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  • 20 Apr 2018
  • Japan
  • Japan
  • ACI
  • Advance Commercial Information
  • Trade
  • eManifest
  • Customs

In order to improve international trade security and anti-terrorism measures, Japan Customs requires the advance filing of Japan ACI for air cargo, crew and passenger information for all vessels and aircraft entering the Japan. Recently, Japan Customs announced that Advance Cargo Information (ACI) must be submitted for all shipments bound for and transiting Japan. The official go live date for the new mandate is set for the end of March 2019.

The Nippon Automated Cargo and Port Consolidation System (NACCS) Center is in charge of operating the ACI program on behalf of the Japanese government. NACCS also implemented the Ocean Advance Filing Requirement (AFR) for inbound ocean shipments, which has been mandatory since 2014.


Japan ACI for Air Cargo

NACCS Center manages NACCS, an online system that processes the exchange of electronic information between Japan government agencies and trade participants. The NACCS is available to importers, exporters, customs brokers, shipping brokers, NVOCCs and agents in all modes of transport.


Air NACCS processes multiple customs transactions from aircraft arrival at a Japanese airport to the unloading of air cargo. NACCS supports filing of electronic import declarations and permissions, domestic deliveries, and export declarations and permissions.


Aircraft operators and carriers are encouraged to prepare for the transition as early as possible to avoid problems. Carriers, operators and agents who already use Japan AFR marine software must ensure that their applications and infrastructure are able to support air cargo manifest filing before the go live date.




The Japan ACI program for air cargo is similar to the AFR requirement for marine shipments. Details about the cargo, passenger and crew of flights bound for or transiting Japan must be reported to Japan Customs before arrival.


Foreign Trading Aircraft


The owner/operator, authorized agent or captain of a foreign trading aircraft entering a Japan customs airport must report cargo information to Japan Customs no later than 3 hours before the arrival of the aircraft at the airport. Crew and passenger information must be reported no later than 90 minutes before arrival. The submission timeframe may vary depending on the flight duration between the last airport of departure and the intended airport of arrival.


Required Information


The aircraft operator or authorized agent must complete and submit the following forms to the enforcement section of the customs office at the arrival airport or electronically via NACCS:


Cargo Manifest for aircraft (Customs Form C No. 2035)


Passenger Manifest (Customs Form C No. 2055)


Crew Manifest (Customs Form C No. 2060)


General Declaration Inward/Outward for Aircraft




Japan ACI for Air Cargo Procedures for Importing Goods


Businesses or individuals that plan to import goods into Japan via aircraft or vessel must report the goods to the Director General of Japan Customs. They must also obtain an import permit after examination of the goods. The import permit is issued after filing the import declaration, examining the shipment and paying duties and excise taxes. Japan Customs enforces these measures to meet the requirements for foreign exchange and trade control.


Import Declaration


The import declaration or customs duty payment contains a detailed description of the goods, including quantity, value and other particulars. It is the responsibility of the importer to file the declaration. The importer may also designate an authorized agent such as a customs broker to file the declaration on their behalf.


The importer/broker must complete and submit customs form C-5020 in triplicate, along with the invoice, bill of lading or air waybill, certificate of origin (if a WTO or preferential rate applies), generalized system of preferences, and applicable licenses and certificates for restricted goods.


In addition, the importer must also provide packing lists, insurance certificates, freight accounts, detailed statement of exemption from or reduction of duty and excise tax (if applicable), and customs duty payment slips if customs requires to see these documents.


In general, the import declaration must be filed after the goods have been taken into a Hozei area or special designated zone. For specific products that require the approval of the Director General of Customs, the import declaration can be filed while the shipment is on board the vessel/aircraft or before they are taken to the Hozei area.


Prohibited and Regulated Goods


Certain products are prohibited from entering Japan (handguns, cannabis, etc.), while other products are restricted because they may have a negative impact on the Japanese economy and public safety. Before importing restricted goods, the importer or their broker must submit a certificate of application for a permit to customs and meet the requirements for inspection.




Over 90 percent of import procedures in Japan are done electronically. Electronic transmission of cargo, crew and passenger information not only expedites the submission process and improves the accuracy of submitted data, it also eliminates or reduces costs associated with paper-based documentation.


Global eTrade Services (GeTS) is an industry leading provider of global trade facilitation solutions. GeTS provides electronic cargo declaration and filing solutions for traders in the U.S., Canada, Japan and Singapore, covering imports, exports, transits and transshipments.


For businesses that import goods into Japan by air and marine carrier, GeTS provides Japan AFR solutions to streamline cargo clearance and processing. GeTS Japan AFR makes it easy for marine carriers and non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs) to file electronic cargo information to Japan Customs within the prescribed timeframes (no later than 24 hours before departure at the port of loading).


GeTS Japan ACI for air cargo allows airlines and ground handling agents to easily submit master air waybills, house manifest and flight manifest information to Japan Customs. GeTS draws on years of trade facilitation expertise to help trade participants meet the new Japan ACI for air requirements.


GeTS ACI for air cargo service features a secure corporate account, 24/7 customer support, streamlined application, report generation, advanced integration and multiple plans and connectivity options. Japan AFR clients can subscribe to GeTS ACI for air cargo to easily comply with the new ACI requirements when they become mandatory.


Visit our Japan ACI for Air Cargo page today to learn more.



Related Pages:

Japan Import Management Process

Japan AFR: Japan’s Customs Law Changes and New Requirements

Japan AFR

Japan Advance Filing Rules: What You Need to Know

eManifest Processing


Japan ACI for Air Cargo