TOKYO, Jul. 29 – Many Internet shoppers are suffering the problems of not being able to receive their purchases due to a failure in import procedures of plants and seeds. The fact was revealed in an interview with a plant protection station in Japan. Imported plant with no inspection certificate issued by the plant protection agency of the exporting country can only be discarded or returned, if it doesn’t pass the inspection in Japan. Many of the online purchasers don’t even know that they are importing the products. “To avoid such problems, make sure to check the location of the shop you are looking at even if it’s on a major shopping site.” said an official of the agency.
Mailings and couriers from overseas will first arrive at the international post office for inspection. In fiscal 2018, the office inspected 141,500 parcels containing plants and plant-related products, and 18,200 failed to pass the inspection.
The inspectors will contact purchasers and ask for the information if it finds violations. Formerly, such violations were found mostly with gifts and personal items sent by individuals who simply don’t know the rules for epidemic prevention. Recently, however, the agency finds violations with items purchased at the online shops.
In some cases, items sold at major online shops, which are written in Japanese, were sent without proper export inspection. And the purchasers noticed the products were sent from overseas sellers for the first time when they receive calls from the agent.
Many of the online violative products are sent back to the sellers on a cash on delivery basis. Fortunately, there are no significant problems so far, but if the seller declines refund requests, the purchasers in Japan may lose their money.
An agency official in charge of import inspection said, “it’s necessary to check the location of the seller before you make a purchase. You also need to make sure to check if the inspection certificate is available when you find the seller is a foreign company.”