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How to ship your personal effects from Japan to Canada

This page contains information about how to ship your personal effects from Japan to Canada.

So far we have interviewed 3 companies and have found them all to be different prices. Be sure to shop around!

The basics
– Everything is measured in cubic meters M3
– Everything is priced around 1.0 M3
– The more you bring the cheaper the rate.
– There are door to door, door to port and port to door plans.
– You can rent your own 20ft container at 31 cubic meter called “sole occupancy” or you share a container called “consolidating service.”
– You must deal with customs at the port

Shipping Companies
Economove Japan. CO, LTD: www.economovejapan.com
Yamato Logistics CO.,LTD.: http://www.y.logi.com

As noted, rates vary. In addition, the more you bring the less per cubic meter but here’s one example from a basic plan:
1.0 – 141,000
2.0 – 220,000
3.0 – 283,000
4.0 – 309,000
5.0 – 361,000

Paper work required before you ship

You have to have the following 3 items for the shipping company:

1) Passport
2) Flight ticket
3) Written application for the shipping company

Note: The sticky point here for us is the flight ticket. We would like to ship everything and then fly out later but as noted by the shipping company, all shipping companies, you have to have a flight already booked at the time they come to pack your personal effects.


If you go door to door or door to port, which I recommend, the staff should come to your house and pack everything for you so be sure to get organized with your important things to go first. They should tell you when your at your designated limit and then ask you if you want them to pack more.

The packers that come to your house will make a list of everything in the box and tape it to the outside of the box, this is for customs.

Once done, they will whisk it away in their truck to their loading facility. From there the container will come from the port to their loading facility where your items will be loaded into and then brought to the port to be loaded onto the ship.

Note: There is an “inner amount” and an “outer amount”. The inner amount is the actual box and furniture space. The outer amount is what it will be like when it’s on the ship and takes into account “dead space”. “Dead space” is an area that you can’t fit things into on the crate because of odd shaped items like guitars and bikes.

Picking your stuff up in Canada

Once your personal effects have arrived in Canada you have 1 week to go to the port to meet with customs. You MUST got to the customs office IN PERSON. You cannot designate someone else to go. Once there, you will be ‘interviewed’ and asked what items you brought over. The Customs officer will want the following items:

– Proof that you’re a Canadian ctizen. (If not, you have to fill out additional forms that the shipping company will provide for you).
– Proof that you’ve been out of the country for a year, ie a gaijin card or driver’s license.
– B4-E Form that you fill out at customs

After customs just go to the shipping company with your approved B4-E form and they will come and pick up your stuff at the port and deliver it to your door.


That’s pretty much the nuts and bolts of it. If there are any changes or additions to regulations I’ll be sure to update this.

Good luck with your moving!

All the best,