Japan Security Information

Spurred by the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US in 2001, the World Customs Organization (WCO) developed a regime to be internationally implemented as the “WCO SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade” allowing WCO Members to enhance the security and facilitation of international trade. This “SAFE Framework” states WCO Members should electronically obtain cargo information of maritime container cargoes before loading at the port of departure.

To provide increased security to the global supply chain, e.g., via counterterrorism measures, Customs has to enhance control at the border by obtaining maritime container cargo information at an earlier point in time. Therefore, the revised Customs Law in 2012 stipulates the Advance Filing Rules (AFR) on Maritime Container Cargo Information, which requires operators of foreign trading vessels carrying container cargoes intending to enter a port in Japan and consignors for the applicable cargoes to electronically file detailed cargo information with Japan Customs 24 hours before the foreign trading vessels leave the ports of loading.

This amendment enacts the Advance Filing Rules, which require a Vessel Operator (in case of vessel sharing agreements and long term slot charters the B/L issuer) and a Non Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) / Freight Forwarder issuing House Bs/L to electronically submit information on maritime container cargoes to be loaded on a vessel intended for entry into a port in Japan, to Japan Customs in principle no later than 24 hours before departure of the vessel from a port of loading. The regulation is applicable to all Imports into Japanese ports as well as Transshipment cargo. Foreign cargo Remaining On Board, Carriers’ Empty Container(s) and Break Bulk cargo(s) are exempted.

The Rule will be implemented on March 10, 2014 00:00 Japan local time, no grace period will be offered and non compliance will result in imprisonment of up to 1 year or fines of up to JPY 500,000.00. Hapag-Lloyd will implement a No Doc – No Load policy for shipments where shipping instructions have not been received in line with the established documentation cut-off.

The implementation of the Advance Filing of maritime container cargo information shall be executed using “electronic data processing system” managed and operated by Nippon Automated Cargo and Port Consolidated System, Inc.(NACCS) and Hapag-Lloyd has successfully implemented the necessary system adjustments in order to arrange manifest transmission smoothly.

Applicable Surcharges (SMD or SMC) have been published in our online tariff.

Please kindly contact your nearest Hapag-Lloyd office to find out more information.

For further information please see as well our customer letter for:


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