Last Updated on February 29, 2024 by Ezra Matiasi

You can bring pre-packaged coffee products, commercially processed coffee, and instant coffee into Japan, as long as they meet packaging and quality standards though all these may be found and supermarkets and stores in Japan.

Quick Summary

  • Regulations: Coffee importation to Japan is regulated by the Plant Protection Act, Food Sanitation Act, and Customs Act. Green Coffee beans undergo quarantine, while roasted beans and processed products require food hygiene management.
  • Customs Regulations: Japan has strict customs rules to protect safety and industries, preventing pests, diseases, and substandard products.
  • Prohibited Products: Freshly roasted beans, and coffee pods are not allowed in Japan to protect agriculture, ensure quality, and promote sustainability.
  • Exceptions: Pre-packaged coffee, commercially processed coffee, and instant coffee can be imported, meeting packaging and quality standards.
  • Guidelines: Know personal import limits, follow packaging and labelling rules, declare accurately, and be ready for customs inspection. Explore Japan’s coffee scene and culture.

Regulations and Procedural Requirements for Importing Coffee to Japan

The importing of coffee is subject primarily to:

  1. The Plant Protection Act
  2. The Food Sanitation Act
  3. The Customs Act

Plant Protection Act

Regional quarantine stations handle quarantine procedures, including testing for pest and weed contamination, for unheated, dried green coffee beans, which are considered fresh produce under the Plant Sanitation Act. These procedures are conducted at airports and ports.

Roasted beans and processed products are not subject to the Plant Protection Law, and are subject only to food hygiene management.

Food sanitation act

Per Notification No. 370 issued by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, which pertains to the “Standards and Criteria for Food and Additives” regulated under the Food Sanitation Act, 

and the standards governing pesticide residues, including feed additives and drugs for animals, coffee is subject to food sanitation procedures.

These procedures involve the assessment of raw ingredient types and specifications, as well as testing for the presence and levels of additives, pesticide residues, mycotoxins, and other relevant substances.

In cases where additives, pesticides, or other contents that are prohibited in Japan exceed approved limits or if mycotoxins exceed allowable levels, import bans may be imposed on food products. 

Consequently, coffee and its derivatives should undergo inspections at the production site before importation.

Should the levels of these substances exceed the limits stipulated by Japanese standards, appropriate guidance should be provided.

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Quarantine Station carries out monitoring activities for green coffee beans according to an annual schedule. 

If any violations of pesticide residue requirements are detected, more frequent screenings are conducted. If violations persist, compulsory testing is enforced, requiring all batches to be tested at the importer’s expense.

As of March 2011, green coffee beans originating from Ethiopia are subject to compulsory testing for γ-BHC (lindane), DDT, heptachlor, or chlordane, which are substances that may potentially be present. Likewise, green coffee beans from Indonesia are tested for carbaryl.

Customs Act

The Customs Business Act requires either the importers themselves or registered customs specialists, including customs brokers, who are qualified to do so, to submit import declarations.

To streamline the entry of goods arriving from a foreign country into Japan, it is essential to submit an import declaration to the Customs office responsible for the bonded area where the goods are stored.

For cargo that requires customs inspection, the appropriate inspections must be conducted before proceeding with any additional procedures. Typically, after paying customs duty, national taxes, and local consumption taxes, the Customs office may grant an import permit.

Japanese Customs and Import Regulations

Japan is a country known for its rich cultural heritage, technological advancements, and of course, its love for coffee.

However, when it comes to bringing coffee into Japan, it’s essential to be aware of the customs and import regulations in place. 

Understanding these regulations will ensure a smooth entry into the country without any hiccups or disappointments.

So, let’s dive into the world of Japanese customs and explore what you need to know about bringing coffee into Japan.

Explanation of Japanese customs regulations

Before we delve into the specifics of coffee importation, it’s crucial to understand the significance of adhering to Japanese customs regulations. 

Japan takes customs regulations seriously to maintain public safety and protect domestic industries. 

These regulations help prevent the introduction of pests, diseases, and substandard products that may harm the environment or local businesses.

Prohibited coffee products in Japan

When it comes to coffee, there are specific items that are prohibited from being brought into Japan.

These include freshly roasted coffee beans, ground coffee, and coffee pods or capsules. Let’s take a closer look at why these restrictions exist:

Freshly roasted coffee beans

Bringing unroasted or freshly roasted coffee beans into Japan is generally prohibited. This restriction aims to prevent the introduction of pests or diseases that could potentially harm the local agricultural industry. 

While it may be disappointing for coffee enthusiasts who enjoy roasting their own beans, this regulation ensures the protection of Japan’s delicate ecosystem.

Ground coffee

Similar to the restriction on freshly roasted beans, ground coffee is not allowed to be brought into Japan. The concern here is maintaining quality control and freshness. 

Ground coffee is susceptible to oxidation and loses its flavour and aroma quickly. By prohibiting ground coffee, Japanese customs ensure that consumers can enjoy the best quality coffee possible.

