How to import Japanese used cars & trucks to the Philippines

The Japanese car industry is ever-booming because it manages to serve many other countries with top-quality and reliable vehicles at a reasonable cost. It is easy for customers from Kenya, South Africa, Russia, New Zealand, and the Philippines, to get the desired used vehicles (cars or trucks) from Japan. In fact, you will find many car exporters from Japan who make the exporting process easy, faster, and smoother than usual.

Buying the Japanese used car or truck has many benefits. You get immense value from a high-performance vehicle at a fraction of the cost. The assured quality of the vehicles makes certain that new buyers get a great vehicle at a bargain price. Importing used vehicles from Japan to the Philippines too is easy just you need to follow specific rules and regulations.

So, in this guide, we will highlight the criterion you must meet and also explain the whole process of importing the vehicle in detail. Further down, you will also find some tips on how to avoid used car fraud.

First, let’s talk about Japan used automobile import duty and regulation in the Philippines.

1- Year restrictions:

As per the rules and regulations, there is no age restriction when it comes to importing a used car or truck. However, only used vehicles that were registered six months or more prior to shipment are allowed to get imported to the Philippines.

Similarly, to bring your car between 0-3 years old, you have to own it for six months before submitting your application to the Bureau of Import Services (BIS). And car from 3-5 years requires minimum 1-year ownership.

2- Destination port:

For import of used cars and trucks from Japan, there are three common ports where the buyer can receive his vehicle; these are Port Irene, Manila, and Subic Bay.

3- Car make and type:

The Philippines has no restriction on what the model of truck or car should be. Still, only left-hand drive vehicles are allowed because the Philippines law strictly prohibits importing right-handed vehicles under Republic Act No. 8506.

4- Required documentation:

During the customs clearance you will need all the documents as mentioned below:

  • Surety bond
  • Original passport
  • Original bill of sale
  • Certification of arrival
  • Deed of sale or commercial invoice
  • Original registration and Proof of Registration
  • Stencils of chassis/engine numbers
  • Import Permit that is issued by the department of trade.  

Four reasons that can stop the used car or truck import to the Philippines are:

  • The car is over five years old.
  • The car or truck is right-hand drive.
  • The car’s weight exceeds 3000 kgs.
  • If you are only importing one car per family

Consider these three things to be protected against used car fraud.

1- Verify the Information:

As a buyer of used car from Japan, make sure to obtain and verify all the information regarding the dealer like the name, address, phone number, years in the field. You can also ask for a police verification certificate and registration to attain extra peace of mind. 

Furthermore, there are few online applications like JETRO, JUMVEA to judge the goodwill of the exporter.

2- Select a car or truck, and check details:

Once you select the car or truck you desire, make sure to take a proper look at the images of the vehicle from all the angles. Inspect the (VIN) Vehicle Identification Number and car inspection sheet. You can also request a copy of the vehicle's title and make sure to purchase the vehicle's history report. These all the details will assure you that your purchase is worth the investment.

3- Inspect the car or truck:

Before you make your final transaction, make sure to inspect the vehicle thoroughly inside and out. During vehicle inspection, all the imperfections will be checked and rectified. You can work with organizations like JAAI, JOCI, JEVIC, Intertek to perform quality inspection on a used vehicle before it gets imported.

In case your exporter does not permit the inspection, then immediately look for another reliable exporter.

What are the importing methods?

Two options get used to ship a car or truck across countries, and these are:

1- RO/RO (roll-on, roll-off ferry):

RO/RO (roll-on, roll-off ferry) is a standard option for people who are trying to import their car or truck into the Philippine because it is cheap. While this method saves you some dollars, it can be quite disadvantageous because your vehicle directly gets exposed to nature’s weather, ship crew, and other passengers. 

2- Container:

The container is a highly recommended option because you can attain a peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is securely tucked away in a metal box. Thus, no damage from any potential element. This works well for heavy trucks too.

Bottom line

It is important to note that the process can be lengthy and tedious based on the car importer to choose. So, ensure using the tips mentioned in the car fraud section to hire the right and reliable car exporter. 

We hope this blog post was able to give you an insight on the importation process of Japanese used cars and trucks to the Philippines. It is an elaborate process with extensive documentation needed at both the Philippines and Japan ports. It is wise to get on-board an experienced agency like Bizupon who can handle the documentation, shipment, and delivery of the used car and trucks to the nearest Philippines port.

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