The requirements for AFCI on this side of the border vary from state to state, dependent on the edition of the NEC that each state adopted.
New Jersey is currently on the 2008 NEC, and AFCI is required per that edition. Previously we were under the '05 until late 2009, and AFCI was NOT a state requirement, although it was within the '05, and required in other states.
John's right about it being dependent on the specifics of each jurisdiction.
Back in the 1999 NEC AFCI was required for bedroom receptacle outlets. In the 2002 NEC the word "receptacle" was removed so that it was required for all bedroom outlets. Over the past few Code cycles it's been expanded to require AFCI darn near everywhere in the Dwelling. I think right now that just about every outlet needs either GFCI or AFCI.
The current requirements in the area where you're working depends on which edition of the Code is being enforced; in addition to any local Amendments.
Maybe if the main was a GFI with a higher trip setting but then you would still need GFCI for all the shock protection. We work very hard to not adopt all the GFCI requirements from the NEC. A really good shock does wonders for the average Joe. We only have GFCI protection for plugs within 5 feet of sinks, Plugs within 2.5 meters of grade and spa tubs and hot tubs. In fact there are a number of ways to install a hot tub without GFCI protection. The hot tub GFCI is being changed to require it. No GFCI in basements, No GFCI in softs as long as it is mounted higher than 2.5 meters. GFCI on construction sites. Not too many more.