December 16, 2009

Flexible Enforcement of Importer Security Filing (10+2 Rule) Ends on January 26, 2010

Converge Freight and Compliance Alerts.

Effective January 26, 2010, all ocean freight to the U.S. will require a security filing known as ISF, or the 10+2 rule. This rule is nicknamed 10+2 because carriers are required to file 12 additional pieces of data with U.S. Customs; 10 of these elements are provided by the importer/consignee and 2 by the carrier. Failure to accurately file the ISF will result in penalties up to the value of the cargo, and freight will not be loaded, causing delivery delays. The fine for failing to update, withdrawing or submitting incomplete filings will be $5,000.

The ISF is filed with U.S. Customs electronically and is required to be filed 24 hours prior to vessel loading. This means the days are gone when freight can be loaded immediately, with a commercial invoice to follow at a later time. Most importers will utilize the services of their import brokers to perform this task but can also self-file.

The information filed will be used to help the U.S. better assess and identify high-risk shipments. Customs’ automated targeting system will analyze the data and flag appropriate containers for further review as they approach the U.S.

The importer is now required to provide its forwarder, prior to vessel loading, the following 10 data elements:
1. Seller name and address
2. Buyer name and address
3. Ship to name and address
4. Manufacturer/supplier name and address
5. Container loading location
6. Consolidator name and address
7. Importer of record number or Foreign Trade Zone applicant ID number
8. Consignee number(s)
9. Country of origin
10. Commodity HTSUS number (minimum 6-digit level required, 10 accepted)

The carrier (steamship line) is required to file its vessel stow plan and container status messages 24 hours prior to arrival in the U.S. These filings are for freight imported to the U.S. as well as freight transshipping to other regions, such as South America.

These filings can be done directly by the importer, or with a power of attorney, the importer’s freight forwarder can do the filing. The importer must also have a continuous bond on file or file a single-entry bond when filing. All entries into the U.S. are audited by Converge to ensure accurate and timely filings.

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