side.
Tariffs vary depending on the product, and reference information is provided by the Japan Customs and Tariff Bureau.
The Japan Tariff Association also provides books available for purchase about Japan's laws and regulations concering customs duties and procedures.
The Japan Customs website provides additional information on the subject, as well as the opportunity to contact a customs counselor if you have enquiries regarding customs formalities.
The International Air Transport Association may also be a good source of information concerning freight, cargo, tariff and transportation issues.