TOKYO, Sept 27 Japan's customs-cleared imports
of crude oil from Iran fell 67.1 percent in August from a year
earlier to 418,203 kilolitres (84,852 barrels per day), the
lowest since September 1988, Ministry of Finance data showed on
Crude importers can seek customs clearance within three
months of a cargo's arrival or apply to have the load
categorised as "import for storage" and held for up to two years
before being cleared.
The industry instead takes trade ministry data due out on
Friday as a benchmark because it tracks the actual import status
of oil tankers.
Trade ministry data showed that the world's third-biggest
oil consumer imported no Iranian crude in July as Japan avoided
running afoul of European Union sanctions.
By comparison, finance ministry data showed customs-cleared
imports from Iran totalled 624,585 kilolitres (126,726 barrels
per day) in July, down 52.5 percent from a year earlier.
(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)