The rule changed recently without much announcement from the government, but the change may impact significantly exporting businesses that ship goods abroad and expect to get a consumption tax refund.
This is the announcement from the tax office.
Basically, what it says is that if value of your merchandizes below 200,000 yen, it has to be shipped through Japan Post Office using EMS or like.
It may sound unfair because Japan Post Office is not necessarily the number one shipping company available in the market today. There are FEDEX and UPS and other service providers too.
One of our clients complained that Japan Post does not offer delivery services to all the countries or regions that he has his customers. He also said that EMS is not necessarily fast enough. It may take a week to deliver his merchandize while FEDEX can take only a few days.
But the rule is a rule. By ignoring the requirement put you at risk not to get the consumption tax refund that you deserve.
The reason behind the new rule may be there have been lots of cheating. The Japanese Government might have thought that by forcing to use a semi-governmental institution, Japan Post, it will reduce the number of dubious consumption tax claim by a lot.