Importer Security Filing 10+2 Requirements for Importers

Importers bringing goods into the United States via ocean vessel are responsible for electronically submitting an Importer Security Filing at least 24 hours before the merchandise is loaded at point of origin. The ISF 10+2 form contains essential information about the cargo shipment that helps U.S. Customs and Border Protection detect potentially dangerous goods that require inspection. This additional information helps CBP prevent against terrorism, smuggling, and to promote the highest levels of cargo safety and security possible. Failure to file the ISF in a timely and accurate manner could result in a $5,000 liquidated damages fine, delayed release of cargo, and additional cargo screenings.

To avoid penalties, it is best to establish a few best practices to gather the necessary information to file the ISF in a timely and accurate manner. Before filing, classify what you are shipping (i.e. product description), decide who will transmit the ISF and how (you, the importer, or a licensed customs broker), and determine when the collected data will be submitted (minimally 24 hours before loading on the ocean vessel).

ISF importers, often the good’s owner, purchaser, consignee, or licensed customs broker, must provide ten pieces of information about the shipment to CBP no later than 24 hours before the shipment is loaded onto the vessel at point of origin. This applies only to goods being imported into the United States via ocean vessel or goods intended to be delivered to a Foreign Trade Zone.

The ISF, or 10+2 as it’s commonly known, is comprised of two separate transmissions of information to U.S. Customs. Ten pieces of information required of the importer is found on the ISF. The two additional pieces of information comes from the ocean carrier for which the goods will be arriving on.

10 items on ISF (required by importer):
1. Manufacturer name/address
2. Seller name/address
3. Buyer name/address
4. ‘Ship to’ name/address
5. Container stuffing location
6. Consolidator
7. Importer of Record or FTZ (Foreign Trade Zone) Applicant Identification Number
8. Consignee number
9. Country of Origin
10. Commodity Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) number

2 items required by carrier (no later than 24 hours before ocean vessel arrives at U.S. port):
1. Vessel stow plan
2. Container status message

Again, to avoid costly penalties, delays, and additional cargo screenings, it is important to implement a process of collecting required shipment and merchandise information and submitting required information in a timely and accurate manner. As a rule of thumb, importers should plan to provide essential shipment information to their customs broker three to five days before the shipment is to be loaded onto the ocean vessel, to avoid costly penalties and delays. A licensed customs broker can help you navigate the intricacies of these filing to ensure you fully comply with all regulations. They can also help you classify the goods being imported and apply the correct tariffs for your shipments.

Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for more information: