The rapid growth of eCommerce has impacted trade participants in all modes of transport. High logistics costs remain a challenge, however, and retailers are looking for more options to get products to customers quickly while saving money. Offering multiple delivery alternatives is one way to keep customers happy. Many buyers choose the most affordable delivery method for items that are not time-sensitive. For international orders, offering shipping via ocean transport is significantly more affordable and ideal for these kinds of parcels. Read on to learn more about obtaining customs clearance for ocean shipments and CBP Importer Security Filing (ISF) 10+2.
What is CBP Importer Security Filing (ISF) 10+2?
Shipments transported by sea have their own unique requirements for clearing customs. The Importer Security (ISF) 10+2 filing is one such requirement. The 10+2 refers to the number of data elements that must be submitted by importers/customs brokers and carriers respectively to CBP for all ocean shipments, including FROB (Freight Remaining on Board), break bulk cargo, IE (Immediate Exportation) and T&E (Transportation and Exportation) cargo. Bulk cargo, air freight, and cross-border shipments are exempt from the ISF rule, as well as shipments arriving via ocean vessel into Canada or Mexico and subsequently transported by truck or rail into the U.S.
CBP Importer Security Filing (ISF) 10+2 Goals and Benefits
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) implemented the ISF rule to trace shipments back to the first loading point at the foreign port, identify all parties involved in the supply chain, and gather more detailed commodity descriptions for inbound goods.
ISF is a measure designed to improve security, targeting, and risk management by CBP officials. When high-risk shipments are identified early on in the supply chain, CBP can better plan for their movement. It also means less scrutiny for legitimate and low-risk shipments, thus expediting cargo clearance and helping traders meet customer demands.
While CBP does not use ISF 10+2 information for determining admissibility, officials compare the ISF submission to the eManifest and entry data for validation and risk assessment. Failure to comply with ISF requirements can lead to delays at the port of entry in addition to liquidated damage claims. The three-strike rule and delayed enforcement for violations ended in 2019.
Filing Process and Submission Timeframe
The Importer of Record (buyer, owner of the goods or party causing the goods to enter the country) or their authorized representative (customs broker) is responsible for submitting the ISF to CBP. For FROB cargo, the importer is the carrier. For IE shipments, T&E in-bond shipments, and shipments destined for a foreign trade zone (FTZ), the importer or carrier is the party filing the IE, T&E, or FTZ documents.
Importers or their brokers must submit the following 8 data elements to CBP at least 24 hours before the shipment is loaded onto the vessel at the foreign port: Seller and buyer information, importer of record number, consignee number, manufacturer/supplier, ship-to party, HTS number, and country of origin. The container stuffing location and consolidator/stuffer must be filed as early as possible but no later than 24 hours before arrival at the port of discharge.
Changes to the ISF must be made by the original filer before the shipment enters the U.S. The ISF importer or broker also need to obtain a bond, either a continuous bond or a standalone ISF bond (single-transaction or continuous). CBP will accept one bond for the ISF filing and a separate bond for entry. However, if the ISF importer and the Importer of Record are the same and the submission is a unified filing, the importer must submit one bond for both the ISF and the entry.
Required Information for CBP Importer Security Filing (ISF) 10+2
The importer or their broker must include the following 10 data elements in the ISF:
Buyer information. Name and address of the party to whom the goods are sold. If the inbound goods are not for purchase, the name and address of the owner of the goods are required. The ISF must be updated if the goods are sold in transit and buyer information changes.
Seller information. Name and address of the party by whom the goods are sold. If the inbound goods are not for purchase, the name and address of the owner of the goods are required.
Country of origin. Country where the product is produced, manufactured or grown based on U.S. import regulations.
Harmonized Tariff Schedule number. The HTSUS code under which the product is classified. CBP accepts both the 10-digit or 6-digit HTS number.
Importer of Record (IOR) number. The IRS number, EIN, Social Security number, or customs-assigned importer number of the party who is responsible for meeting all regulatory requirements and paying all duties. For Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) shipments, the IRS number of the filer must be submitted. Any penalties are charged against the bond owner listed in the ISF.
Consignee number. The IRS number, EIN, Social Security number, or customs assigned importer number of the party in the U.S. causing the goods to be shipped (usually the same as the buyer).
Manufacturer or supplier information. Name and address of the party that manufactures, assembles, or grows the product or the party that supplies the finished goods in the country of shipment.
Ship-to party. Name and address of the party that will receive the goods after customs clearance. If the ship-to party is unknown, provide the name of the warehouse or facility where the goods will be unloaded.
Container stuffing location. Name and address of the facility or facilities where the goods were stuffed into the container or where the goods were prepared for shipment (for break bulk shipments).
Consolidator or stuffer. Name and address of the party that stuffed the container or the party that prepared the goods for shipment (for break bulk cargo.)
The carrier must provide the following two data elements in the ISF:
Vessel stow plan
Container status messages
Customs Broker Requirement
The customs broker must also submit the bill of lading number to CBP to tie the ISF to the ocean eManifest and the entry.
FROB, IE and T&E cargo only need five data elements in the ISF/ISF-5:
Booking party. Name and address of the party who reserved cargo space for the shipment.
Ship-to party. Name and address of the party who physically receives the goods after clearance and processing.
Foreign port of unlading
Place of delivery
Importers, brokers and carriers may submit the ISF via the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) or the ACE Portal (12 or fewer transactions per year). Filers can establish a dedicated EDI connection to CBP or use third party software/filing service.
GeTS Solutions for CBP Importer Security Filing (ISF) 10+2
The ISF rule has been mandatory since January 2009, but the rise of ecommerce in the past few years has introduced compliance challenges for many trade participants, especially small and medium-sized businesses. ISF 10+2 submission for ocean shipments can be easily automated with a dedicated third-party solution.
Global eTrade Services (GeTS) has helped traders optimize compliance and streamline the submission of ISF 10+2 data to CBP for many years. GeTS services include ISF filing, eManifest filing and freight management. CALISTA Freight eXchange facilitates RFQ, booking, invoice management and verification, and online payments. It connects carriers, freight forwarders and shippers/retailers for easy matching of loads with vehicles and services.
Learn more by visiting our CBP Importer Security Filing (ISF) 10+2 page or contact us today!
CBP Entry Type 86 Clearance for eCommerce Shipments
What Importers Need to Know About Section 321 Entry Type 86
CBSA Commercial Transportation Agenda
CBSA Announces Changes to ACI eHBL Post-Arrival Amendments
ACI eManifest e-HBL
eManifest Canada: 10 Helpful Points in Choosing the Right ACE ACI Provider for your Business
ACI e-HBL Portal
The ACI eManifest Portal and your ACE ACI Services Provider
ACI Highway Canada eManifest FAQ
Simplifying the Filing Process with eManifest EDI Integration
CBSA eManifest Processing
Canada eManifest: Highway Shipments Made Easy
Mandatory Electronic Notification of Cargo Arrival FAQ with CrimsonLogic
ACI for Freight Forwarders (eHBL)
ACI eManifest Phase III: Canada eManifest House Bill Data & Supplementary Cargo Reports
ACI housebill eManifest: Bill of Lading for Freight Forwarders
Canada ACI eManifest Highway
ACI eManifest Air
Canada ACI Marine