If you’re importing goods into the USA via ocean freight, you must understand the ISF filing requirements. This guide will help you comprehend ISF filing, the people responsible for it, the key components, the data elements, submission timelines, and fees. Additionally, we’ve provided tips and warnings throughout the article to help you avoid mistakes that could cause severe issues.
Understanding ISF Filing Requirements
As an importer, you must submit an ISF form, also known as a 10+2 form, prior to your cargo’s arrival at a USA port of entry. The ISF comprises ten elements required by the importer or their customs broker and two elements required by the carrier. The ISF must include the necessary details about the inbound cargo, such as shipper and consignee information, cargo and description information, routing information, and payment details.
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) launched the ISF program on January 26, 2010. It’s designed to provide CBP with information about inbound ocean shipments before the vessel arrives at the US port of entry. By providing this information to CBP ahead of time, they can better identify high-risk shipments before they enter the country.
One of the key benefits of ISF filing is that it can help avoid costly delays and fines. If the ISF is not filed correctly or on time, CBP may issue a penalty. The penalty can be up to $5,000 per violation, and each shipment counts as a separate violation. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that the ISF is filed accurately and on time.
What is ISF Filing?
As previously stated, the ISF is the importer’s or their broker’s obligation to provide the CBP with information about inbound ocean shipments. The CBP checks this information against its security threat assessment and identifies potential risks to national security. The ISF must be submitted electronically to the CBP’s Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) portal at least 24 hours before the vessel’s arrival.
ISF filing is a critical part of the import process, and it’s essential to ensure that the information provided is accurate. The CBP uses the information provided in the ISF to determine whether a shipment poses a security risk. If CBP identifies a risk, they may delay the shipment until they can investigate further. Therefore, it’s essential to provide accurate information in the ISF to avoid any unnecessary delays.
Who is Responsible for ISF Filing?
The importer of record is responsible for submitting the ISF. However, the importer may appoint an agent to do so on their behalf. The party responsible for submitting the ISF must guarantee the accuracy of the information provided.
It’s important to note that the importer of record is the party responsible for paying any penalties issued by CBP for non-compliance with ISF filing requirements. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that the ISF is filed correctly and on time to avoid any unnecessary penalties.
Key Components of ISF Filing
The key components of ISF filing are as follows:
- Shipper’s name and address
- Consolidator’s name and address
- Buyer’s name and address
- Delivery address
- Importer of record number
- Consignee number(s)
- Country of origin
- Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) number
- Container stuffing location
- Consolidator’s stuff location
- Bill of lading (BOL) number(s)
- The carrier’s booking party name and address
- Container stuffing date
- Declared shipment value for Customs purposes
- The name and address of the party providing the ISF information, if different from the buyer or seller
Each of these components is critical to ensuring that the ISF is filed accurately and on time. It’s essential to gather this information as early as possible to avoid any delays in the filing process. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that the information provided is consistent with other documentation, such as the bill of lading, to avoid any discrepancies.
Overall, ISF filing is a critical part of the import process, and it’s essential to ensure that the information provided is accurate and filed on time. By doing so, importers can avoid costly penalties and delays and ensure that their shipments arrive on time.
The 10+2 ISF Data Elements
The 10+2 Importer Security Filing (ISF) is a requirement by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for ocean shipments entering the United States. It is designed to enhance the security of the supply chain by providing CBP with advance information on the cargo that is being imported into the country.
The following are the ten data elements required by the importer or their customs broker:
Importer Security Filing (ISF) 10 Data Elements
- Manufacturer (or supplier) name and address
- Seller (or owner) name and address
- Buyer (or owner) name and address
- Ship-to name and address
- Container stuffing location
- Consolidator’s name and address
- Importer of record number/foreign trade zone (FTZ) applicant identification number/consignee identification number
- Consolidator’s container stuffing location
- Country of origin
- Commodity Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTSUS) number
It is important to note that these ten data elements must be submitted to CBP at least 24 hours prior to the vessel’s arrival in the United States.
Additional 2 Data Elements for the Carrier
- Stow Plan
- Container status messages
The stow plan provides CBP with information on how the cargo is stowed on the vessel, which is important for security and safety reasons. The container status messages provide CBP with updates on the status of the container, such as when it has been loaded onto the vessel and when it has been discharged at the destination port.
