If you're importing a used vehicle from Japan you must provide evidence that it meets a range of approved standards before it can be registered for use on the road.
You must provide evidence of:
You need to provide evidence that you're the legal owner of the vehicle. This includes the original documents that prove previous registration and provide an ownership trail that goes back to the last registered owner in the country where the vehicle was last registered.
Motorcycles over 250cc: You need to provide the original certificate of return vehicle inspection certificate issued by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT)
Small motorcycles (250cc or less, over 125cc): the original mini-vehicle notification certificate – confirmation of return issued by Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association
Smaller than 125cc: You need to provide the original notification of dismantlement issued by a city office in Japan.
Passenger vehicles excluding mini-vehicles: the original export certificate (with a type designation number (TDN) and a model code) issued by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) or completion inspection certificate.
Mini-vehicles (660cc or less, Kei-Jidosha): You need to provide the original export certificate issued by Light Motor Vehicle Inspection Organisation
All other vehicles: You can use an original export certificate issued by Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) or a completion inspection certificate.
Alternatively, for heavy vehicles, you need to provide:
the original detailed registration history certificate issued by MLIT, which includes full history details of the previous owners in Japan, and
original documents to establish an ownership trail, eg the detailed registration history certificate, bill of sale, purchase receipts.
In some cases certified English translations of documents not in English may be required.
For both used and parallel-imported new vehicles you can present an original Japanese export or completion inspection certificate showing one of the applicable emissions code character sets (in the table below) at the beginning of the industry model code. See examples of the certificates below (the industry model code including the emission codes are circled in red).
|Petrol, CNG or LPG||Diesel|
|Japan 05||Those complying to the 2005 Regulations||Those displaying a three digit emissions code (eg 'ABA', ‘CBA’, ‘DBA’, 'DAA', ‘LDA’, ‘ZAA’)|
Alternatively, a statement of compliance that includes an approved emission standard is acceptable proof that your vehicle meets New Zealand requirements.
If your vehicle is Class MA, MB or MC, you must prove that it was manufactured to meet an approved frontal impact standard. Depending on the date of manufacture you can provide proof of its compliance using
These don't apply to your vehicle? You'll need to get a statement of compliance as evidence.
Some vehicles that comply are listed on our frontal impact lists. These lists cover vehicles manufactured during 1994–1996 when frontal impact standards were being developed. They therefore apply mainly to used imports. If the list says your vehicle does not meet a frontal impact standard, then you cannot bring it into New Zealand.
Mini-sized cars (under 660cc) from Japan comply if they were manufactured on or after 1 July 2000.
Cars that are not mini-sized comply if they:
were manufactured on or after 1 January 1996 in Japan, for the Japanese market or
were manufactured outside Japan on or after 1 April 1999 and were accepted through Japan's vehicle approval process.
You may not have to prove your vehicle complies with frontal impact standards if:
it is more than 20 years old
it is a 'special interest' vehicle
you're emigrating or returning to New Zealand and bringing your vehicle with you.
Find out more about these exceptions.
If your class MB or class MC vehicle was manufactured after 1 October 2003 it must meet a frontal impact standard. The exception is if you're emigrating or returning to New Zealand and bringing your vehicle with you. Find out more about this exception.
If the vehicle was made in Japan for the Japanese market on or after 1 October 2003, it will meet a frontal impact standard accepted in New Zealand.
You must check for the presence of ESC. See the technical bulletin about how to prove the existence of ESC in the electronic stability control identification bulletin(external link).
You must check for compliance with one of the approved brake standards if you want to import a heavy vehicle of class MD3, MD4, ME, NB or NC, no matter what date the vehicle was manufactured.
See the detailed information about how to prove compliance with an approved brake standard in the following sections of the Vehicle inspection requirements manual – entry certification(external link):
You can use an online tool(external link) to provide the fuel consumption compliance information, if:
You'll then receive a fuel consumption certificate, which you take to the entry certifier.
Some used Japanese vehicles manufactured from 2018 onwards are unable to provide all the necessary fuel consumption information and will require a Rule exemption from the Transport Agency.
As an alternative to a statement of compliance, you can use:
Class MC vehicles entering New Zealand on or after 1 March 2016 must also be fitted with an electronic stability control (ESC) system.
Check the certificate for a kai mark like this after the model code. This indicates that the vehicle has been modified and may no longer meet the required standards. We strongly recommend that you check with an entry certifier to make sure that the vehicle complies with required standards. )
Your vehicle export certificate or completion inspection certificatemust contain a type designation number (TDN). If there's no TDN on the certificate, you'll need to get a statement of compliance, or apply for a TDN exemption through the entry certifier.
The Transport Agency is aware that some imported used vehicles manufactured in Japan from 2018, that have been tested for fuel consumption using the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), may not be able to meet all the requirements of the Fuel Consumption Information Rule.
If you are importing a used Japanese vehicle that was tested using WLTP and when you use the online tool it does not show values but ‘no data recorded’ in any of the fields on the fuel consumption certificate, you should apply to the Transport Agency for an exemption, as this vehicle will not be able to be entry certified. The Transport Agency is not charging a fee for these exemption applications.
To apply for an exemption, email firstname.lastname@example.org and enter ‘WLTP Japan’ in the subject line. In the text of the email:
If you are unsure if you require an exemption, or have any other questions, please contact us on email@example.com or 0800 699 000.
You can move onto step three of the importing process – preparing to import.