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The BIG thread on how to import from Japan



  • Registered Users Posts: 647 ✭✭✭Whatwicklow

    Very recently engaged jdm auction watch and made a purchase. They have a fair reputation for sourcing good machines. That alone was worth any added costs by doing it myself.

    Grade 4/b car due in 4 weeks fsh and a full specification.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11 richie_mc

    When you say very recently what do you mean? What was the total time taken from purchase to arrival to Dublin? @Whatwicklow

  • Registered Users Posts: 647 ✭✭✭Whatwicklow

    Deposit paid on 16/10 and on track for entry to the country on 28/12. So ten and a half weeks.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,554 ✭✭✭✭Muahahaha

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 tag-diamond

    Hello all, plenty of good info here.

    • I am currently going through the process of exporting our car from Tokyo to Dublin via ToR process and sorting the paperwork here in Japan has been fairly straighforward, export licence etc. Now, to register the car (2020 Volvo v60 T5) I need a co2 and nox cert.. this has been hard to find for this exact model.. I found it in the British system but only co2 values in a very obscure xlsx sheet from the  Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport website with nothing related to NOx.. I am considering visiting my Volvo dealer here to request some certificate or such. Any advice? Thanks all

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,353 ✭✭✭User1998

    The Excel sheet is what’s accepted for VRT. Theres also a Nox spreadsheet you need to find.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 tag-diamond

    The spreadsheet that I did find this in is this one:


    item 5.7 001396949.xls

    in ボルボ V60 DBA-ZB420 0301( the model code on my shaken paper) and then 180 in the co2 column looks correct.

    i didn’t find my 0301 in any of the other spreadsheets for some reason, but if that is enough for now then great.

    for nox I only found a table linked to from :


    I take it that table show values that need to be passed etc but can I find model specific details?

    Thanks for the help!

    Post edited by tag-diamond on

  • Registered Users Posts: 11 richie_mc

    How should I go about getting a certificate of Japanese origin to qualify for the lower rate of customs? I'm told it is issued by the Japanese chamber of commerce what's the best way to get the certificate from them does anyone know?

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,675 ✭✭✭Midnight_EG

    That's a deregistration certificate and is given when the car leaves Japan

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,353 ✭✭✭User1998

    That doesn’t qualify you to receive the lower rate of customs in my experience. Low rate of customs is only for Japanese built Jap imports. Any Jap VW or Audi etc that was built in Germany comes with a de registration certificate. I always needed to get an origin statement on the invoice in order to qualify for the lower rate.

    I haven’t imported a Japanese Jap car in a while but my customs broker said its pretty hard to qualify for the lower customs rate these days.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 68 ✭✭dowling06

    Does anyone know you if use the revenue nox-values spreadsheet for a German car?

    Do they also use the VRT calculator when determining the OMSP and the CO2? I'm looking at importing a car and the C02 value is 49 which should be the 7% rate of VRT but it comes out at 9% using the calculator. Stangly the same model in the UK calculator comes out at 7% using the same values but then has a much higher OMSP so it comes out at close in price. In that situation do you just pay the higher rate and then appeal the decision in the hope to get the lower 7% rate?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6 sergiglu

    Hi, I am thinking of imports myself because of those ridicules prices here and Japanese auction prices are tempting.

    I am more interested in a nearly new car. I noticed that prices for 3-6 month olds, grade S or 6 are about 30 % less of new. Anyone could clean me on why? Seems unreal?

  • Registered Users Posts: 726 ✭✭✭murphthesmurf

    Don't forget you have to add on inland shipping to port, auction and other fees, shipping, VAT and customs. Then the dreaded VRT.

    It's not quite that simple. Still some good bargains to be had if you're willing to do the research and wait a few months.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,353 ✭✭✭User1998

    Yeah, I’ve bought cars in Japan auctions for as little as €500 and the total cost ends up being around €5,000.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6 sergiglu

    Yes, at least we know all those imports fees. I am asking why at Japanese action depreciation of nearly new cars is so high?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6 sergiglu


    How your VRT went through?

    It is ok if you do not want to disclose.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6 sergiglu

    Info from Citizeninformation: Before taking your vicle for registration you must register the Certificate of Conformity with Revenue.

    I looked at form, it requires a lot of info about car.

