ISF- Importer security filing

ISF stands for Importer security filing, there are two types of ISF that the importer should be aware of,  ISF “10+2” and ISF 5,  the ISF filing are requirement by the CBP that documents importing information and details as shipments pass from point to point.  The requirement to file ISF 10+2 started January 2009 and ISF 5 started March of 2019, and the reason being to enhance security for sea and ocean shipments.  The ISF allow CBP and the Department of Homeland Security to identify high-risk shipments to prevent smuggling and provide enhanced cargo security and safety. The difference between these two ISF is, that the 10+2 is to be filed when the shipment is coming into a U.S port and will be delivered to a party in the U.S. The ISF5 is too filed if a shipment is coming into a U.S port and either is staying on the ship to be delivered to a foreign port, or will be taken as a TE or IE shipment and will be taken out the country.

An ISF must be filed 24 hours before the ship departs, it is recommended the ISF be filed a few days before departure and not last minute. The ISF must filed against the lowest bill of lading number either the house or regular bill that is referenced in AMS on the electronic manifest. All ISF filings are to be done electronically. One ISF can cover multiple bills as long as they are part of the same shipment going to the same importer of record and arriving on the same vessel/voyage

The party that is responsible for fling the ISF is called the ISF importer, this being the party causing the goods to arrive within the limits of a port in the United States by a vessel, the ISF importer is generally the goods owner, purchaser, consignee, or agents such as a licensed custom broker.

Failure to file can lead to CBP to assess damage up to $10,000 for failure to comply, CBP can also fine you for late failing, incomplete filing, failure to withdraw the ISF, or failure to ensure it matches the bill of landing that is on file, any of these mistakes can lead to $5,000 in fines per shipment.

To avoid receiving a penalty, the importer should always make sure that the ISF importer has been given the necessary information. The information should be presented to the ISF importer as below. The first form is a standard 10+2 form that has the 10 data unit that are needed to correctly file an ISF bond. The second form is the ISF5 which has 5 data units that must be reported. Once the ISF importer has confirmed the ISF filing, the importer should always request a copy of the ABI notes, to confirm that the ISF has been filed correctly.



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