Jan 28, 2015

European Commission to revise AMS 24-hour Rule in May 2016

The European Commission recently revealed that its 24-hour advance manifest system (AMS) rule, which has been in use since July 2011, will be revised. In the new policy, starting from May 2016, submission of information will become mandatory for NVOCCs. Currently, advance declaration of cargo information is required for only ocean shipping companies, however, more and more countries and regions have started to require a report from NVOCCs, including such countries as the United States, Canada and Japan. Japan introduced the pre-departure filing system in 2014. The WSC (World Shipping Council), an organization of shipping operators, expressed its support, saying "It was a clear problem that NVOCCs were not included in the reporting system".

Full-scale operation of the pre-loading cargo information reporting system (the European version of the 24-hour Rule), including penalties, began In July, 2011 in Europe. The European version of the 24-hour Rule is to require cargo which has been imported to Europe and exported from Europe to declare shipping information 24 hours prior to loading. In the system, import cargo information, which corresponds to manifest information (shipping documents) and export cargo information (EXS = Exit Summary Declaration) should be submitted electronically. For ocean cargo, it should be submitted 4 hours prior to arrival and departure, except for containers. Meanwhile, for air cargo, it should be submitted four hours before arrival (imports) and 30 minutes before take-off (exports).

In this revision, primarily, for maritime container cargo imported to Europe using ocean routes, not only the current master B/L manifest information declared by shipping companies, but also NVOCC's House B/L manifest information should be mandatory. The WSC basically expresses favor for this revised proposal, however, some industry people showed concerns on some parts of the revision. Specifically, the proposed revision imposes shipping companies, NVOCCs or consignees to be responsible for the declaration of data related to the seller and the buyer of imported goods. However, in the current documentation system, shipping companies and NVOCCs are not concerned parties in the business transaction; thus, they don't have enough information to provide such data. The WSC is planning to work on a modification of the revised draft.

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