Our Columbia, Charleston and Dallas client – New Japan Customs 24-hour Rule Effective March 1, 2014


UTi would like to inform you of new Customs rules that will take effect on March 1,  2014 in Japan.  The new rules require the Vessel Operator and the NVOCC to electronically submit information to Customs for maritime container cargo to be loaded on a vessel intended for entry into a port in Japan.  This information must be transmitted to Customs no later than 24 hours before the departure of the vessel from the port of loading.


Cargo Subject to the Filing Requirement
  • Maritime container cargo to be loaded on a vessel intended for entry into a port in Japan
  • Empty containers, cargo loaded on platform containers and transit cargoes will be excluded from this requirement at this time
Persons Obliged to File and Filing Information
  • Shipping companies, who are the contractors of carriage and know the cargo information based on the Ocean (Master) B/L level at the time of departure from a port of loading on a foreign trading vessel intended for entry into a port in Japan, will be obliged to file cargo information. In addition, consignors such as an NVOCC, who know the cargo information based on the House B/L level at the time of departure, will also be obliged to file cargo information.
Filing Method
  • Filing in electronic form by utilizing Nippon Automated Cargo Clearance System (NACCS)
Deadline for Filing
  • No later than 24 hours before departure from a port in a foreign country/territory
  • Exceptions are allowed for specific ports in Japan for cargo originating from: South Korea, China, Taiwan and Russia Far East – the 24 hour requirement will be relaxed; the filing is required before departure.
Penalty Provisions
  • Any NVOCC  who does not submit cargo information until the deadline will be liable to imprisonment with labor for up to a maximum period of one year or a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand yen

Mandatory Information for the Advance Filing Rule

  • Japan Customs is requiring additional shipment detail beyond what is currently required for  the Advance Filing than is included in the current cargo manifest
  • The additional mandatory information includes:

Advance Notice by Japan Customs after Risk Analysis 

  • Japan Customs will carry out a security assessment on the data submitted and provide the following responses within 24 hours after submission:


Summary of Advance Notice


DO NOT HOLD–Japan Customs has declared this cargo to be “high risk”. The cargo should not be loaded on the vessel.


HOLD–Additional data and/or a correction is required to complete the risk assessment.


DO NOT UNLOAD–Customs has declared this cargo to be “high risk” after the vessel has departed from the port of loading. This cargo WILL NOT be allowed to discharge at any port in Japan.
  • Japan Customs will provide the following notice when cargo information is not filed at least 24 hours prior to departure from the port of loading.
Code  Summary of Advance Notice
SPD Suspend–This code indicated one of the following:

  • The cargo information is not filed. In this case, a filing must be made or the cargo cannot be unloaded in Japan.
  • The filing was made after the deadline. Permission must be obtained by Japan Customs to unload the cargo.

Documentation Requirements and Submission of Advance Data

  • In order to comply with the required timelines UTi will require all documentation at least 72 hours prior to the time that the cargo will be loaded on the vessel.  Please note that this may be subject to change based on specific carrier cut-off times.
  • Due to our experience with the Importer Security filing (ISF) program in the United States, receiving the data 72 hours in advance will allow for proper review and preparation, and will ensure compliance with the required timelines.
  • UTi will then submit the data electronically to Japan Customs.  The cargo may then proceed with the loading process, unless one of the codes listed above is received within 24 hours.

You may also wish to refer to the following sites for more information. 

UTi will monitor the implementation of this new program, and will provide updates accordingly.  Please do not hesitate to contact your local UTi office should you have any problems or questions.