Japan's Advanced Filing Rules (JP24) Update: Enforcement & Penalties Defined

Japan's 24 Hour Rule (JP24) was implemented 3 years ago (March 2014), establishing the Advance Filing Rules (AFRs) for imports to Japan. The ruling requires carriers and NVOCCs to electronically submit information on maritime container cargoes bound for a port in Japan to Customs, in principle no later than 24 hours before departure of the vessel from the port of loading. Late last month, Japan Customs published an open letter, detailing their renewed focus on enforcement and defining penalties for shipping companies/NVOs that fail to file on time or inaccurately. The main highlights of this document can be summarized into 3 main points:

  • The letter reiterates that NVOs are required to file appropriate cargo descriptions (vessel code, voyage number, Master B/L Number, presence/absence of House B/L, etc.). This also applies to shipping companies (VOCCs) that are filing on behalf of their NVO customers.

  • Japan Customs will be vigorously enforcing JP24, as they feel there are too many cases in which cargo information is filed with inappropriate descriptions, or filed late.

  • Shipping companies or NVOs that fail to file cargo information by the deadline, will incur penalties that may include; imprisonment with labor for up to year, a fine up to five hundred thousand yen. Additionally, inappropriate filings could lead to a delay in discharging or delivering the cargo in question, leading to additional hardship for the shipping company/consignees.

If there are any doubts on whether you are filing accurate information and meeting the requirements, we encourage you to contact our professionals to review your filing process. Additionally, for those NVOs that are looking to file directly with Japan Customs, we can show the benefits of direct filing. Do not hesitate, procrastinating on this could lead to potential fines/penalties, as well as delayed shipments affecting your customers. As an established service provider, we can educate you about this rule and expedite the customs filing process for your business. Vilden's e-CLEAR supports Customs requirements for many countries all over the globe, including JP24. Accessible from anywhere in the world via web portal, cargo manifests can be easily uploaded from your system to e-CLEAR electronically, eliminating the need to re-enter the BLs. In addition to transmitting the manifest to Customs, we can also transmit it to any port authority, terminal operator or agent, reducing cost and resources for our customers.

Click here to sign up and receive our white papers with additional information on the filing details, Reporter ID sign up, we also encourage you to learn how e-CLEAR can handle all of your J24 filing needs! Contact us today! 

Have questions or need further clarification? Contact us anytime at, we will be more than happy to assist you in any way. Below you will find a link to the open letter from Japan Customs with the full text on enforcement and information required when filing: Japan Customs Notice - AFR Enforcement & Penalties: Click Here Japan Customs Notice - Filer Requirements Under AFR: Click Here