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Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2004


Posting food to the U.S. and big clothes

U.S. posting rules

Dear Lifelines; Is there some new prohibition against sending Japanese foods to the U.S.?

According to friends, we can send something we have prepared ourselves, but if we purchase something, we can't send it? This is supposed to be something to do with antiterrorism measures.

Are they blocking all purchased foodstuffs? Has there been a change in what can be sent to the U.S.?

Peter Van Buren, the hardworking Citizen Services Director at the U.S. Embassy sent us the information, which they also included in their February ACS newsletter, which you can sign up for (it's free) at www.tokyoacs.com

The FDA'S New Food Bioterrorism Regulation affects both major exporters sending bulk shipments of food, and individuals mailing gifts containing food.

The change requires prior notification to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of your shipment. For individuals, this means creating an account and then registering your package over the Internet at https://www.access.fda.gov/oaa/

Food that is imported or offered for import with inadequate prior notice is subject to refusal and holding at the port or in secure storage.

We have been told that some Americans have had their packages rejected by the Japanese Post Office because they lacked the FDA prior notice approval number obtained via Internet registration. The embassy and consulates cannot resolve such individual issues; you must work directly with the Japanese Post Office on such matters.

Please also note that you cannot register your package or submit prior notice through the embassy or consulates; this must be done online.

More information is available in English at www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/fsbtac13.html or japan.usembassy.gov/e/policy/tpolicy-food.html

Information in Japanese is on line at www.cfsan.fda.gov/~acrobat/jpfsbt13.pdf

Old clothes, appliances

Dear Lifelines; I would appreciate any information on stores in the Tokyo area that stock suits in tall sizes.

Japanese have grown so much in the past few years that you should have not problems finding clothes and shoes in your sizes, unless you are unusually large and have trouble finding clothes in your home country too.

Isetan, Seibu, Marui, Odakyu, Daimaru -- they all can get you just about anything you need, and if they happen to be out, they can order for you.

Do any readers know of other shops selling "big" clothes?


A long tradition in Japan -- the "benriyasan" -- or "fixer" -- is the guy who can do anything and get you connected to anyone. Yup, he's still around. Send a mail to Mr. Yamaguchi at zenpro@a1.mbn.or.jp

New to Japan? Join ACCJ -- it's the largest membership organization for the international business community in Japan and you can get started at www.accj.or.jp

Ken Joseph Jr. directs the Japan Helpline on (0570) 000-911 or at www.jhelp.com Send your queries, questions, problems and posers, to: lifelines@japantimes.co.jp

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