As many of you are well aware, on March 30, 2012, a bill to amend part of the Customs Tariff Law had been passed, establishing the Advance Filing Rules (AFRs) for imports to be implemented by Japanese Customs. The amendment requires carriers and NVOCCs to electronically submit to the Customs information on maritime container cargoes to be loaded on a vessel intended to enter a port in Japan, in principle no later than 24 hours before departure of the vessel from a port of loading. The ruling is set to be implemented in March 2014, with full enforcement on the March 10th, 2014. Unlike the roll out of the U.S.’ Importer Security Filing (ISF), there will be no grace period after the March start date.
- Obtain a Reporter ID, a designation similar to a Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC) in the United States. A Reporter ID will be required to file a Japan Ocean AFR submission.
- Familiarize with the filing details required for importing cargo (whitepapers on both subjects can be accessed below.)
Although the AFR is still some months away from being implemented, it is never too early to prepare and test your filings to insure smooth transmission to Japan Customs!