Regulations on Importing Cosmetics

The processes for importing cosmetics into Japan differs depending on if the  import is for business purposes or not.

1 Imports for business purposes

When importing cosmetics as a business and selling them in Japan, the process is as follows:

  1. The business operator conducting the importation needs a manufacturing and sales license.
  2. For those who intend to manufacture pharmaceuticals and quasi-drugs imported into Japan from foreign countries, a foreign manufacturer’s authorization is required for each manufacturing site.
  3. Certification as a foreign manufacturer is required for those who intend to manufacture cosmetics to be imported into Japan from abroad.
  4. If there is a business operator that manufactures label replacement, in Japan, a manufacturing license is required.
  5. While approval is required for the manufacture and sale of cosmetics containing undisclosed ingredients on a product-by-product basis, notification of manufacture and sale is required for cosmetics that do not contain such ingredients on a product-by-product basis.
  6. Manufacturers and sellers are required to notify and publicize the information contained in the attached documents. 

2 Imports for non-business purposes

Import confirmation is required for imports for non-business purposes.  However, import verification is not required for up to 24 units (120 units for cosmetics weighing 60 grams or less per unit or 60 ml or less per unit). You can find more information on the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare website.

3 Prohibition of imports

The import of illicit cosmetics is prohibited.


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