You may promptly access to the answers of the frequently asked questions as listed below.


1. How can I place order?

You can contact us at 0120 683 683 for arranging a pickup.


2. How can I check the status/location of my shipment?

You can check it on our website www.sf-express.com/jp/en/. Key in the tracking number under "Track and Trace", click "Search", and you will have the information of your shipment. Besides, you can contact us at our hotline 0120 683 683 for inquiry as well. 


3. How can I check the transit time and freight charge of the shipments?

On our website www.sf-express.com/jp/en/ under "Shipping", there is a "Get Transit Time" and "Get Rate", you can check the transit time and freight charge there. Besides, you can contact us at our hotline 0120 683 683 for inquiry as well. 


4. How can I know whether my consignee's address is within S.F.'s service coverage?

Please visit our website www.sf-express.com/jp/en/, go to "Service Coverage" to check. Besides, you can contact us at our hotline 0120 683 683 for inquiry as well. 


5. My shipment is 2kg in weight only. Why am I charged for 5kg?

There is an actual weight and a volumetric weight for each shipment. If the volumetric weight is higher than the actual weight, the freight charge will be calculated based on the volumetric weight. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), for shipments delivered by air, the volumetric weight is calculated by the formula: length×width×height (cm) ÷ 5,000 (cm³/kg).


6. How will you deal with the shipment if it fails to be delivered because the consignee is out-of-reach?

We will make re-delivery attempt or the consignee can follow the instruction of 'Delivery Absence Notice' to arrange free re-delivery. If delivery attempt fails again or the consignee cannot be contacted, we will notify and seek advice from the shipper.


7. Can you call and make an appointment with the consignee before delivery?

Normally we will arrange delivery directly to the delivery address. If there are special circumstances under which you need us to make appointment with the consignee before delivery, please contact us at our hotline 0120 683 683 to make the request. We will try our best to meet your need. 


8. Why does S.F. unpack the shipments to check every time?

S.F. unpacks in order to check the content and quantity of the shipments, which is a responsible act not only to the customers, but also to ensure the safety and timely arrival of the shipments. As some commodities might do harm to other shipments during transportation, or transportation of some commodities is restricted by the government (e.g. explosive or inflammable goods). Under air transport regulations, customs authorities and airport security force will check on all air shipments. If restricted or prohibited items are found, customs authorities will detain or even destroy the shipments. Our act of checking aims to protect customers' interest from avoidable troubles or lost.


9. Do I need to write down the HS code?

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS code, of 6-digit) is an internationally standardized system for naming and classifying trading commodities. According to World Customs Organization, over 200 countries (almost 98% of the world trade volume) apply the HS code, and it is a requirement to provide HS code for shipping to China. Without the information of HS code, it takes longer time for customs clearance. So please write down the HS code of the commodities on the AWB/Commercial Invoice for smooth and timely delivery.


10. What is CR (Customs Registration) code?

CR code is the identification number of a trading company, which is authorized to import and export commodities to and from China. Without CR code, the shipments may be held by customs authorities. Please write down your trading partner's CR code in China as well as the HS code of the commodities on the AWB/Commercial Invoice for smooth and timely delivery.


11. I receive a shipment from China delivered by SF Express. I hear that it goes through import clearance, and I am told that I have to pay duty and tax. Why do I need to clear it for import though it is a personal shipment? 

SF Express delivers customer’s shipment after it is cleared for import into Japan. Every shipment that crosses the border of a country goes through customs clearance. Import clearance has two key roles, i.e., to prevent any prohibited items from entering the country; and to collect duty and tax. Nine Customs Authorities in Japan play these roles. 

International express shipments are cleared by customs brokers on behalf of importers. Customs broker calculates duty by applying duty rate in the published tariff table. This is called “Self Duty Assessment Declarations”. International post including EMS is cleared in a different way called “Customs Officer Duty Assessment”. Customs officer assesses the duty by themselves. “Customs Officer Duty Assessment” is also used to assess the duty imposed on passenger luggage, which many passengers must have experienced. 


