Compliance News / Risk & Compliance / Ocean

Japan Filing Requirement Begins

The 24-hour electronic manifest filing requirement begins in March 2014.

An amendment to Japan’s Customs Tariff Law enacted on March 30, 2012 specifies Advance Filing Rules. The rules require a vessel operator or a non-vessel-operating common carrier (NVOCC) to electronically submit to Japan Customs information on maritime container cargoes to be loaded on a vessel intended to entry into a port in Japan, in principle no later than 24 hours before departure of the vessel from a port of loading. According to Japan Customs, the Rules will be implemented in March 2014.
In a customer advisory, ocean carrier OOCL noted empty containers, cargo on platform containers, and cargo not to be discharged in Japan are exempted.
Failure to comply with this rule could result in cargo hold at port of loading, or the denial of permission to unload vessel cargo and the possibility of returning the cargo to the load port, OOCL added. In addition, the carriers and NVOCCs could be subject to imprisonment for up to one year or fines up to JPY500,000.
In a notice January 24th, OOCL said it would have a pilot run of the new customs manifest submission process from March 1st to the 8th. (The effective date for the electronic filing requirement March 9, 2014).
OOCL noted:
• Carriers’ submission will be on the Master Bill of Lading (B/L) level only. NVOCCs are required to file a House B/L directly with customs.
• OOCL will publish closing times and, to comply with the regulation, it asks customers to provide complete and accurate shipping instructions before the closing.
• The mandatory data elements which must be included in the shipper’s shipping instructions are:
o Whether any House B/L is associated with the Master B/L
o Full name and address (including postal code) of shipper and consignee
o Full name and address (including postal code) of notify party where goods are carried under a negotiable “to order” B/L
o Container number
o Seal number
o Accurate description of goods
o 6-digit HS code for each goods item
o IMDG code and UNDG code where applicable.
OOCL also announced a fee structure. Effective March 9, 2014, advance manifest service charges of US$ 25 per bill of lading will apply. A US$ 40 per bill of lading charge will apply for advance manifest amendments.
Japan Customs has published a 66-page introduction to the advance filing rules which is available at

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