Coffee pods and capsules

If you’re a fan of single-serve coffee pods or capsules, you can typically bring them to Japan for personal use. However, it’s always a good idea to check the latest regulations regarding food and agricultural products.

Exceptions and limitations

While there are restrictions on certain coffee products, there are exceptions and limitations to consider. Here are some coffee items that you can bring into Japan without any issues:

Pre-packaged coffee products

Pre-packaged coffee products, such as instant coffee or sealed coffee bags, are generally permitted for personal importation. 

These products undergo specific packaging processes that ensure safety and quality standards.

When bringing pre-packaged coffee into Japan, it’s important to check the labelling and packaging to ensure compliance with customs regulations.

Commercially processed coffee products

Commercially processed coffee products, such as canned coffee or packaged coffee drinks, are also allowed to be imported into Japan.

These products go through rigorous manufacturing and quality control processes, ensuring their safety for consumption.

When packing commercially processed coffee, ensure that the packaging is intact and follows the labelling requirements.

Instant coffee

Instant coffee is a popular choice among coffee lovers in Japan. It is widely available and accepted.

So, if you prefer the convenience of instant coffee, you’ll be pleased to know that you can bring it into Japan without any issues.

Instant coffee sachets or jars are perfect for travellers who want to enjoy a quick and easy cup of coffee during their stay.

Guidelines for Bringing Coffee into Japan

Bringing coffee into Japan can be a straightforward process if you understand the guidelines and follow the necessary steps.

Whether you’re a coffee aficionado or simply want to enjoy your favourite brew during your trip, here are some essential guidelines to ensure a smooth experience when bringing coffee into Japan.

Understanding personal import limits

When it comes to bringing coffee into Japan, it’s important to be aware of the personal import limits set by customs.

As of the time of writing, the general rule allows individuals to bring in up to 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of coffee for personal use without incurring additional duties or taxes. 

However, it’s advisable to check the official customs website or contact the embassy/consulate for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding personal import limits.

Packaging and labelling requirements

To comply with customs regulations, it’s essential to pay attention to the packaging and labelling of the coffee products you intend to bring into Japan. Here are a few key considerations:

Ensure the packaging is intact: The coffee products you bring should be securely sealed to prevent any tampering or contamination during transportation.

Check for proper labelling: Look for clear and accurate labelling on the coffee packaging. This includes information such as the product name, ingredients, net weight, country of origin, and any specific instructions or warnings.

Language requirements: Ideally, the labelling should be in Japanese or include a Japanese translation. However, if the packaging is in another language, it’s advisable to carry a printed or digital translation of the necessary information to present to customs if requested.

Declaration and documentation process

When entering Japan, you will be required to declare the coffee products you are bringing.

During the customs process, you may be asked to fill out a customs declaration form, commonly known as the “Customs Declaration (Narcotics and Food)” form. 

It’s important to accurately declare the quantity and type of coffee products you have with you.
In some cases, customs officers may inspect your luggage to verify the declared items.

Therefore, it’s crucial to keep the coffee products easily accessible and presentable if requested.


How much Coffee can I bring into Japan?

Japan allows travellers to bring reasonable amounts of coffee for personal consumption. As a general guideline, it is recommended to bring a quantity that is within a reasonable limit and not for commercial purposes.

Are there any restrictions on bringing coffee into Japan as a gift?

Bringing coffee as a gift is generally allowed. However, if the quantity is excessive or if it appears to be for commercial purposes, it may raise suspicions and could be subject to closer inspection by customs officials.

Do I need to declare the coffee at Japan customs?

If you are carrying a small quantity of coffee for personal use, you usually do not need to declare it at customs. However, if you have a large quantity or if you are unsure about the regulations, it is best to declare it to avoid any issues.

Take Away: Can you bring coffee into Japan?

Bringing coffee into Japan requires a good understanding of the customs and import regulations, to ensure a smooth entry into the country. 

While there are restrictions on certain coffee products like freshly roasted beans and ground coffee. There are still plenty of options available for coffee enthusiasts to enjoy their favourite brews.

In conclusion, while there are restrictions on bringing certain coffee products into Japan, it shouldn’t deter you from experiencing the joy of coffee in this incredible country. 

Embrace the opportunity to explore the local coffee scene, indulge in unique flavours, and immerse yourself in the fascinating world of Japanese coffee culture.

So, pack your favourite coffee products, prepare for an adventure, and get ready to savour the delightful flavours of coffee in the Land of the Rising Sun.

About the Author

Ezra Matiasi

Head Content Writer

Hello! My name is Ezra Matiasi, and I'm the enthusiastic mind behind Travello, a captivating travel blog that takes you on remarkable journeys around the world. With a passion for exploration and a love for sharing captivating stories, I curate the best travel experiences, hidden gems, and breathtaking landscapes. Through vivid descriptions and captivating photographs, Travello aims to inspire wanderlust and help fellow travelers make the most of their adventures. Join me as we embark on exciting virtual voyages and discover the wonders our beautiful planet has to offer. Let's explore the world together, one adventure at a time!

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