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Customer Notice

Japan 24 Hour Advance Filing Rules (AFR)
Enforcement date: March 10, 2014

Dear Valued Westwood Customer,

The penalty phase for Japan Customs Advance Filing Rules (AFR) begins March 10, 2014. The regulation applies to all maritime containerized cargo loaded on a foreign trading vessel intended for entry or transship into a port in Japan (empty containers, platform containers, and FROB cargo are excluded for the time being).

The rules require all ocean carriers to submit master bill of lading information to Japan Customs 24 hours prior to the vessel's departure from the actual port of loading

To comply with our ocean carrier obligation to meet the AFR requirements, Westwood's documentation cut off will be 2 business days prior to cargo's last receiving date at the load port. Complete and accurate shipping instructions will be due at that time.

** IF COMPLETE SHIPPING INSTRUCTIONS ARE NOT RECEIVED BY THE DOCUMENTATION CUTOFF, CARGO WILL NOT LOAD THE VESSEL**

Further, failure to comply with the AFR requirements may result in Japan Customs issuing one of the following responses:

DNL DO NOT LOAD
HLD HOLD - Additional data or correction of data is required to complete the risk assessment of informed cargo
DNU DO NOT UNLOAD - DNU is applied to cargo when vessel departed from a port of loading without cancelling the HLD message

** Westwood will automatically roll shipments if any of these messages are still applied at time of vessel loading **

Documentation cutoff explanation:

  • Westwood will provide the documentation due date (DDD) at the time of booking. An update will be provided via email to all customers on the vessel, by load port, approximately 1 week prior to vessel arrival
  • Docs cutoff time is calculated based on vessel arrival to the load port (working backwards)
  • Westwood will transmit the manifest 24 hours prior to the vessel loading
  • Westwood documentation team needs time to input the Shipping Instructions
  • Japan has 24 hours to complete their risk assessment process, and during that time may issue "Do Not Load" or "Hold" messages
  • Westwood Vessel operations & Terminal need time to properly stow the vessel

NVOCC Information:

  • NVOCCs sometimes issue House Bills to their customers
  • When a House Bill is issued, the Shipper (NVOCC) is responsible for manifesting to Japan customs. The Ocean Carrier cannot manifest House Bills on behalf of an NVOCC - House bills of lading must be filed directly with Japan Customs by the NVOCC
  • Westwood will only manifest our Master BL with Japan customs.
  • NVOCCs must indicate on the Shipping Instructions that a House Bill will be filed.
    Westwood will then file our B/L as a "master".
  • Westwood does not have visibility to House BLs
  • Westwood will provide our MBL# to the NVOCC at the time of booking on the booking confirmation. The MBL# must be included on the NVOCC's filing to Japan customs so that the Master and House BLs will be linked.

Data Elements Required by Japan customs:

Missing elements will be considered incomplete shipping instructions and cargo may be rolled

  • Full B/L parties (Shipper, Consignee & Notify) - including complete addresses with postal codes
  • Commodity - (specific, not FAK or cargo, nos)
  • HTS Code (at least 6 digits)
  • Container and seal numbers
  • Piece count, weight, and volume (cube)
  • Marks/Numbers
  • Haz/UN#

Japan AFR Fees/Charges

  • AFR charges have been filed in our tariff, effective 3/16/14
  • $25 per bill of lading for initial filing
  • $40 per bill of lading for amended filings
  • Charges for cargo rolled or unloaded due to non-submission of shipper's instructions or in reaction to a response from Japan Customs, will be a pass through of actual costs incurred at the terminal, plus export demurrage charges.

These charges will first be applied to the following vessels:
       WW COLUMBIA 075W
       WW DISCOVERY 027W

START VESSELS FOR JAPAN 24 AFR:

WW VICTORIA 070W **WW DISCOVERY 026W**
WW CASCADE 028W **WW RAINIER 078W**
**WW OLYMPIA 059W** **WW PACIFIC 023W**
** Denotes vessels that will have departed North America prior to Japan 24 AFR implementation. These vessels will have cargo that will discharge in Japan via a transship port. Westwood's customer service team will contact customers with transship cargo for any missing data elements, and provide transship details to NVOCCs.

The following sites contain more information and FAQs on the Japan Advance Filing Rules:
http://www.naccscenter.com/afr/
http://www.customs.go.jp/english/summary/advance/
http://www.customs.go.jp/english/summary/advance/annex03.pdf

Please feel free to contact your customer service team for additional information at 1-800-220-9752.

Thank you for your continued support, we value your business.