Descartes Customers Have Three Options to Help Ensure Compliance

March 10 at 12am Japan Standard Time (JST) marked the final step in Japan’s Ocean Advance Filing Rules (AFR) implementation timeline.  As of that time, filers are now required to send data to Japan Customs or face potential penalties.

Since the official go-live date when Japan Customs began accepting filings, hundreds of Descartes customers were among the first to move into compliance and successfully submit thousands of messages in the first week alone.  As a pioneer in the field of regulatory compliance, Descartes was also the first logistics technology provider to work with the Nippon Automated Cargo and Port Consolidated System (NACCS) Center to electronically submit manifest information to Japan Customs.

Filers range in size from frequent, high-volume shippers to those who only occasionally discharge cargo into the country.  Adopting a right-size compliance solution is critical in the highly-competitive carrier and Non- Vessel Operating Common Carriers) NVOCC market. It is essential that the technology selected effectively mirrors the size, needs and technology capabilities of the filer.

Descartes' customers have an advantage in that they have several choices to select from to help ensure compliance including:

  • Option 1 – For frequent, higher-volume shippers, Descartes offers an advanced, tightly-integrated, system-to-system EDI connection.
  • Option 2 - For mid-volume filers, we offer a powerful web-based option that helps users key-in information in an intuitive, and easy-to-navigate interface.
  • Option 3 - For lower-volume, lower-frequency filers, or those who require a solution with a rapid time-to-market with little technology cost outlay, Descartes offers a streamlined service-driven solution that helps fulfill regulatory compliance through a simple fax and/or email approach.

What are the potential fines and penalties associated with Japan Ocean AFR non-compliance?

With filing now mandatory, ensuring an accurate, timely Japan Ocean AFR submission is now more important than ever.  In addition, Japan Customs has provided clarification on the potential fines and penalties associated with Japan Ocean AFR non-compliance.

It has stated that those who intentionally file false information could be imprisoned for a term of up to a year or could receive a fine of up to JPY 500 thousand. The agency has additionally noted that those who intentionally discharge cargo without permission could also potentially face the same penalty. Late or incomplete declarations could be subject to penalties by the Japanese government and cargo could also be refused entry into Japan.

For more information, please visit Descartes' Ocean Japan AFR online resource center at:

Written by Jos Nuijten

President, Network Integration Strategy