Can I Import a Kei Truck from Japan?

Importing a mini truck to the United States can be a tiresome and sometimes a tedious experience for first-timers. Knowing whether you can import a mini truck from Japan is necessary because the internet is full of stories of how the US customs department seizes imported vehicles. Can I import a Kei truck from Japan? This article answers this question. You can purchase a Kei truck from a US dealer. If you do this, you will support US businesses and receive after-sales services. Importing a Kei truck on your own from Japan also has some advantages. When importing a single Kei truck for personal use,  then the clearance process with the customs department is easy and less tedious.

When you import directly, you are likely to spend less and receive a mini truck that is well maintained. Japanese usually perform a thorough vehicle inspection. They do this after every twelve months for older mini trucks. If you source a Kei truck directly from Japan, you will be assured of receiving a unit that is in good mechanical condition.

The Process of Importing a Kei Truck to the US

You must file a formal entry when importing any vehicle to the United States. Filing this document will notify the government where, when, which, and the mode of entry of the vehicle into US commerce. To sign a formal entry, you must register and receive a customs importer number, a unique identification number for every importer. Us customs require a formal entry to be signed no later than ten days after the Kei truck arrives at the port. You have to buy a custom bond too.

If your shipment is less than $2,500, you will not file a formal entry but an informal one. To file an informal entry, you will not need to acquire an importer number or customs bond. All you need is to visit the customs office and ask them to assist you in signing an informal entry.

If you are not traveling to the port to receive your mini truck, you can hire a customs bonded warehouse to file entry on your behalf. Another option, apart from relying on the bonded warehouse services, you can hire someone to fill the entry at the seaport. After doing this, the mini truck will reach your doorstep.

Before importing a Kei truck to the United States, ensure it meets the standards of EPA and DOT. For example, importing a mini truck that is 25 years old and above is legal. When importing a younger Kei truck, it has to be modified for off-road use. That is, you have to install a speed limiter on it.


It is possible to import a Kei truck from Japan. You can import on your own or use brokers. The united states have strict laws which regulate the entry of mini trucks. As you plan to import one, it is necessary to understand and comply with these laws. Failure to do so will lead to seizing your mini truck.