I wouldn't worry too much about being questioned as to where the instrument comes from if you are American. I have been travelling regularly with musical instruments for 19 years, and nobody has ever asked about where I bought it. I recently bought a couple of Yamaha instruments abroad and had a great experience. In certain countries Yamaha products are sold for much less than in the USA. Some of the Yamaha pianos are close to half the price!well, if you come back with a saxophone from abroad you may be questioned about where this comes from and then you may have to pay something.
This may or may not happen . Lying about it will make you liable to way more a problem than simply paying VAT or possible DUTY (depending where you live). I can guarantee that if you come back with a direct flight from Japan to Europe you will be questioned.
Anyway there are MANY previous threads on this.This is not a rebuff but an important point to consider especially for new members or members whom, like OP post very little in their multi years membership.
We don't have import duties in the U.S. ... sometimes depending on the shipping method you may have to pay a customs clearance fee, but if they ship postal then you'll be fine.
I've bought many many mouthpieces and horns from overseas
While I have not bought anything directly from Japan, I have bought several instruments from Europe. Never paid a fee upon delivery. I bought a clarinet in person in London once (many years ago) and paid a fee when I declared it at US Customs, but never when shipped to me. DAVE
I've never been charged with import duty from Japan, Europe, or anywhere for that matter when living in the U.S.
Funny, the one time I had a horn shipped from overseas it was sent USPS, and I had to pay customs duties and was pretty bummed about it. Maybe they are inconsistent about it, and I didn't get lucky.No, private American citizens don’t seem to ever pay taxes when receiving horns from Europe.
Shops do, private people hardly ever do.
There are lots of threads on this.