Importing Fertilizers or Pesticides

This article details Japanese regulations concerning the import of fertilizers and pesticides. If you would like more information or have any questions regarding these laws, feel free to contact us here.

 

Fertilizers

The import of fertilizers is regulated by the Fertilizer Control Law as shown in the following table.

General Fertilizer1

Ordinary fertilizer

・ Any person who intends to import ordinary fertilizers(except for specified matching fertilizer) in the course of business shall obtain registration(Article 4(3) of the Act) for each brand of such ordinary fertilizers if an official standard is specified, and shall obtain provisional registration (Article 5 of the Law) for ordinary fertilizers for which no official standard is specified. In this case, either (1) a “certificate of registration” or a copy thereof, (2) a “certificate of provisional registration” or a copy thereof, or (3) a “certificate” from the Director-General of the Consumption and Safety Bureau of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to the effect that the fertilizer has been registered, or a copy thereof, is required.

・A person who produces ordinary fertilizers for export to Japan as a business in a foreign country may obtain registration or provisional registration(Article 33-2 of the Law).

In this case, a domestic administrator must be appointed (Paragraph 2 of the same article).

In addition, certain matters must be reported.

The documents required for imports are basically the same as those in (1) through (3) above.

Specified matching fertilizer2

For Specified matching fertilizer, it is necessary to notify the name, etc. of the specified matching fertilizer at least two weeks prior to the start of the import business (Article 16-2 of the Law), and at the time of import, a “certificate” from the Director-General of the Consumption and Safety Bureau of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to the effect that the company is an importer or a copy thereof is required.

Special Fertilizers3

A producer of special fertilizers or an importer of special fertilizers shall notify the prefectural governor having jurisdiction over the location of the place of business where the fertilizer is produced or imported at least two weeks prior to the commencement of the business (Article 22, Paragraph 2 of the Law). At the time of importation, a “certificate” or a copy thereof from the prefectural governor is required.

If the product is a poison, it is necessary to pay attention to the Poisonous and Deleterious Substances Control Law.

Pesticides

The import of pesticides is regulated by the Pesticides Control Law as shown in the following table.

Unregistered pesticides (excluding specified pesticides)

・Importers are required to obtain registration of pesticides.

・However, the importation of pesticides for experimental and research purposes or for use in pest control under the provisions of the Plant Quarantine Law may be carried out without registration4. In this case, it is necessary to submit a request for import of pesticides, obtain an “import confirmation” stamp, and submit and import request or a copy thereof to customs.

・In addition to importing unregistered pesticides, the sale and use of unregistered pesticides is basically prohibited (Articles 18 and 24 of the Law).

 

※An application for registration may be made even by a foreign manufacturer (Article 34 of the Law). However, importers of pesticides registered by foreign manufacturers are required to notify the importer (Article 36 of the Law). In this case, the submission of a “Request for Importation (with an Import Confirmation Stamp)” may be substituted by checking the labeling on the container/packaging of the pesticide (Article 16 of the Law) at customs clearance5.

Specific pesticides6

(sodium bicarbonate, vinegar, natural enemies in the area, ethylene, hypochlorite water)

Importation is possible without registration of the pesticide7.

Registered pesticides

・When importing, it is necessary to submit or present to customs the original or a copy of the registration slip, or a copy of the registration slip that has been certified by the Agricultural Safety Control Division, Consumption and Safety Bureau, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, to the effect that it is consistent with the original8.

・In the case of having a third party import on your behalf, a power of attorney in the prescribed form is also required for customs clearance.

・Notification is required for those who purchase from importers and sell (Law 17).

・When handling pesticides that fall under the category of poisonous or deleterious substances, it is necessary to comply with the Poisonous and Deleterious Substances Control Law.

・In the case of handling pesticides that are designated as hazardous materials, the Fire Service Law must also be observed.

Active ingredients of pesticides (those listed on the import list of pesticides)

In addition to presenting the import list of pesticides, the applicant must submit a written statement to the effect that the bulk pesticide subject to the import declaration corresponds to the bulk pesticide listed on the list9. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries website is a good source of information on the import list of pesticides.

 

Active ingredients of pesticides (not listed on the import list of pesticides)

It is necessary to submit a notification form in the prescribed format in advance, obtain an import confirmation seal, and submit the said notification form at the time of customs clearance10.

If you would like to know more, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries website on “Import and Export of Pesticides” is a good reference.

1 Ordinary fertilizers are those other than special fertilizers.
2 The term “fertilizer” refers to ordinary fertilizers that are blended using only registered ordinary fertilizers as raw materials, as specified by the applicable government ordinance (see Article 4, Paragraph 1 of the same law).
3The term “special fertilizer” refers to rice bran, manure and other fertilizers designated by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Article 2, Paragraph 2 of the said Law). The designation includes simple fertilizers such as rice bran, fish meal, coffee grounds and manure whose quality can be identified by farmers’ experience and five senses, as well as fertilizers such as compost whose quality is diverse and whose value does not depend only on the content of main ingredients, and therefore cannot be uniformly evaluated based only on the quantity of main ingredients.
4See “Ministerial Ordinance Determining Cases Not Requiring Registration under Article 3, Paragraph (1) of the Agricultural Chemicals Control Act“.
5 See Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, “Handling at the time of import customs clearance of agricultural chemicals based on the Agricultural Chemicals Control Law,” 4(3).
6The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Minister of the Environment designate as specified pesticides those that do not pose a risk of harm to humans, livestock, or crops in light of their raw materials, and exclude them from registration. Currently, five types of pesticides are designated: baking soda, vinegar, natural enemies that live in the area, ethylene, and hypochlorite water (limited to that obtained by electrolysis of hydrochloric acid or potassium chloride solution).
7 It appears that the submission of documents for import verification is not required (see 4(3) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ “Handling of Import Customs Clearance of Agricultural Chemicals under the Agricultural Chemicals Control Law”).
8 Import and Export of Agricultural Chemicals” (Notification of the Director-General of the Production Bureau, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, No. 14 Production No. 9525, dated February 28, 2003)
9 Import and Export of Agricultural Chemicals” (Notification of the Director-General of the Production Bureau, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, No. 14 Production No. 9525, dated February 28, 2003)
10 Import and Export of Agricultural Chemicals” (Notification of the Director-General of the Production Bureau, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, No. 14 Production No. 9525, dated February 28, 2003)