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What You Need To Know About ISF

ISF — what is it? If you are importing goods overseas into the U.S., you should know that this is essential for your ocean shipments to enter the country. Although ISF forms are only required for imports via ocean vessel, it is still important to keep this information in mind — after all, ocean freight can be the more inexpensive option as compared to air freight!

What is ISF?

ISF stands for “Importer Security Filing,” and is also referred as 10+2. This filing is required by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulation in order to document specific cargo import details coming into the U.S. by vessel. ISF must be submitted to CBP at least 24 hours before goods are loaded and out for departure towards the U.S.

10+2 Data Elements

There are 10 data elements required by the importer:

  • Seller Name & Address

  • Buyer Name & Address

  • Manufacturer Name & Address

  • Consolidator Name & Address

  • Ship To Name & Address

  • Importer of Record Number

  • Consignee Number(s)

  • Country of Origin

  • Container Stuffing Location

  • Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) Number

And 2 data elements required by the carrier:

  • Vessel Stow Plan

  • Container Status Messages

Why is ISF required?

ISF filing is required by the CBP as an attempt to concisely identify commodities entering the U.S. from foreign ports. By necessitating vessel cargo details, the CBP is able to indicate and prevent any suspicious shipments that may be a harm to our country, such as smuggled goods.

What happens if ISF is not filed correctly?

Importers must remember that ISF files are required no later than 24 hours of the goods being loaded on the carrier. ISF is will be deemed as late if it is submitted after 24 hours and will result in penalty. Any failures to submit accurately, completely, and on time would result in monetary fines of $5000 for each violation.

It is crucial that your ISF forms are transmitted to CBP accurately and on time to avoid Customs penalty fees and delays. Please contact or call 714-738-1196 for assistance on ISF related inquiries.



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