Distribution and Logistics Industry

On this page:
  • Consigned Freight Forwarding
  • Warehousing
  • International Removals Business

Consigned Freight Forwarding

Consigned freight forwarding is when a business operator known as an “actual forwarding business operator” carries out the transportation of goods using their own facilities (ships, trucks etc), meeting the demands of a client (consignor) in exchange for a fee.

What permits do I need?

Put simply, Consigned Freight Forwarding Licenses are divided as follows. Category 1: Delivery between transportation hubs Category 2: Door to door delivery In other words, those delivering goods between transportation hubs such as airports or marine ports will need a Category 1 license, whereas those delivery goods from their original point of dispatch all the way to the customer who has ordered them will need a Category 2 license.

Requirements for Category 1 and 2 Permits

N.B. These are general requirements and do not necessarily reflect the reality of what may be needed for your specific application. While category 1 and 2 permits are designed for different kinds of business, the requirements for both are in fact the same.
  1. Facilities:

  • Ownership and the legal right to use premises appropriate for the carrying out of your business.
  • The legal right to use any storage facilities in your possession.
  • Compliance with the City Planning Act in relation both to the main facilities and any storage facilities.
  • Appropriate scale and structure of any storage facilities.
  1. Finance:

  • Net assets of over ¥3m.※Exclusion criteria:
  • Having finished 1 year or more of imprisonment with hard labor or another jail service of 1 year or more within the last 2 years.
  • Having had either a Category 1 or 2 Consigned Freight Forwarding Industry License revoked within the last 2 years.
  • Having committed unlawful or unfair conduct within the consigned freight forwarding industry within the last two years.
  • Being a corporate body in which any one of the above applies to 1 or more executive member.

Penalties for Unlicensed Operations

Failure to register for a permit while carrying out logistics industry business as described above is punishable as follows.
  • Category 1: Up to 1 year imprisonment with hard labor or over ¥1m in fines.
  • Category 2: Up to 3 years’ imprisonment with hard labor or over ¥3m in fines.
*Note: Definition of Foreign Operators in the Consigned Freight Forwarding Industry A foreign operator is defined as falling into one of the following categories:
  1. A person who does not hold Japanese nationality.
  2. A foreign nation, foreign public body or any equivalent organization.
  3. Any other organization not established according to Japanese laws and ordinances.
  4. A corporate body in which the representative director falls into one of the above categories, or else in which one third or more of the executives or executive right holders are described by one or more of the above categories.


Requirements for Warehousing Licenses

When making an application for a warehousing license, you must meet the following requirements. N.B. These are general requirements and do not necessarily reflect the reality of what may be needed for your specific application.
  1. Carrying out warehousing in an area other than the following:
  • ・Residential areas (excluding quasi-residential areas).
  • ・An urbanization control area without permission for development activities. ※For details about specific areas, please check with the local development authorities.
  1. Having facilities and equipment which meet warehousing standards.
  • Any facilities must comply with the Building Standards Act and also be approved for use as warehousing facilities.
  • Facilities must meet requirements for fire, flood, damp protection and more as outlined in the relevant laws (the Building Standards Act, First Services Act etc).
3. Having a designated Warehouse Management Chief, with:
  • ・Two years or more of supervisional experience in the warehousing industry.
  • ・ Three years or more of operational experience in the warehousing industry.
  • ・Completion of a warehousing course run by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

Our Support Services

Below is a summary of our warehousing support services. For more details, please contact us.
Support Service Details
New application for warehousing license
Registration of change Change in facilities, e.g. new construction, new purchase/rent, change to private facilities/other new facilities, dismantling and reconstruction, extension, reduction, change to major structure such as walls, change in type of facilities.
Notification of transfer of operations Necessary when responsibility for all or part of operations are transferred to another person.
Notification of corporate merger Necessary when a merger occurs in which the new corporate body carries out all or part of operations.
Notification of division of a company Necessary when a merger occurs in which a company continues all or part of operations.
Notification of succession Necessary when an operator passes away and a successor continues operations on their behalf.
Notification of discontinuation of operations Necessary when all or part of operations are discontinued.
Certification of high quality storage room
Notification of change in certified high quality storage room
Notification of discontinuation of certified high quality storage room
Notification of change in fees Necessary in case of alteration of storage fees, loading and unloading fees etc.
Notification of appointment of an executive Necessary when a new executive is appointment or another change in executives occurs.
Notification of accident We provide support for notifications in the event of the following accidents: ① Warehouse fire resulting in casualties or death. ② Industrial accident resulting in death. ③ Leak of dangerous goods. ④ Incidents such as the following in which it is possible that the societal impact will be reported in the press. ・Warehouse fire (excluding those resulting in casualties or death). ・Damage to storage facilities which has caused/may cause harm to goods. ・Theft of goods.
End of term report of conditions of use of facilities Carried out quarterly.
Report of flow and balance of storage goods Carried out quarterly.

International Removals Business

With globalization creating ever-increasing demand for international removals services, you may already be considering starting or expanding your business in Japan. In Japan, international removals service companies generally need a Consigned Freight Forwarding license (detailed above) to carry out a door-to-door removals service either for those already in Japan or for those moving here from overseas. For more information on Consigned Freight Forwarding licenses, please see the information above. For personalized consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thinking of Doing Business in Japan?

At Support Gyoseishoshi Law Firm, we can provide All Inclusive Support to help you along every step of the way, from acquiring the necessary visas for you and your employees, starting up your company and obtaining the necessary licenses for your business. Contact us today for free consultation! *Please be aware that the contents of this site are naturally subject to change, meaning that we cannot guarantee their accuracy at the point of access.* *For up-to-date information, please contact us directly.*  

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