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Importer Security Filing (ISF)

Aliases: 10+2, ISF-10, ISF-5

The attack on the U.S. on September 11th, 2008 exposed soft border defects in the supply chain. On November 26, 2008, the United States Customs and Border Protection announced a reactive new procedure named Importer Security Filing (ISF). ISF became effective January 26, 2009 with incremental increased enforcement through July 9, 2013.


ISF is a screening process for cargo destined to the United States with the intent to protect the U.S. from acts of terrorism, smuggling, or illegal activity. The rule requires specified information to be transmitted to CBP at least 24 hours prior to departure from origin port, or from transshipment port if cargo unloads from a feeder vessel and is loaded onto a master vessel for transport to the US. This requirement is applicable to all cargo arriving to a U.S. port by ocean vessel and does not apply to other modes of transportation.

Why Importer Security Filing (ISF) is sometimes called 10+2 or ISF-10?

For shipments intended to entered into the US or FTZ , importers must submit 10 data elements to CBP that match and correspond with 2 data elements submitted by the carrier, thus the 10+2 or ISF-10 aliases.

10 Data Elements Required by U.S. Filer:

1. Manufacturer (or supplier) name and address

2. Seller (or owner) name and address

3. Buyer (or owner) name and address

4. Ship-to name and address

5. Container stuffing location

6. Consolidator (stuffer) name and address

7. Importer of record number/foreign trade zone applicant identification number

8. Consignee number(s)

9. Country of origin

10. Commodity Harmonized Tariff Schedule number to six (6) digits

2 Data Elements Required by Carrier:

1. Vessel stow plan

2. Container status messages

Why Importer Security Filing (ISF) is sometimes called an ISF-5?

ISF -5 is primarily meant for Foreign Cargo Remaining On Board (FROB), Immediate Exports (IE/Inbond type 61), and Transportation and Exportation (TE/Inbond Type 62) shipments. For this type of cargo, the ISF will need to consist of five elements as oppose to its counterpart 10+2. The Five elements consist of:

1. Booking Party

2. Foreign port of unlading

3. Place of Delivery

4. Ship to Party

5. HTSUS Number

Why it's important, the bottom line

First, those of us involved in international trade must comply with the standards designed to keep our country safe. Ensuring ISF filing is completed on-time and accurately is necessary to verify the validity of cargo destined for the U.S and is best handled by an experienced filer.

Fleischer is equipped with up-to-date regulations and regular training required for successful ISF filing with first hand experience in troubleshooting and remedying incorrect filings prior to deadlines.

Fine and Penalties for late, inaccurate, or incomplete filing:

If filed late or inaccurately, CBP has the right to issue liquidated damages of $5000 per violation. Additionally, CBP has the right to hold the cargo at the port and initiate exams at the importers expense.

Regardless of deadlines, an ISF needs to be filed immediately upon receipt. The importer is legally responsible to make sure the ISF has been filed even if the filing deadline has passed.. Ultimately, CBP at the port of arrival will use their discretion to determine if any further action is needed on the late ISF.


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