Personal Property Office - Inbound
PSC 473 Box 11
FPO, AP 96349-0011
Phone (DSN) 315-243-5426
Fax (DSN) 315-243-2709
Arranging Household Goods Shipments
As soon as you are alerted to your upcoming permanent change of station move, you can start getting your house and family ready. Clean up and get rid of junk. Hold a yard sale or donate serviceable items you no longer need. Gather important family records.
If you are moving overseas, begin to plan what items will go in unaccompanied baggage, in your household goods shipment and in permanent storage. Remember, in overseas areas, the electric current may be different and houses are generally much smaller than those in the United States. These are good questions to ask your sponsor.
Household Goods Shipping Process
The Defense Personal Property System is the online system you will use to manage your household goods shipment. For how-to guides to assist with your application go to Move.mil.
Moving with your pet includes researching airline requirements and quarantine restriction laws in your new location. Many airlines have requirements for size, weight, breed, number of animals, kennel construction, documentation and seasonal limitations. Small pets may be shipped on military flights, but availability and regulations are always changing. Search Move.mil for more general information on shipping pets.
Many international locations have strict importation laws, including extended quarantines and restrictions on breeds or types of animals. Carefully research these rules as they could impact your moving schedule. You may also find some locations in the United States that have restrictions on certain animals and breeds. Review your new installation's "Shipping Pets" in MilitaryINSTALLATIONS for details.
"It's Your Move"
Review the U.S. Transportation Command booklet, "It's Your Move," for detailed information on weight allowances, the household goods shipping process, storage, automobile shipments, claims processes and the customer satisfaction survey.
Installation Specific Information
Shipments Out-Bound to Yokosuka
Japan is a weight restricted area so before packing out for Yokosuka, please set up an appointment with an Outbound Counselor at your present command regarding shipping POVs and large items.
In addition, some furniture items that often do not fit in Japanese apartments are large sectional sofas, entertainment centers, king size beds and formal dining sets. Personal Property does not have equate storage space and, therefore, cannot offer partial delivery of household goods/express shipments.
Be Aware: Many electrical appliances (i.e. washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, oven ranges) or home electronic devices sold in the United States are equipped with a standard 3-prong plug. Outlets for these types of plugs are almost never found in Japanese homes. Also, since Japanese homes are typically smaller you may find that large American-sized appliances may not fit.
Express Shipments cannot be delivered to the Navy Lodge. Bring a sufficient quantity of appropriate items in your regular luggage to cover expected needs.
Under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), you are allowed to ship one vehicle to Japan duty free. However, there are certain requirements which must be met.
First and foremost, you must request specific permission from the Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka (PSC 473 Box 1, Code 00, FPO AP 96349-1100) in order to bring your car to Yokosuka Navy Base. This requirement must be met regardless of your ultimate duty station at Yokosuka, and is due to the excessive number of POV's already on base and the severe lack of authorized parking spaces.
Cars entering Japan must be emissions tested (motorcycles, too; at a cost of approximately 280,000 Yen (about $3,000) per test. If the car fails a test, repairs must be made, and the car tested again, for another 280,000 Yen. The only test facility we are aware of is near Yokota Air Force Base, about 60 miles away.
Modifications may have to be made to the emissions system and/or lights of the vehicle. This may involve installation of $1500 to $4,000 worth of anti-pollution and other devices to a U.S. manufactured vehicle prior to its registration here.
You must have had the vehicle registered in your name before processing any PCS paperwork. (In other words: you can't get a set of orders, begin the PCS/HHG process, and then buy a car and expect to have it shipped.)
There are other disadvantages to having an American car in Japan. The Japanese drive on the left-hand side of the road. The roads are much smaller than American roads making it difficult to maneuver a larger car through the streets. Parking space is limited and may be costly. Most parking areas are unsheltered, causing more rapid deterioration from exposure. Repair parts availability is another serious challenge. Most repair parts must be ordered by mail. Even your brand new Toyota, Nissan, Honda or other such Japanese name brand vehicle, if purchased in the US, was probably built in the US, and can not be expected to be serviced the same as if it was made here in Japan.
In short, it is just not wise to bring your car to Japan. But you can, if you are willing to bear the expense and red tape. There are plenty of good quality used cars available from transferring personnel, and there is an authorized used car lot on the base. Many used cars are advertised for sale in the weekly base newspaper. A good, reliable car should cost between $950 and $2,500.
Additional fees to put a car on the road cost about $850, on average. These fees include Japanese and U.S. insurance, road and weight taxes, Japanese and base inspections, registration, and license plate fees. Registration is a tedious process and may take one to two days to complete. There are people on base who, as independent agents, will help you process some of the required paperwork. They advertise their services in the base newspaper. The total cost of buying and registering a used car after you arrive will more than likely be less than what you would pay to bring your own vehicle from the states. Insurance also tends to be a bit cheaper than in the US.
Specific instructions outlining the steps to register a vehicle may be picked up at the Vehicle Registration Office after your arrival.
Motorcycles are considered to be Household Goods (HHG) for shipping purposes. Contact your local Personal Property Office for all the details on how you can prepare your bike for crating and shipping. Keep in mind the above mentioned weight restriction, and that the motorcycle weight will be included in the total of your HHG weight (also the weight of the crate.) However, please see the import restrictions below before deciding to ship a motorcycle to Japan.
Motorcycle import restriction becase effective 01 April 2002. The Government of Japan (GOJ) has imposed a requirement that motorcycles and mopeds over 250CC and manufactured 1 JUL 99 or later, must comply with GOJ brake standards. In addition to the brake testing requirement, motorcycles/mopeds over 2500CC and manufactured 1 JUL 99 or later, must pass GOJ emission testing and meet emission control standards.
The estimated minimum costs for the brake testing is about $2000 and about $725 for the emission testing. These are separate requirements (subject to manufactured dates) and failure to meet compliance standards places the owner in a situation to expend additional funds. The additional cost of meeting the GOJ's standards is subject to the various equipment types and models and the degree of difficulty in meeting compliance. There is only one brake testing facility (located in Tokyo) and three emission facilities (two located in Tokyo and one in Osaka). In addition, motorcycles/mopeds must be insured and cannot be driven to the testing facility, unless it has a temporary registration tag. US Forces Japan is currently coordinating with GOJ on the particulars of additional costs and requirements when shipping motorcycles/mopeds into Japan. However, due to the extreme GOJ compliance costs members will incur, the shipment of motorcycles/mopeds into Japan is highly discouraged. Members may be able to place their motorcycles/mopeds in non-temporary storage as household goods for the duration of their tour in Japan. Please seek guidance from your local Personal Property Office or Traffic Management Office for non-temporary storage options.
NOTE: If you do ship your motorcycle with your Household Goods, and it is thereby delivered to your off base residence, you will need to find a way to transport your motorcycle to the base (without riding it unlicensed) so you can complete the registration and riding practice requirements. Please contact the In-bound Personal Property office with the options available to youby calling DSN 315-243-5426 or 011-81-46-816-5426 or via Smart Web Move.
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