Last Updated on September 5, 2023 by Ezra Matiasi

If you’re a tea enthusiast planning a trip to Japan or considering sending tea to the Land of the Rising Sun, you may be wondering, “Can I Bring Tea into Japan?

Yes, you can bring tea into Japan, but there are specific regulations and guidelines you need to follow to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience.

Key points

  1. Understand Japan’s strict import regulations: Japan has stringent regulations in place to protect its ecosystem and agricultural industry.
  1. Know which tea categories are allowed: Green tea, black tea, and herbal tea are generally accepted, but certain categories may have restrictions.
  1. Familiarize yourself with the quarantine process: Expect inspections and be prepared for potential delays in the importation process.
  1. Ensure proper customs declarations and documentation: Accurate declarations and the right paperwork are essential to compliance.
  1. Avoid prohibited tea items: Be aware of banned or restricted tea products to prevent legal issues.

Understanding Japan’s Strict Import Regulations

Japan’s stringent import regulations are a testament to the country’s commitment to safeguarding its unique environment and maintaining the integrity of its agricultural industry. 

These regulations serve to protect against the introduction of harmful pests, diseases, and contaminants, ensuring the safety of Japan’s domestic crops and ecosystems.

Here, we’ll take a closer look at why Japan enforces such strict import regulations:


Japan’s geographic isolation has shielded it from many pests and diseases that plague other regions. 

To maintain this biosecurity, the country has put stringent measures in place to prevent the introduction of new threats. 

This is particularly vital for an island nation like Japan, where any invasive species or diseases could have devastating consequences for agriculture and the environment.

Quality Control

Japan takes great pride in the quality of its agricultural products, including tea.

By regulating imports, the government can ensure that the products available to consumers meet its high standards. 

This quality control extends to tea, where Japanese consumers expect exceptional quality and safety.

Protection of Local Industry

The strict regulations also serve to protect Japan’s domestic tea industry. 

By limiting the influx of foreign tea, the government aims to maintain the competitiveness and sustainability of local tea producers.

Tea Categories Allowed into Japan

Japan welcomes tea enthusiasts and travellers who wish to bring tea into the country, but it’s essential to know which types of tea are generally allowed without significant restrictions. 

Japan’s love for tea extends to various tea varieties, and you’ll find that most common types are readily accepted. 

Here, we’ll outline the categories of tea that you can typically bring into Japan with ease:

Green Tea

Green tea is at the heart of Japanese tea culture. Japan produces a wide range of green teas, from sencha to matcha, and you can freely bring these teas into the country. 

In fact, enjoying authentic Japanese green tea in its homeland is a delightful experience for any tea lover.

Black Tea 

Black tea, although not as commonly consumed in Japan as green tea, is generally allowed for import. 

This includes classic black teas like Earl Grey or Darjeeling.

Herbal Tea 

Herbal teas made from various plants, flowers, and herbs are also typically allowed. 

These teas can offer a unique and diverse tea-drinking experience.

When bringing any of these tea categories into Japan, it’s essential to ensure that they are commercially packaged and properly labelled. 

Proper packaging helps prevent contamination and guarantees that the tea meets Japan’s quality and safety standards.

Tea Categories with Restrictions

While Japan welcomes many types of tea, there are certain categories that may have specific restrictions or considerations when it comes to importation. 

These restrictions are in place to ensure the safety and quality of the teas available in Japan. Here are some tea categories that you should be aware of:

Flavored Teas 

Teas that have been flavoured with additives like fruits, flowers, or spices may be subject to additional scrutiny. 

The presence of foreign ingredients could necessitate extra documentation or inspections to verify that the additives meet Japan’s standards.

Medicinal or Herbal Teas 

Teas that are marketed for medicinal or therapeutic purposes may require special approval or documentation. 

It’s essential to research and ensure that any health claims or ingredients are in compliance with Japanese regulations.

Tea with Additives 

Teas that contain additives such as sweeteners or artificial flavourings may face stricter scrutiny. 

Always check the ingredient list and be prepared to provide information about any additives when importing such teas.

The Quarantine Process When Bringing Tea Into Japan

When bringing tea into Japan, it’s essential to understand the quarantine process, which is in place to safeguard the country’s agricultural and environmental integrity. 

Japan’s Animal and Plant Quarantine Service (APQS) plays a pivotal role in this process, ensuring that imported goods, including tea, meet the necessary biosecurity requirements.

Here’s what you need to know about the quarantine process for tea importation into Japan:

  • Inspection and Screening:

    Upon arrival in Japan, your tea products may be subject to inspection and screening by APQS officials.

    They will check for any potential pests, diseases, or contaminants that could pose a threat to Japan’s agricultural sector and ecosystems.
  • Declaration and Documentation: 

    It’s crucial to be transparent and honest in your customs declaration regarding the tea products you are bringing into Japan. 

    Make sure you accurately declare the quantity and type of tea you have, as providing false information can lead to penalties.
  • Quarantine Fees:

    Depending on the inspection results, you may be required to pay quarantine fees. 

    These fees cover the cost of inspections and any necessary treatments to ensure your tea products meet Japan’s biosecurity standards.
  • Potential Delays:

    Be prepared for potential delays in the importation process due to inspections and quarantine procedures.

    Plan your travel or tea deliveries accordingly to account for these potential delays.

Japan Customs Declarations and Documentation

When it comes to bringing tea into Japan, accurate customs declarations and proper documentation are key to ensuring compliance with the country’s import regulations. 

Failing to provide the necessary paperwork or provide truthful information can lead to delays, fines, or even confiscation of your tea products. 

Here’s what you need to know about customs declarations and documentation:

  • Certificate of Origin: 

    It’s essential to have a Certificate of Origin for your tea products. 

    This document indicates where the tea was produced and helps authorities verify its source. 

    Ensure that this certificate is accurate and matches the information on your tea packaging.
  • Phytosanitary Certificate: 

    A Phytosanitary Certificate may be required, especially if you’re importing tea that has undergone specific treatments or processing. 

    This certificate attests to the plant health status of the tea and confirms that it complies with Japan’s phytosanitary requirements.
  • Invoice and Purchase Receipt:

    Keep your purchase receipts and invoices readily accessible. 

    These documents should clearly state the quantity, type, and value of the tea products you’re bringing into Japan.

Conclusion On Can Can You Bring Tea Into Japan

In conclusion, the question “Can I Bring Tea into Japan?” has a clear answer: yes, you can. 

However, it’s essential to navigate the process with care and respect for Japan’s strict import regulations. 

Japan’s love for tea is deeply rooted in its culture, and these regulations are in place to safeguard its environment, agriculture, and public health.

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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