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Japan is one of the countries with very strict regulations on food safety and hygiene in the world, in order to prepare the necessary conditions for the export of yellow lemon fruits to Japan market, businesses and yellow lemon farmers who are interested in exporting should prepare the following contents:

1. Assessment of suitability to the climate, soil, growing conditions in terms of fruit form, weight, size, composition to meet Japanese requirements of import standards and regulations as well as Japanese consumers.

Note: Japanese consumers often believe that domestic food processing or production is safer or of higher quality than foreign food processing or production, even some people believe that imported American products are generally unsafe, contain pesticide residues/ artificial chemicals/ synthetic chemicals/ hormone, genetically modified or using biotech.

2. Determine whether the import of yellow lemon fruits in fresh form into Japan is allowed under the current Japanese regulations.

3. Identify target markets for your products specifically in Japan (note that the logistics costs in Japan are significant) and find out needs of similar products there by conducting market research, visiting Japan or attending trade shows.

4. Ensure Japanese importers' confidence to your products in terms of product availability, price stability, high quality, product uniformity, delivery conditions, attractive designs and assurance of food safety. To avoid disruptions because of supplying, Japanese buyers have to look for other alternative sources; In particular, large food processors and retailers in Japan are increasingly buying large quantities of their goods and products directly from US exporters.

5. Ensure sufficient financial and non-financial resources (such as human and time resources) to actively support the export of products, as high costs for logistics, product adjustments, marketing and promotions can be making it difficult to convey product information to end-consumers in Japan.

6. Determine your products' comparative advantages compared with those of other suppliers entering Japan market. Japan is a fiercely competitive market, so potential partners need to be convinced in many aspects of the product.

7. Be aware that the units of measure used in Japan under the Law of Measurement and the transaction price are CIF, unless your buyers specifically require the transaction price to be FOB.

8. Be aware of major Japanese holidays such as New Year's holiday (from December 30 to January 3); Gold Week, combining national holidays (April 29 to May 5); and Obon, a week-long ancestral memorial period in mid-August, when many businesses are closed and all workers are on leave. The fiscal year in Japan is from April 1.

9. Japanese enterprises tend to look for overseas production and processing options with lower costs in order to maintain their competitiveness. Therefore, building relationships with local partners (e.g. traders, first and second tiered wholesalers, and processors) is an important first step.

10. Ensure the knowledge required to send goods or products abroad, being able to identify and select customs agents, manage shipping conditions such as temperature, pressure and export payment mechanisms (e.g. letter of credit). Generally, trading enterprises and customs agents can provide services such as preparation of orders and delivery documents, customs clearance, warehouse, distribution,...

Necessary Contacts:

Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)

Free Trade & Investment Advisory Service

Address: Ark Mori Building, 6F, 1-12-32, Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

Phone number (English and Japanese): (011-81-3) 3582-5651

Contact: From Monday to Friday

From 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

Manufactured Imports and Investment Promotion Organization (MIPRO)

Address: World Import Mart Building, 6F, 3-1-3, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

Phone number (English and Japanese): (011-81-3) 3989-5151

Contact: From Monday to Friday

From 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM.