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Importer Security Filing Enforcement to Tighten June 30

Monday, June 20, 2016

Tighter enforcement of the importer security filing requirement beginning June 30 could result in an increase in penalties or cargo holds at some ports and may also present a challenge to small and new importers.
Under the ISF rule, importers and maritime cargo carriers must submit additional cargo data prior to lading goods on board vessels destined to the U.S. customs territory. Importers have to report 10 data elements on each ISF or five for shipments consisting entirely of freight remaining on board cargo or goods intended to be transported in-bond as an immediate entry or transportation and exportation entry. CBP’s goal is to have all data elements filed 24 hours prior to lading, but it allows for some flexibility either in timing or interpretation for six of the data elements.
Importers are legally responsible for the accuracy and timeliness of their ISF filings, regardless of whether a customs broker or other intermediary does the actual filing. Typically, the ISF importer is the goods’ owner, purchaser, consignee or agent, such as a broker. For foreign cargo remaining on board, the ISF importer is the carrier. For immediate exportation and transportation and exportation in-bond shipments, and goods to be delivered to a foreign-trade zone, the ISF importer is the party filing the IE, T&E or FTZ documentation.
In 2014 CBP adopted a revised enforcement strategy for the ISF-10 requirement that provided for discretion at the port level based on infrastructure and staffing resources (i.e., cargo holds vs. liquidated damage claims). Under this strategy CBP has given at least three warnings to violating importers before pursuing LD claims against their bonds (the so-called three strikes approach). Ports were advised to focus enforcement actions on the most severe violations; i.e., significantly late or missing ISFs, which are subject to penalties of $5,000 to $10,000 each. Under this strategy ISF filings after arrival are always late and exposed to both LD claims and ISF holds.
CBP now states that for shipments that are on the water on or after June 30 (a) ports will no longer be required to send requests for LD claims to CBP headquarters for review and (b) the three strikes approach to LD claims will end. CBP notes that there is no change to cargo holds for ISF non-compliance and that ports may hold cargo instead of (or in addition to) initiating LD claims.

Folgueras Customs Broker Corp is here to assist U.S. Importers with the ISF (10+2). As Customs brokers we can file the ISF (10+2) for our customers and educate them on the requirements that need to be met, and help prevent penalties and/or liquidated damages. 

Below are important points that need to be known about the ISF.

-  The party required to submit the ISF is the party causing the goods to enter the limits of a port in the United States. Could be the owner, purchaser, consignee, or agent (e.g. customs broker)
-  The ISF must be updated, if after the filing and before the goods enter the limits of a port in the United States, there were changes to the information filed or more accurate information becomes available.
Note: The requirement to amend an ISF generally terminates when the vessel calls into the FIRST U.S. port, so the amendment must be done before.
-  ISF filings must be secured by a bond.
-  Current continuous bonds (CF301) will be accepted to cover ISF filings.
-  If an ISF Importer does not have a continuous bond it will need an Appendix D stand-alone ISF bond to cover its ISF entry, and it will also need the usual single transaction bond to cover entry, duties, etc.

The regulations are specifically intended to fulfill the requirements of section 203 of the Security and Accountability for Every (SAFE) Port Act of 2006 and section 343(a) of the Trade Act of 2002, as amended by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002. The SAFE Port Act requires the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting through the Commissioner of CBP, to promulgate regulations to require the electronic transmission of additional data elements for improved high-risk targeting on cargo destined to the United States.

For more info please go to our links page & click - Importer Security filing info