What is an ISF Filing?
An ISF (Importer Security Filing) filing is a requirement by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that requires importers or their agents to provide detailed information about the goods being imported into the United States. This information is used to enhance cargo security and ensure compliance with U.S. laws and regulations.
An ISF Filing is required for all Ocean freight imports into the United States.
When Does an ISF Filing Need to be Filed?
An ISF filing must be submitted to the CBP at least 24 hours before the cargo is loaded onto a vessel bound for the United States. Failure to submit an ISF filing can result in costly penalties up to $100,000 and shipment delays.
Who is Required to File an ISF Filing?
All Ocean Imports into the U.S. require an ISF Filing. The responsibility for filing an ISF rests with the importer, who may choose to file the ISF themselves or hire a customs broker to do it on their behalf. However, if the importer chooses to hire a customs broker, they should ensure that the broker is licensed by the CBP and has the necessary experience and expertise to handle their ISF filings.
What Information is Needed to File an ISF Filing?
To complete an ISF filing, importers or their agents are required to provide information such as the names and addresses of the importer, seller, and manufacturer, as well as a detailed description of the goods being imported, the country of origin, and the vessel and voyage information, and the commercial invoice for the goods. This information is used to create a risk assessment of the cargo and to identify any potential security threats.