    Anybody has experience for filling it out?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6 sergiglu

    Is Certificate of conformity required only for new vehicles? what is a new car in this case? completely new or less then 6 month of 1st registration or less 6000 km on odometer?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6 sergiglu

    I find the answer myself on NCT web site: Cert of conformity required only if the car was not previously registered.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,008 ✭✭✭eamonnq

    I have done up a spreadsheet that calculates (very roughly, with some guessing involved) and that is roughly the figure that I get to with a car costing 500euro from an auction. Am hoping to buy something that will come in around the 6k mark (including VRT etc.) either from auction or from a dealer in Japan who will look after everything from their end.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,353 ✭✭✭User1998

    Generally speaking in this price bracket if its a commonly imported car you’d probably be better off just buying one here from a private seller, if your in any good at negotiating it could work out just as cheap as going through the 3 months process of importing one yourself.

  • Registered Users Posts: 726 ✭✭✭murphthesmurf

    Still going through appeals process, they don't rush themselves. I got a valuation done up by an automotive engineer, should hopefully get a few grand back.

    As for depreciation, from what I understand maintaining used cars in Japan is expensive. Their NCT process is very strict, and people usually get a garage to prep the car and NCT it.

    Plus with new car prices there being more reasonable, it makes sense for them to buy new/newer.

    In general their cars are much better looked after than ours. My car is a 2012, was a grade 4b at auction. I couldn't find a mark on it at first, only after spending a day polishing it did I find 2 imperfections. The underneath is cleaner than a lot of cars interiors.

    But you still have to be careful what you buy as with any used car from anywhere.

    I used JDM AuctionWatch, they did all the paperwork, shipping, VAT and customs for me. So I can't help you with any of the paperwork side.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,353 ✭✭✭User1998

    What car was it? One of those active hybrid 3 series?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,008 ✭✭✭eamonnq

    Yeah, I am just a bit wary of buying a car privately in that price range as you don't know what you are getting, am in no hurry though but just looking at 2015 Honda Fit from dealers here and they are priced 11-12k, with highish mileage or a bit cheaper with even higher mileage. Seen some selling at very low prices in auctions in Japan (but these are outliers), for as little as €2800 for 2017 with lower mileage, but I work it out as roughly 8k landed with everything paid including VRT, so I might be tempted to stretch the budget to that sort of figure too if I could secure one at the lower end of the Japanese auction prices.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,102 ✭✭✭wassie

    Years ago I imported an Hilux Surf 4 cylinder oil burner. It was a low mileage car, but I ended up doing the turbo on it along with a few other engine issues. Had a Toyota specialist look at it and in his view the engine appeared to have done a hell of a lot of work considering its mileage.

    He had seen similar cases and was of the opinion that even though a lot of jap imports were low mileage, they spend a lot of time going nowhere waiting in traffic, combined with lots of short trips meaning many more cold starts, all of which contribute accelerated wear and tear. Mind you this is probably more attributable to older cars. Newer ones now often designed and built with dedicated start stop systems for efficiency which helps to counter this.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,353 ✭✭✭User1998

    So you’ll buy a car sight unseen from an auction but you won’t buy one here privately after test driving and inspecting the car? That makes no sense

    And you can easily buy a 2015 Honda Fit here privately for €8k, why go through all the hassle of importing?

    And on further inspection you can buy them from dealers here with warranty for as little as €9.5k, not the €12k you claim.

  • Registered Users, Subscribers Posts: 5,786 ✭✭✭hometruths

    I am kind of early stages of considering a Japanese import, as am looking for a petrol estate car, which are rare enough here. I was trying to get a handle on prices in Japan and googleing around most of what I can find is auction listings presented through brokers sites. Are these accurate prices or is their mark up on them from the third party.

    Also prices vary quite a bit for what appear same model/age/mileage etc.

    If I'm just looking to get an idea of prices sold in Japan pre shipping/customs etc does anybody have any recommendations of where to look?

  • Registered Users Posts: 726 ✭✭✭murphthesmurf

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,125 ✭✭✭James Bond Junior

    Do they add much on for themselves or charge a flat fee over the price at auction plus fees?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 589 ✭✭✭NBar

    looking at importing a gr yaris in new year, higher spec etc hoping jdm auction get back to me in 2024 to help me