12. I am told that my shipment is to be cleared for import. What is import clearance? 

Another key role of customs clearance is to ensure no prohibited items to enter the country. Prohibited items include not only drugs, guns, bombs, explosive powder, chemical weapon, pathogen, child porn etc., but also include shipments that violate patent rights, utility model rights, design copyrights, and any of those consisted of unfair trade practices. Smart phone cases and T-shirts with famous brand logos without required approval are prohibited from import into Japan. Branded goods that the owner demands Customs Authorities to restrict from entering the border are also not allowed to import.


13. What does SF Express have to do with my import shipment clearance?

Shipments from China and other countries via SF Express are cleared for import by the designated customs brokers of SF Express. SF Express may call and collect customers’ information to help the customs broker clear their shipments.


14. I hear that I have to pay duty to receive my shipment. What is duty? Why do I have to pay duty though my shipmentvalue is not much?

Low value goods including samples, personal consumptions, presents, and return shipments are also subject to duty. Duty is calculated by multiplying the published duty rate on the CIF value of the goods. CIF value is FOB value plus freight cost and insurance cost, and duty rate is determined by rules and laws. Regarding duty rates, please refer to 1204 under ‘Customs Answer’on Japan Customs webpage. Duty Free Item Category among low value shipments can also be found from 1001 to 1006. http://www.customs.go.jp/tetsuzuki/c-answer/imtsukan/imtsukancontents_jr.htm 


15. Duty imposed on my JPY 5,600 leather shoes is JPY 4,300.  Why is duty so expensive?

Duty on a pair of leather shoes is either JPY4,300 or 30% of the shoes’ price, between which the higher amount is the tax to be paid. In Japan the maximum duty free allowance is of JPY10, 000 CIF value, but leather shoes are not eligible to the duty free allowance. Please keep in mind that shoes with leather sole are regarded as leather shoes, and leather shoes are subjected to duty.


16. When I bought a business shirt priced at RMB 250 from China, I did not have to pay duty and tax. However I bought a T-shirt priced at RMB 250 this time and had it delivered by SF Express, and I was told to pay duty of JPY 800 and tax of JPY 600.  Why do I have to pay duty and tax this time?

The knitted T-shirt is subjected to 10.9% duty on its CIF value (knitted apparel is not eligible to the duty-free allowance), while the woven business shirt is duty free because its CIF value is below the maximum duty free allowance. Not only duty but also consumption tax (including local consumption tax) are exempted according to relevant laws. Therefore there is a difference in terms of duty and tax, even though the business shirt and the T-shirt are priced the same for RMB 250.

The woven business shirt is valued at RMB 250 (equals to JPY 5,000; exchange rate: RMB 1=JPY 20), and the total of JPY 5,000 and freight cost is below the maximum duty free allowance, i.e. CIF value JPY 10,000, it is therefore dutyfree. The duty of the T-shirt can be calculated by the CIF value of the T-shirt multiples 10.9%, which results in JPY 800. The total of the declared value and the duty of the T-shirt multiples 8% (the consumption tax rate), then comes out the consumption tax of JPY 600. (To be precise, the sum of T-shirt price and duty multiplied by 6.3%, then round off the last two digits to get national consumption tax. The national consumption tax multiplied by 17/63 and then rounded off the last two digits gives the local consumption tax. The sum of national and local consumption tax gives the consumption tax.) So, it is important to clearly indicate the fabric of clothing. 


17. There was tax occurred in China during customs clearance.  I want to check the tax amount, is there any good way?  And can I get tax certificate?

If it’s simplified customs clearance within 2 months, you can check the tax occurred in China side from this link: www.sf-express.com/jp/ja/news/Guideline-of-Enquiring-Duties-of-Shipments-Imported-to-China/. We can provide tax details within 2 months. Please contact SF International CS hotline at 9533883 for more details.


18. Is there anything I should be aware of if I send shipments to China?

For sending shipments to China, please refer to Q&A for shipments to Mainland China (in Japanese),and Important Notes on Customs Clearance (Chinese Mainland) for Personal Shipments for detailed information.