Importer Security Filing (ISF) Penalty Mitigation

What is an importer security filing (ISF)?

The Import Security Filing, usually abbreviated to ISF, is also known as 10+2.

In short, it’s data that must be filed with CBP at least 24 hours prior to any cargo being loaded onto vessel destined to the United States.

What data is part of the ISF?

Those data elements include that must be sent to CBP are:

  • Seller
  • Buyer
  • Importer of record number / FTZ applicant identification number
  • Consignee number(s)
  • Manufacturer (or supplier)
  • Ship to party
  • Country of origin
  • Commodity Harmonized Tariff Schedule

Two other data elements must be submitted as early as possible, but not later than 24 hours prior to the ship’s arrival at a U.S. port. These data elements are:

• Container stuffing location; and
• Consolidator

What is the ISF penalty if I don’t file or file ISF data late?

The penalty for late ISF filing, inaccurate ISF filing, or non-filing of the ISF is high. CBP may issue liquidated damages (let’s just call it a penalty, though it’s technicall different) of $5,000 per violation for the submission of an inaccurate, incomplete, or untimely filing. A repeat violation will result in liquidated damages of $10,000.

Can a ISF Penalty be reduced?

Yes, the $5,000 or $10,000 liquidated damage penalty can probably be reduced by filing a petition with U.S. Customs & Border Protection. A good outcome after a petition is submitted would be between $1,000 and $2,000. For a second violation a good outcome would be $2,500.

My ISF Penalty or Liquidated Damage notice says no mitigation is recommended. Should I bother with a petition?

Yes, you should still file a petition even if your notice says something like mitigation is not recommended. In my experience, this is usually put into the notice to discourage petitions and encourage full payment of the penalty. However, we have been successful in even getting these liquidated damages reduced.

Contact Great Lakes Customs Law today for a quote on filing a petition to mitigate and reduce your ISF Penalty/Liquidated Damage notice.