Updated: Jan 28, 2020
It can be a bit disheartening the first time a Koi enthusiast learns that most exporters and distributors in Japan do not sell directly to the public. However, there are a few important points to note in order to understand the reasons why.
First, Nishikigoi (or Koi as they are also called) are livestock, and the export and import of livestock is governed by different laws and regulations corresponding to each different nation. Complex health guidelines and government regulations regarding the export and import of livestock require much preparation, official approvals, declarations, inspections, permits and costs. Failing to follow these guidelines and regulations, or even making simple clerical mistakes can stop an entire shipment in transit and can even kill your Koi.
Second, the shipment and or collection of livestock from various farms creates a health cross-contamination risk to all the livestock shipped. Things such as diseases, infections, bacteria and parasites can cause much damage and losses of Koi, so importers should be very knowledgeable in the field of aquatics and Koi health, more so than the standard aquarium hobbyist. Importers and distributors in the receiving country should have the proper quarantine facilities to handle the import of livestock from various farms. In addition to this, they should be knowledgeable regarding the governing law and regulations which cover the import of this specific livestock. Importers must understand and fund the costs associated with importing, inspections, permits and must plan the logistics of transport once in the receiving country.
These are only a few of the complex but necessary requirements to be able to receive Koi from Japan. There are additional complications for the importer which most of the public does not have the means to carry out, such as the logistics and costs of transports.
Koi must be shipped quickly and every hour counts when trying to keep a Koi alive through transit, thus air freight is the most common form of shipment. Shipping by air is quite an expensive method. Not only must and importer pay shipping costs based on the size of the Koi but also the high cost of the water needed to keep the Koi alive in transit. In addition to airfreight costs, there are trucking costs, refrigerated trucking costs, and various other costs incurred through the process of exporting and importing. Other aspects include temperature control, oxygen and carbon dioxide control, feeding schedule and water quality. Since most members of the public do not possess the skills, knowledge, time, resources and finances to handle these international operations, it is extremely important to find an importer or distributor who has experience in these matters.
KOITAXI.COM would love to help everyone in the world acquire Japan bred Koi, but the best way for members of the public to start, is to find a good, reputable importer who possesses a top of the line quarantine system and is knowledgeable in the subjects of health and the import of Koi.