Things to know before importing used cars from Japan (sponsored)


Nowadays, the number of people purchasing Japanese used vehicles directly has increased. Generally, a cheap vehicle in good condition can be found through a website managed by a Japanese seller. People planning to purchase for the first time are often unaware of important things to pay attention to, so here is a 5-point essential checklist to follow before purchasing a vehicle.

1. Price
Verify the total value of the CIF shown on the website plus the necessary costs you will incur after the vehicle has arrived, in order to understand what your total costs will be.

The costs are as described below.
CIF: Price including FOB, freight, and insurance cost)
FOB: Cost of vehicle
Freight: Cost to ship the vehicle from Japan to the closest port
Insurance: Cost of warranty to cover risks during the shipment of the vehicle
Inspection before shipment: Cost of inspection required from Zambian government

Costs to be paid after the vehicle arrives
Customs clearance cost: Cost to make customs clearance of the vehicle at the port or country border.
Transportation cost: Cost to transport the vehicle from the port to the closest city.
Customs duties: Duties to be paid to import a vehicle.

2. Supplier
Not receiving a vehicle you have paid for can be a significant concern, so checking if the seller company is reliable is very important. If you know of someone who has already purchased from this company, get information from this person. Checking the “Customers Voice” on the seller’s website probably can be a way to have a reference.

3. Customs Duties
Visit the Zambian Revenue Authority’s website ( and verify the import duties to purchase a vehicle. The payment has to be made before importing the vehicle to Zambia.

4. Inspection before shipment
The Zambian government requires JEVIC (i.e. Japan Export Vehicle Inspection Center) inspection before shipment to Zambia. Vehicles that are not inspected before being imported are subject to penalties at the Zambia Bureau of Standards.

5. Customs clearance / Inland transportation
After the vehicle arrives at the port, it has to be cleared by customs. Usually a clearing agent, such as the one listed below, is requested to do this work.
Mr. Mwika Sea & Air (T) Limited
Masasi Street Uhuru Road adjacent Annex Hotel Kariakoo, 1st Floor Room no.3, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
[email protected]

The clearing agents arrange customs clearance and inland transportation. Customs clearance and inland transportation from Dar es Salaam to Lusaka costs approximately $1,200 – 1,500 per vehicle and takes approximately 12 days. After payment, the time required for delivery from Japan to Tanzania is approximately 40 days, with delivery time of approximately 50 days required from Japan to Lusaka. It is possible to receive the vehicle in a requested city, without going to Tanzania.

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