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Import Process: Documents

Bill of Lading

Bill of Lading or "BL" for short, is a type of document that is used to acknowledge the receipt of a shipment of goods. A transportation company or carrier issues this document to the shipper. In addition to acknowledging the receipt of goods, a Bill of lading indicates the particular vessel on which the goods have been placed, their intended destination and the terms for transporting the shipment to its final destination.

In order to receive the goods, in this case a vehicle, the Bill of Lading must be presented to Port Authorities.


The de-registration certificate is issued by Japanese authorities to the owner of the vehicle. This document is very important for the holder of the vehicle as it proves the ownership and enables the holder to re-sell the vehicle or, in case of a car exporting company, to export it. Most information on De-Registration Certificates is in Japanese and contains information about the vehicle such as dimensions, chassis number, engine displacement, remarks on previous inspections as well as seals/stamps. Newer certificates also have Q-R codes with certificate ID.

See Example image below

Deregistration certificate

Export Certificate

Should the car exporter decides to export the vehicle out of Japan, an Export Certificate is issued to the exporter. This document contains very similar information about the vehicle but provides relevant descriptions in English. Additionally, on the Export Certificate, you will find an entry stating the last owner of the vehicle.

Important: A car exporting company will not be able to export a vehicle without a valid De-Registration Certificate.


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2S Murakami BLD.
3-29-3 Tsutsui Higashi-ku, Nagoya
Japan 461-0003
Tel No: +81-(0)52-936-0080
Fax No: +81-(0)52-308-6717

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