On March 1, Japanese importers will be required to electronically submit shipment data for all containerized ocean cargo to Japan Customs 24 hours prior to vessel loading at the port of origin. The Advance Filing Rule is similar to the U.S. 24-hour rule in timing, but requires more detailed information about the cargo itself and the parties involved in the transaction.
On March 10, Japan Customs will begin assessing penalties for non-compliance, which could include imprisonment for one year and fines of about $5,000.
The information will be used for security screening.
The rule impacts companies around the world that do business in Japan because they will have to get information to their carriers and freight forwarders to file on a timely basis. Most carriers have said they will not load a shipment without the information. Carriers have established cut off times by which they must have the required information to be able to load a container.
Several trade management software vendors offer automated filing solutions.
Ocean carrier APL, for example, said it needs the following data elements to meet the JP24 requirements:
- Full name, address, phone number and country code (UN/LOCODE) of shipper, consignee and notify party
- Detailed cargo description
- First six digits of the HS code
- Number of packages
- Cargo gross weight
- Marks and numbers
- Container number
- Seal number
- UN number and IMDG code where applicable
(Read more about the JP24 rule in the June feature story, "Cargo security, Japanese style
," pp. 22-23)