Advance Filing Rules (AFR)

Advance Filing Rules (AFR) on Maritime Container Cargo Information

Beginning March 2014, vessel operators and NVOCCs will be required to electronically submit information on maritime container cargo to Japan Customs to be loaded on a vessel intended for entry into a port in Japan.  The Advance Filing Rules (AFR), also called “JP24” by the trade for Japan is an electronic submission from carriers (VOCCs and NVOCCs) to Japan Customs that contains all relevant cargo and shipment information. 

This guide is designed to help understand the details and requirements of the AFR, but always refer to the official Japan Customs AFR documentation to check requirements or any changes. 

Deadline for filing AFR & Penalties

The AFR must be filed electronically through NACCS (Nippon Automated Cargo and Port Consolidated System) no later than 24 hours before vessel departure from a port of loading.  According to Japan Customs, the penalty of missing filings could be imprisonment for up to one year or a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand Japanese Yen.

Data required

For AFR purpose, the following details will be required on your Shipping Instructions for shipments to Japan:
 • Name, full address, phone number and postal code of Consignor, Consignee and Notify Party 
• Minimum 6 digit HS6 codes per cargo item 
• Type and number of packages 
• Measurement 
• Exact cargo description
• Gross weight 
• IMDG Code / UN number for dangerous goods (if applicable)
• Container number/Seal number (if applicable)  

Reference information  

You may also refer to the following sites for more information: 
• FAQs on Japan 24 Hours Rules 
• Japan Customs homepage • Data Element to be filed 
• Unacceptable Cargo Description 

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