The Importer Security Filing (ISF), also known as 10+2, is a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulation that requires importers and vessel operating carriers to provide advance data electronically to CBP for in-bound ocean shipments. The main purpose of these entries is to determine the shipments with US destination in advance and ensure the safety of America’s borders.

Below information should be submitted by each ISF entry:

  • Importer of record number: Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Employer Identification Number (EIN), Social Security Number (SSN), or CBP assigned number of the entity liable for payment of the duties and responsible for meeting requirements incurred as a result of importation.
  • Consignee Numbers: Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Employer Identification Number (EIN), Social Security Number (SSN), or CBP assigned number of the individual(s) or firm(s) in the United States on whose account the merchandise is shipped.
  • Seller Name & Address: Name and address of the last known entity by whom the goods are sold or agreed to be sold.
  • Buyer Name & Address: Name and address of the last known entity to whom the goods are sold or agreed to be sold.
  • Ship to Name & Address: Name and address of the first deliver-to party scheduled to physically receive the goods after the goods have been released from customs custody.
  • Manufacturer Name & Address: Name and address of the supplier of the finished goods in the country from which the goods are leaving.
  • Country of origin: Country of manufacture
  • Commodity HTS Code: The number under which the commodity is classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.
  • Container Stuffing Location: Name and address of the physical location where the goods were stuffed into the container.
  • Consolidator Name & Address: Name and address of the party who stuffed the container or arranged for the stuffing of the container.

What happens if ISF is not filed timely or properly:

CBP could assess penalties up to $10,000 per ISF for one or more of the following violations:

Late ISF: if the ISF is not filed at least 24 hours prior to lading aboard a vessel destined to the USA CBP could charge $5,000 penalty. This includes untimely filing of an ISF update and/or flexible ISF filing.

Inaccurate ISF: CBP also assess $5,000 per inaccurate and/or incomplete ISF filing. This includes missing and/or incorrect AMS bill of lading number representing. Incomplete or inaccurate AMS bill of lading with SCAC code at the lowest bill level (AMS house bill) is one of the most common problem. Please ensure that the bill of lading number provided by your carrier or freight forwarder is the correct and complete number that was transmitted to CBP in AMS to avoid a mismatch. Incorrect/incomplete names and/or addresses of the parties or other required data can also lead to penalties.

Amendments: Inaccurate or incomplete data requires the filing of an ISF amendment to CBP upon discovery. Certain “flexible” data elements used due to unknown facts at the time of filing must be corrected and transmitted to CBP no later than 24 hours prior to arrival in the USA, or it is subject to penalty.

Always keep that in mind that under the ISF final rule, ultimate responsibility for ISF and correctness of the data rests with importer. Therefore always make sure that ISF is filed timely and properly. Before you import, know what you are importing and identify the proper HTS numbers earlier in the process. Also decide who will transmit the ISF and send necessary documents to related party in order authorize them timely.