Kansai International Airport Co. and the government of Osaka in western Japan announced that they have filed an application with Tokyo to open round-the-clock customs operations.
Kansai is scheduled to open a second runway Aug. 2, and wants to simplify procedures regarding customs, bond systems and immigration control to increase the airport's competitiveness.
If 24-hour customs operations are permitted, it will reduce the lead time and physical distribution costs spent by cargo transporters at the airport.
At present, customs operates from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. During off hours, cargo transporters must request special service from the customs office, and pay an extra fee of 1,900 yen (US$15.4) to 2,125 yen (US$17.3) per hour. Seventy-five percent of all air cargo handled at the airport moves through customs after 5 p.m.
If Kansai's request for special zone status is granted, forwarders will be exempted from bonded transportation approval and an automatic customs-clearance system will be introduced.
-- Hisane Masaki in Tokyo