How to File ISF ?
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How to File ISF ?

Views: 53     Author: KATIE     Publish Time: 2020-10-27      Origin: ONLINE INFORMATION


How to File ISF ? A Simple Guide to Nail Security Filing

The advancement of transportation has gradually torn down international boundaries. Different countries are putting more emphasis on border security, and it is important for importers and exporters to complete the necessary security filing processes.

The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of the United States came up with the Importer Security Filing requirement, demanding that containerized cargo submit information for security purposes.

It is important to know that US-bound and transit cargos are required to submit different data elements. US-bound cargo is required to submit 10 data elements (ISF-10) while transit cargo only needs 5 (ISF-5).

To submit your ISF perfectly, you simply have to follow 3 steps:

Step 1. Prepare the information required for ISF (with full list of items)
Step 2. Look for a certified destination custom clearance /broker/software partner and file your ISF
Step 3. Follow up on your ISF status

Every filing process requires collecting information. Importers or their agents must first collect the necessary information from different parties prior to the actual filing.

Step 1. Prepare the information required for ISF

10 Information items to be submitted for ISF-10 no later than 24 hours prior to lading

  • Manufacturer (name and address)

  • Seller (name and address)

  • Buyer (name and address)

  • Container stuffing location*

  • Consolidator*

  • Importer of record number / FTZ applicant identification number

  • Consignee number

  • Ship to party (name and address)

  • Country of origin

  • Commodity Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) Number

*Note that container stuffing location and consolidator can be submitted no later than 24 hours before the vessel arrives at a U.S port.

5 information items to be submitted for ISF-5 no later than 24 hours prior to lading

  • Booking party (name/address)

  • Ship to party

  • Commodity HTS-6

  • Foreign port of unlading

  • Place of delivery

The operating carriers also have to submit 2 additional information items as shown below.

2 data elements to be submitted by the carrier no later than 48 hours after departure

  • Vessel stow plan

  • Container Status Messages

All types of ISF must have the lowest bill of lading number to be referred to the AMS system


ISF is required to be filed no later than 24 hours before the cargo is loaded onto a ship with a destination of the United States or a foreign trade zone (FTZ). With that being said, it should be submitted as soon as possible.

Step 2. Look for a certified partner and file your ISF online

After collecting all the necessary information, it is time to fill out the form and submit the filing!

Filings must be done with the electronic form. Importer or freight forwarders can look for software providers with portals connected to the CBP system to submit importer security filing.

The software will not merely serve as a connection between the importer and the government. It could also serve the following functions.

  • Allowing users to import or manually input the required information

  • Double-checking if the information is incorrect or missing

  • Providing operation and CBP logs and ISF status for tracking purposes

Step 3. Check the status of your filing

After submitting your ISF online, it is essential to keep track of your ISF status. If the information in your ISF matches that in AMS, CBP will accept your ISF and there will not be any problem.

However, if there is any missing or inaccurate information in your ISF, CBP might reject your ISF, resulting in unwanted ramifications, including a monetary penalty of $5,000, detention, inspection, and delay of cargo.

By following our complete guide, you will be able to successfully submit your ISF online without receiving any penalties.

ISF Info Sheets from some China Suppliers: How to Use and Decipher ?

If you have received a document from your seller with the word ISF on it, this would be the ISF Info sheet. This document contains vital information for your ISF Filing. At times this document may contain excessive characters which are not translated and make it difficult for Importers to understand.

Importers may refer to the example below to help decipher the information needed for your ISF Filing. Some recommended tips are try to match the first words of each line below for correlation. Another method is to use Google Translate if the characters do not match.

Vital information on the ISF Info Sheet

1. ETD  =预计开船时间

2. AMS Master Bill of Lading number with SCAC Code

3. AMS House Bill of Lading number with SCAC Code

4. Container Stuffing Location name and address

5. Consolidator name and address

6. U.S. Port 目的港

7. Loading Port 起运港

8.Warehouse Code  进仓编号/同行编号

9. Cartons/Gross Weight/CBM   件/毛/体

10.Container Number 集装箱号

11.Vessal Name  船名航次

The following is an example of some other china supplier ISF information list.


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 Ms. Katie Zhang
 Yangwan Industrial Area,Qiaoxia Town,Yongjia County, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China (Mainland)


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