ISF Importer Security Filing for shipments to the USA

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Document for Importer Security Filing ISF

Learn how the ISF filing process works for shipments inbound to the USA.

If you’re shipping goods to the USA, you will have to be aware of the Importer Security Filing process so that important information can be transmitted on time.

In this article we explain why the Importer Security Filing process is required for shipments to the the USA, and how shippers can create ISF documents.

What is an ISF?

An Importer Security Filing is a filing process that is required by the United States Customs and Border Protection (CPB) which requires import containerized cargo information.

The information must be transmitted to the agency at least 24 hours before goods are loaded onboard a vessel to the USA. If the ISF is not transmitted in time penalties of up to US$5,000 can apply.

The ISF is also known as a “10+2” as it requires importers to provide 10 data elements to CBP and 2 other documents from the carrier of goods (shipping line). An Importer Security Filing document can be created to contain all of this important information to be passed on to different parties.

Example template of an ISF document used for shipments to the USA:


What information is included in an ISF document?

An Importer Security Filing document must contain 10 fields of information from the importer or supplier:

  • Manufacturer (or supplier) name and address
  • Seller (or owner) name and address
  • Buyer (or owner) name and address
  • Importer of record number, name and address
  • Consignee number(s)
  • Country of origin
  • Ship-to name and address
  • Container stuffing location
  • Consolidator (stuffer) name and address
  • Commodity Harmonized Tariff Schedule number for each product on the shipment
  • Master bill of lading number
  • House bill of lading number (if applicable)

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