Can U.S. Customs See Your Shipment’s Importer Security Filing?

ISF is known as the Importer Security Filing. This is a rule implemented by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for security purposes. ISF is previously known as the “10+2” rule. This rule requires the submission of the information on the cargo container to the U.S. CBP at least 48 hours prior to the loading of the goods at the foreign port onto the ocean vessel that is headed to the United States. The ISF is applicable only for ocean cargo.

Why 10+2?

This is because importers or agents are required to submit 10 important data elements to the CBP namely: Seller Details, Buyer Details, Container Stuffing Location, Consolidator Details, Importer of Record Number, Consignee Number/s, Supplier Details, Ship to Party Details, Country of Origin, and Commodity Harmonized Tariff Schedule. While the remaining 2 types of data are the Vessel Stow Plan and the Container Status Message which is provided by the carrier. All of this information should be consolidated by the importer or he/she can entrust a third party, like a broker, to handle the submission of this information. All of this information is then submitted electronically through the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) or the Automated Manifest System (AMS). In addition to the 10+2 data, it needs to be submitted at the lowest level bill of lading upon entering the data into the AMS. The bill of lading number must be declared as this is the only link between the Importer Security Filing and the customs manifest data.

Can U.S. customs see your shipment’s ISF?

If you or your broker submitted all of the requirements but used the incorrect level of bill of lading number or type, then you will just receive a confirmation number but the CBP will never see your ISF. That is why we strongly encourage everyone to require their broker to confirm and double check that the ISF can indeed be seen by the U.S Customs.

How important is the submission of the 10+2?

The main purpose of this rule is improved security.  By enhancing cargo targeting before loading at the foreign port there is more visibility on high-risk shipments and more detailed descriptions of the items entering the United States. This rule also identifies the people involved in the supply chain. Failure to submit the ISF in an accurate, timely and complete manner can result in charges/liquidated damages issued by the CBP that can range from $5,000 to $10,000, but more commonly on HHG shipments will only result in a “hold” placed by CBP, preventing the cargo from being made available for pickup until the ISF shows on-file and the CBP hold is removed.

If you need any assistance with your ISF 10+2, Gallagher is always ready to help. We have extensive experience handling ISF 10+2 filings.

Call 303-365-1000 or email us anytime.