Importer Security Filing ISF 10+2 Compliance

Beginning January 26, 2009, importers and vessel operating ocean carriers will be required to provide U.S. Customs and Border Protection CBP with advance notification for all ocean vessel shipments inbound to the United States. The Importer Security Filing (ISF), commonly known as the ISF 10+2 initiative, is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulation pursuant to Section 203 of the SAFE Port Act of 2006 and section 343(a) of the Trade Act of 2002, as amended by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, for non-bulk ocean shipments arriving into the United States.

The new ISF 10+2 import compliance requirements will dramatically change the way importers and ocean carriers conduct supply-chain logistics. The importer will be solely responsible for filing ten data elements in the Importer Security Filing ISF.

Importers are required to transmit the ISF Importer Security Filing electronically to the at least 24 hours before loading any ocean shipments a vessel bound for the United States. An ISF is required for each inbound ocean shipment. Any changes or updates to the Importer Security Filing ISF must be done prior to the shipment arrival at the first U.S. Port of arrival. ISF filings will need to be secured by a bond. Generally, continuous bonds will be accepted for ISF filings.

For Ocean Shipments with a U.S. destination (includes Free Trade Zone and In-Transit) the ten data elements required by importers for the ISF transmission are:
1. Manufacturer (or supplier) name and address
2. Seller (or owner) name and address
3. Buyer (or owner) name and address
4. Ship to name and address
5. Container stuffing location
6. Consolidator (container stuffer) name and address
7. Importer of record Internal Revenue Number or Foreign Trade Zone applicant ID number
8. Consignee number(s)
9. Country of origin
10. Harmonized Tariff Schedule number (HTSUS) minimum six digit level)

We have compiled more specific importer security filing details of the requirements for importers, click here to read more...

CBP has announced a one-year period of "informed compliance" to help importers and carriers adapt to the new ISF 10+2 regulations without the threat of fines. Importers are required begin submitting the Importer Security Filing (ISF) starting January 26, 2009. Failure to do so may result in customs clearance delays and cargo inspections. After the one-year period, beginning January 26, 2010, the CBP will assess a penalty of $5,000.00 per ISF violation.

In addition, the CBP has added flexibility for four of the ten Importer Security Filing elements as to the interpretation of the data: manufacturer (supplier) name/address, ship to party, country of origin, and commodity HTSUS number. These elements are still required 24 hours prior to vessel lading. Importers, in their initial filing, will be permitted to provide a range of acceptable responses based on facts available at the time, in lieu of a single specific response. Importers will be required to update their filings as soon as more precise or more accurate information is available using an unique identification number as part of the amendment process.

Also, CBP has added flexibility for two Importer Security Filing elements in terms of timing: container stuffing location and consolidator (stuffer) name/address. ISF Importer must file this data as soon as possible, but no later than 24 hours prior to U.S. arrival.

Who can file the Importer Security Filing?
The ISF importer or his agent will be responsible for filing the complete, accurate, and timely importer Security Filing. For the purposes of the interim final rule, ISF importer means the party causing goods to arrive within the limits of a port in the United States. For foreign cargo remaining on board, the ISF Importer is construed as the carrier. For immediate exportation (IE) and transportation and exportation (T&E) in-bond shipments, and goods to be delivered to a foreign trade zone (FTZ), the ISF importer is construed as the party filing the IE, T&E, or FTZ documentation with CBP.

What about general confidentiality issues?

Importer Security Filing data is treated as law enforcement sensitive when received by CBP because it is used for national security targeting purposes. It may also be considered confidential commercial information (subject to the Trade Secrets Act), when providing the same or similar information as required on the CBP 3461 Entry Form. Therefore, CBP would assert the applicable exemptions to withhold this information from public disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), unless authorized by law or required by a court order.

For additional details regarding the Public Participation Period, visit the News page
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