Importing a Vehicle

  1. Searching for Your Vehicle
  2. Enquire
  3. Pay
  4. Shipping
  5. Receive your Vehicle

4. Vehicle Shipped (Look for a Clearing Agent)

After the vehicle has been shipped, the seller will send you documents that prove that the vehicle has actually been shipped, and these document will be used while clearing the vehicle at your port (Bill of Lading). Normally these documents will reach you within two weeks after the ship has left Japan.

Once you receive the document, it good you start contacting a clearing agent so that you start clearing processes before the ship arrives. This will enable the vehicle to be cleared soon after arrival.

Note the following:

  1. Look for a trustworthy Clearing & Forwarding (C&F) agent you will pay to clear the vehicle from the port. Look for a reputable company. Many of those claiming to be clearing agents are not trustworthy. They will do anything to get money off you. Someother times they will collaborate with unsrupulous TRA officials or port officials to do this.
  2. Do not be convinced by you C&F agent to forge your documents for the purpose of reducing tax payable. You may find yourself paying more if the fogery is detected than you would have paid normally.
  3. For every payment claimed by your agent, ask for a valid receipt. Tell your C&F agent from the begining that you will need to see a valid receipt for every payment you make. And since receipts can be forged, make arrangements to verify their authenticity. Some agents are not trustworthy. They come up with fake charges just to get more money from you.
    Once you notice your agents calls you all the time with new charges, mara document zimekwama, you should be worried!
  4. Uplift! TRA could raise your CIF if they suspect that the price you paid is more than what you are telling them, or when they discover that your documents are forged.
    • Ensure that you have access to all documents that prove the authenticity of the CIF price. These include email correspondence with your seller, bank slip, proforma invoice, invoice, etc. Also, if they inform you that your CIF price has been uplifted, ask they what they would like to see as a proof of your CIF price. Someone reported that, after asking as such, he was told what to bring, and once he brought in whatever they asked, his CIF price was accepted.
    • If the vehicle was gift to you, or you do not have documents showing its price, be prepared for TRA estimates that may be much higher than you expect. Its sad, but many find it easier to bribe them in this case, other than argue with them.

While waiting for your vehicle, use this time to prepare some parking space. It takes 5 to 6 weeks for the ship to arrive.

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