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What is an Importer Security Filing?

Before merchandise arriving by vessel can be imported into the United States, the “Importer Security Filing (ISF) Importer,” or their agent, must electronically submit certain advance cargo information to CBP in the form of an Importer Security Filing. This requirement only applies to cargo arriving in the United States by ocean vessel; it does not apply to cargo arriving by other modes of transportation

Who is Responsible for the Filing?

The ISF Importer is required to submit the Importer Security Filing. The ISF Importer is the party causing the goods to arrive within the limits of a port in the United States by vessel. Typically, the ISF Importer is the goods’ owner, purchaser, consignee, or agent such as a licensed customs broker. However, for foreign cargo remaining on board (FROB), the ISF Importer is the carrier. For immediate exportation (IE) and transportation and exportation (T&E) in-bond shipments, and goods to be delivered to a foreign trade zone (FTZ), the ISF Importer is the party filing the IE, T&E, or FTZ documentation.

What Must Be Filed?

Shipments Consisting of Goods Intended to be Entered into the United States and Goods Intended to be Delivered to a Foreign Trade Zone ISF Importers, or their agent, must provide eight data elements, no later than 24 hours before the cargo is laden aboard a vessel destined to the United States.

Those data elements include:

• Seller

• Buyer

• Importer of record number 

• Consignee number(s)

• Manufacturer (or supplier)*

• Ship to party *

• Country of origin *

• Commodity Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) number*

• Container stuffing location; and

• Consolidator

• Bill of Lading Number 

Do I need a Customs Bond? 

Yes, the ISF Importer will need to obtain a bond. The ISF Importer may obtain a continuous bond or an Appendix D stand-alone ISF bond.

What are the penalties for not filing ISF? 

Liquidated damages for ISF start at $5000 for failure to file an ISF, $5000 for late ISF, $5000 for inaccurate ISF, $5000 for an incomplete ISF.

Have more questions? 

Please contact us!