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ISF Filing (Importer Security Filing)


The ISF Filing is required 24 hours before the loading of goods onto the vessel destined to the United States. This rule is now fully enforced by US Customs and Border Protection with late or erroneous filing penalties of $5,000 per instance or $10,000 in aggregate. We strongly advise all Importers to file their ISF ahead of time approximately 3-4 days before loading or goods or vessel departure. If your ISF is late, this is still required to be filed as your goods will be held at port and may not be able to clear customs with possible customs examination or holds at port when arrived. 

Helpful Tips for your ISF Filing:

1. Obtain and request ISF documents from your Seller in advance (3-4 days before loading or departure of vessel)

2. Get a Customs Broker to file your ISF and to give them documents preferably 2 days prior to loading if possible.

3. Review the ISF Filing submitted to customs for accuracy.

4. Keep a record of your filings.

Fines & Penalties for Late or Erroneous ISF Filing:

  • CBP may fine the importer up to $5000 USD per violation for the submission of inaccurate, incomplete or late filing, with a maximum of $10,000 USD per shipment.

  • Noncompliant cargo may be subject to “do not load” orders at origin

  • Goods may be held at port of arrival for late ISF Filings, which can result in Customs inspection or exams which bears a cost to the Importer.

  • If cargo is unloaded without permission, it may be subject to seizure by CBP.

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