In March of 2014, it will be mandatory to file cargo information destined to Japan at least 24 hours prior to vessel loading. A ‘relaxed’ implementation will be applied to some of the short sea trades. Deadline in this case will be before vessel departure. No ‘grace period’ is expected to be given at this moment. The requirements are very similar to those of the US : Information at BL level including complete contact addresses and phone numbers and detailed cargo descriptions (HS code at 6-digit level). The responsibility of filing the inbound cargo lies with the shipping company or NVOCC. Failure to submit an advanced manifest within the timeframe will be subject to a fine, which will be imposed to the filer.
Advanced reporting of cargo information makes a country safer. It is still easy to put on paper different information, but the fact that cargo information is sent in advance, gives the receiving countries more technologically advanced mechanisms to identify potential risks earlier.