Skip to content

Moving to Japan – Customs 24 Advance Manifest Rule

For customers planning on moving to Japan, Abels Moving Services have been provided with updated information from shipping lines in connection with the new customs rules that start in March 2014.

From March 2014 Japan customs will enforce new customs regulations requiring that all vessel operators or Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier’s (NVOCC’s) submit to Japan customs an electronic cargo manifest detailing container cargoes that are intended for entry into a port in Japan no later than 24 hours prior to vessel departure from the port of loading.

This process will start on the 10th March 2014. From this date all containerized cargo loaded on a vessel intended for delivery into a port in Japan will need to comply with the new customs requirements. The exception to this is Empty containers, Cargo loaded on platforms (i.e. break bulk cargo) and Foreign Remaining on Board (FROB) cargo.

Failure to comply and not submit the cargo manifest within the required time frames can result in prison terms of up to one year or fines of up to JPY 500,000.

Electronic manifests must be submitted to Japan customs no later than 24 hours prior to the container being loaded on a vessel and before the vessel departs from the port of loading. This will mean Abels will require the appropriate customs information from their customers before we are able to book a container for those customers moving to Japan.

Following submission of the cargo manifest Japan customs will review and issue “Do Not Load“ or “Hold“ notices for any cargo they consider a risk to Japan security.

Any cargo which still has a “Do Not Load“ or “Hold“ notice attached to it at time of loading will not be loaded on board the intended vessel.

Filing of House Bills of Lading
Non-Vessel Common Carriers (NVOCC) are responsible for filing NVOCC House Bill of Lading data. Unlike US or Canadian 24 hour advance manifest rules, the carrier cannot file NVOCC House Bill of Lading data on behalf of the NVOCC.

As a result of these new customs rules Abels will also require to load containers one day earlier to allow for the extra time involved with the new customs regulations.

For customers moving to Japan please call your Abels customer liaison on their direct line or call head office on +44(0)1842 816600 or email