New China advanced manifest rules effective Jan. 1
New rules on advanced manifest filing for Chinese Customs go into effect Thursday, as previously reported Oct. 8 in Shippers’ NewsWire.
The new rules require the manifest for all cargo imported or transshipped into China to be submitted to China Customs electronically 24 hours prior to loading of cargo at foreign ports for container ships. Non-container ships must submit the electronic manifest 24 hours before arrival at the first port of call. For export cargo from China, the pre-stowage manifest must be filed 24 hours prior to loading of cargo at mainland China ports and a final manifest, the loading manifest, must be submitted 30 minutes prior to loading.
China Customs will screen the information and advise vessel operators whether they can accept cargo. Vessels carrying un-manifested or rejected cargo may be refused entry to or exit from Chinese ports. Reasons for subjecting goods to a “No Discharge” order include quarantine regulations, drug enforcement or national safety.
Also, the advanced manifest rules affect air cargo as well. Air freight carriers will be required to electronically submit full manifests, prior to departure, for shipments that have an arrival time of less than four hours from the departure point. For shipments greater than four hours from the departure point, the manifest must be submitted prior to the arrival at the first port in China.
Most ocean and air carriers have details on their website about how the advanced manifest rules will affect their customers.
Subsequent guidance issued by China Customs regarding its September manifest decree indicates that parties besides the carriers, such as non-vessel-operating common carriers, freight forwarders, shipping agencies and postal service enterprises, may also submit the manifest data, according to a memo from outside legal counsel to the Washington-based World Shipping Council. It is not clear whether NVOs and/or forwarders may submit the manifest information in place of carriers or would be required to do so. Also unclear is whether such freight managers would advise the vessel operator of any filing.
Parties submitting data must first register with China Customs.
Before transmitting original manifest data for imports, the vessel operator must inform customs authorities of the estimated time of arrival at the port of destination. Then, before the vessel actually arrives, the carrier must inform China Customs of the exact time of arrival, and then make an arrival declaration when it arrives. Still unclear is how far in advance carriers must provide arrival notification. China Customs has advised that as long as the vessel operator provides notice at some point prior to arrival it will be in compliance with the provision, the legal memo said.
Several electronic manifest filings are actually required. The first one is to include primary data from the original manifest 24 hours prior to loading, followed a submission of other secondary data prior to arrival and then a “tally report” within six hours after discharge of the goods.
Paper manifests are allowed in the case of computer failure.
Export manifest reporting also will take place in stages, starting with the submission of a packing list prior to loading of goods in containers, then with a pre-stowage manifest prior to Customs declaration and filing of secondary data 24-hours prior to loading for container ships along with subsequent arrival, loading and summary reports. ' Eric Johnsonand ' Eric Kulisch