Common Mistakes to Avoid in ISF Data Submission
Submitting ISF data with errors or omissions can result in hefty penalties. These are some common errors to avoid:
- Failure to submit the ISF at least 24 hours prior to the vessel’s arrival
- Submitting the ISF with incorrect or incomplete data
- Submitting the ISF after the vessel has arrived at the port
- Submitting the ISF without a valid bond
- Submitting the ISF to CBP instead of the port director at the destination port
It is important to ensure that the ISF data is submitted accurately and on time to avoid any unnecessary penalties or delays in the shipment’s arrival.
ISF Filing Timeline and Deadlines
When importing goods into the United States, it’s essential to understand the ISF filing timeline and deadlines. The ISF, or Importer Security Filing, is a requirement by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that helps enhance cargo security and prevent terrorism.
When to Submit the ISF
The ISF must be submitted to the CBP at least 24 hours before the vessel’s arrival at the US port of entry. This timeline allows the CBP to review the information and identify any potential security risks before the goods arrive in the United States. It’s crucial to note that the 24-hour timeline applies to all ocean shipments, including foreign cargo remaining on board (FROB) and freight remaining on board (FROB).
It’s best to submit the ISF as early as possible to avoid any delays or issues that may arise. In case of significant changes, the ISF can be updated or withdrawn before the vessel’s arrival without penalty. However, it’s crucial to submit the updated ISF before the vessel reaches the US port.
Late ISF Filing Consequences
It’s essential to file the ISF on time to avoid any penalties or shipment delays. Failing to file the ISF on time or providing incorrect or incomplete information can lead to fines and shipment delays. The CBP may also flag a shipment for increased scrutiny, which can result in significant shipping and storage costs.
It’s important to note that the CBP may also issue liquidated damages for late ISF filings. The amount of liquidated damages depends on the number of violations and the severity of the violation. The CBP will issue a penalty notice, and the importer has 60 days to respond or pay the penalty.
ISF Amendment and Withdrawal Process
The ISF can be amended or withdrawn from the ACE portal up to 24 hours before the vessel’s arrival. After that, it’s considered a late filing. To avoid late filing penalties, make changes before the deadline.
If you need to amend or withdraw an ISF, you can do so by submitting a new ISF with the updated information or withdrawing the original ISF through the ACE portal. It’s crucial to ensure that the updated information is accurate and complete to avoid any issues or penalties.
In conclusion, understanding the ISF filing timeline and deadlines is crucial for smooth and efficient import operations. Filing the ISF on time and providing accurate and complete information can help avoid penalties and shipment delays, ultimately saving time and money for all parties involved.
ISF Filing by Freightclear
The ISF filing can be done by the importer or their customs broker. However, it’s essential to note that the responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the filing lies with the importer.
Choosing a reliable and experienced ISF filing service provider such as Freightclear can save you from headaches penalties and fines.
Cost of ISF Filing
The cost of ISF filing varies depending on the service provider and the services offered. The fees may include a one-time ISF setup fee, filing fee, amendment fee, and data correction fee. It’s crucial to understand the fee structure of your service provider to avoid unexpected charges.
Additionally, the importer may need a bond to prevent penalties. The bond amount can range from $50,000 to $100,000, depending on the shipment’s value and the importer’s creditworthiness. The bond ensures that the importer will comply with the ISF filing requirements and pay any penalties imposed by the CBP.
Penalties for Non-Compliance
Penalties for non-compliance with the ISF filing requirements can be severe. The CBP may impose fines ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 per late filing, incorrect data, or non-compliant shipment. These penalties can quickly add up and significantly impact your business’s bottom line.
Additionally, non-compliant shipments may face significant delays and additional storage and shipping costs. The CBP can hold your shipment until the ISF filing is complete and accurate, leading to additional demurrage and storage fees. Delayed shipments can also result in lost sales opportunities and damage to your business’s reputation.
In conclusion, ISF filing is a crucial requirement for all ocean freight shipments entering the United States. It’s essential to choose a reliable and experienced ISF filing service provider, understand the fee structure, and comply with the filing requirements to avoid penalties and delays.