How to Import Himalayan Yak Chews into Japan

At Dog Chew Nepal, we’ve been exporting our high-quality Himalayan chews for over a year. We read reams of documentation material, made a lot of mistakes, wasted a lot  of time and finally learned the right way to export yak chews from Nepal. 

This guide is tailored for wholesale buyers, private labels pet treats, pet industry brands, importers and retailers in Japan who are interested in importing Himalayan yak chews from Nepal. It covers the critical steps and information needed to successfully bring these products into Japan, including understanding regulations, maintaining quality, handling shipping, and navigating the market.

Regulatory Compliance for Importing Pet Products into Japan

Japan’s Food Safety and Sanitation Laws

Japan has strict regulations to ensure that all imported food products, including pet treats such as yak chews, meet high-quality standards. Here’s what’s relevant for importing yak chews:

  • Food Sanitation Law: This law ensures that imported food products, including pet treats, are safe and free from harmful substances. Key requirements include:
    • Safety Standards: Products must not contain harmful substances or be contaminated.
    • Labeling: Clear labeling in Japanese is required, including product name, ingredients, allergens, net content, and country of origin.
    • Import Notification: Importers must submit a notification to the quarantine station at the port of entry before the product enters the Japanese market. This ensures that the yak chews comply with Japan’s food safety standards.
  • Japan Agricultural Standards Law: This law sets the rules for agricultural products, including pet treats like yak chews. Products must meet specific standards for quality, composition, and labeling to be sold in Japan. 

Import Notification and Quarantine Procedures

Before you can bring yak chews into Japan, you must follow these steps:

  • Import Notification: Submit this notification to the quarantine station at the port of entry before the product enters the market. This step ensures that your yak chews are examined and meet Japan’s import standards.
  • FAINS System: Use this online system for submitting import notifications. It simplifies the process and ensures that all necessary information is correctly submitted.
  • Quarantine and Inspection: This step is mandatory for animal products, including yak chews. Your products will be inspected to ensure they are free from contaminants and safe for consumption.
  • Inspection Process: This involves product sampling, monitoring tests, and administrative assessments to ensure the imported yak chews meet all relevant standards.
  • Certificate of Notification: Issued after clearing quarantine, this certificate allows for customs clearance.

Animal Product Import Regulations

Products derived from animals, like yak chews, have specific regulations:

  • Animal Quarantine: Required for products derived from cloven-hoofed animals. This ensures that the imported products are free from diseases and meet safety standards.
  • Health Sanitary Certificate & Test Report : Must be government-issued from the exporting country. This certificate verifies that the products meet the safety standards required by Japanese authorities.
  • Compliance with Japanese Standards: Yak chews must meet Japanese quality and safety standards to be allowed into the market.

Quality Standards and Certifications for Yak Chews

Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS)

The Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS) provide guidelines to ensure quality and safety:

  • General JAS: Applied to foods and forestry products for quality, composition, and specification.
  • Organic JAS: For products labeled as “organic.”
  • Specific JAS: For products produced by unique methods.
  • Testing-Method JAS: For test reports analyzed by JAS methods.
  • JAS Certification: Allows the use of the JAS mark on products.
  • Contact Information: Reach out to the Standards and Conformity Assessment Policy Office for inquiries.

Pet Food Safety Law

The Pet Food Safety Law ensures that pet food products are safe and properly labeled:

  • Production Methods and Labeling: Standards set by the Ministry of the Environment (MoE) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).
  • Maximum Residue Limits: For substances like aflatoxin B1 and certain pesticides.
  • Additional Standards: For mycotoxins, heavy metals, and other additives.
  • Compliance: Ensure yak chews meet these quality standards.

Labeling and Packaging Requirements for Pet Food Imports

Japanese Labeling Regulations

Proper labeling is crucial for compliance:

  • Label Information: Must include product name, ingredients, allergens, net content, and country of origin in Japanese.
  • Pet Food Safety Law Requirements: Accurate ingredient information and compositional specifications.
  • Specific Labeling for Pet Products: Must include ingredients, nutritional analysis, and product name.

Packaging and Temperature Control

Maintaining product integrity during transport is essential:

  • Specialized Packaging: Keeps the yak chews in good condition during transport.
  • Temperature Control: Essential for preserving the quality of yak chews when importing by a refrigerated container.

Shipping and Logistics for Importing Yak Chews into Japan

Transportation Methods

Choosing the right transportation method depends on various factors:

  • Ocean Freight vs. Air Freight: Consider cost, speed, and product fragility when choosing between these methods.
  • Storage Conditions: Ensure proper conditions to maintain product quality during transit.
  • For smaller shipments, air freight is the best option. 
  • The refrigerated container should have a temperature tracker installed.
  • Affix proper labels on the cartons to avoid confusion of product details while unpacking at your facility.

Working with Customs Brokers and Ensuring Compliance

Partnering with Licensed Customs Brokers

Licensed customs brokers can help you navigate the import process smoothly:

  • Customs Brokers: These professionals can help you navigate the import process smoothly.
  • Documentation and Certification: Ensure all paperwork is in order to avoid delays.

Compliance Testing and Quality Assurance

Ensuring compliance and quality is essential:

  • Compliance Testing: Be ready for tests to confirm the safety and quality of the yak chews.
  • Adhering to Regulations: Follow all Japanese import requirements for animal products.

Successfully Importing Himalayan Yak Chews into Japan

For wholesale buyers, private label pet treats, pet industry brands, and retailers in Japan, it is essential to understand and comply with Japanese regulations, maintain proper certifications, ensure accurate labeling and packaging, and effectively manage shipping and logistics. By following these guidelines, you can successfully bring high-quality Nepali yak chews to the Japanese market and meet the growing demand. 

At Lekali Nepal, we have the expertise to help you smoothly import Himalayan Yak Chews, backed by our extensive experience in exporting them to the Japanese market.

Latika Golyan
Latika Golyan

Latika Golyan, Founder and Managing Director of Lekali Nepal (the parent organization of Dog Chew Nepal). Her vision is to help dog food retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers see the business value of Lekali dog chews from Nepal and 10x the exports from the country by 2027.

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