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Importer Security Filing

What is ISF?


Importer Security Filing (ISF), also referred to as “10+2” for the number of the data elements required, is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulation that requires importers and Vessel Operating Carriers to submit specific information pertaining to ocean cargo in advance of entering the country. This screening initiative was developed to help prevent high-risk shipments from being transported to the United States and is fully enforced by CBP.


The importer is responsible for filing the ISF and must submit the ten ISF data elements in a timely and accurate manner in order to fully comply with the regulations. The Vessel Operating Carrier is responsible for an additional two elements, which are the vessel stow plan and container status messages.


What does it mean to me?


ISF requires trade data transmission 24 hours prior to vessel lading for containerized freight, and 24 hours prior to arrival at the port of discharge for break bulk shipments. (Importers of bulk cargo are exempt from filing an ISF with respect to that cargo)


ISF filings must be completed electronically via vessel Automated Manifest System (AMS) or the Automated Broker Interface (ABI). Corrections and updates must be made before the goods enter the limits of a U.S. port, and only the party who submitted the original filing may make changes.

Per CBP, failure to comply with these regulations will result in amendments to the importers bond conditions, including the issuing of liquidated damages up to $5,000 USD per violation, with a maximum of $10,000 USD per shipment. CBP can assess these damages on late or inaccurate ISF filings.

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