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Tax Free Shopping in Japan

Tips and guidelines for shopping tax free in Japan

view of tokyo skyline at sunset japan

Standard VAT rate: 8%

Who is eligible for Tax Free Shopping?

Non-residents who purchased the goods themselves (not via an agent or a proxy)
Non-residents means:
1. Foreign residents who do not live in Japan and who have been in Japan for less than six months. (Any date of re-entry is not relevant.)
2. Japanese people who have lived overseas for more than two years and who are visiting temporarily for a period of less than six months.

Tax free application period

A tax refund application can only be made during business hours on the day of purchase, in the store where the purchase was made.
Retrospective applications are not possible.

Tax free goods

1. General goods: watches, bags, household goods
2. Consumable goods: cosmetics, food, alcoholic beverages

- Items purchased for personal use (not for commercial purposes)
- Goods that will be taken home on the return trip (within less than six months of your entry to Japan for general goods and within 30 days of purchase for consumable goods)

Required purchase values

1. General goods: more than ¥5,400 including tax
2. Consumable goods: ¥5,400 to ¥540,000 including tax
3. Consumable goods plus general goods: ¥5,400 to ¥540,000 including tax

The purchase prices of general goods can be totalled; those of consumable goods can also be totalled. Customers can combine their general goods and consumable goods purchase amounts.
If the purchase amounts for general goods and consumable goods are combined, all the goods must be taken out of the country within 30 days.

Refund method

Cash (¥) or credit card.


Consumable goods:

1. Must be packed according to national government regulations
2. Must not be opened before leaving Japan

These requirements also apply to a combination of general goods and consumable goods.
Consumption tax will be charged if the goods are consumed (used) in Japan.

Items to present

Purchasers (no agents or proxies) are required to present:

1. Their passport or crew member’s landing permit
- Copies are not acceptable. The passport must have an immigration stamp.
- Japanese who live abroad must submit an overseas resident visa and an ID card.
- A proof of tax free purchasing will be attached to your passport.
- Submit this to customs when leaving Japan.

2. Goods purchased (on the day the goods were purchased only)

3. The purchase receipt(s)
- Handwritten and automatic issue receipts are not acceptable.
- Receipts with different sales dates cannot be used.

4. Credit card
- This must be presented if the credit card was used to purchase the goods.
- The names on the passport and credit card must match.
- Corporate cards are not acceptable.

New virtual queuing app

Enjoy faster tax refunds when you shop in Japan when you download the new Lineberty app, available in partnership with Global Blue. See more details here

If you have any questions

For frequently asked questions visit

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