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What is ISF filing?

What is ISF Filing?



Importer Security Filing (ISF), also known as “10+2,” is a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requirement for all ocean cargo imports to the United States. The filing documents importing information and details as shipments move from point to point. It must be delivered to CBP at least 24 hours before the vessel carrying the shipment is due to make their final departure to the US.


The information included in the ISF improves CBP’s ability to flag high-risk shipments that may pose a safety threat upon arrival. This increased visibility helps CBP the smuggling of substances or people inside of the U.S. border.

To file an ISF form, you must have access to the following information: 


Importer/Supplier Information 

Supplier or manufacturer name and address

Owner or seller name and address

Ship-to name and address

Container stuffing location

Consolidator name and address

Importer of record number or foreign trade zone applicant identification number

Consignee number

Country of Origin

Commodity Harmonized Tariff Schedule number (each product on the shipment)

House bill (whenever applicable)

Master bill including SCAC (standard carrier alpha codes)

Carrier Information 

Vessel stow plan

Container status message

Failure to comply with the CBP’s ISF regulations can result in massive fees, increased inspections, and ultimately a delayed shipment. 


If your ISF filing is incorrect or incomplete, CBP may refuse to grant a permit to unload or to take the merchandise. If such cargo is unloaded without the permission of CBP, they can seize the cargo. In such a case, a “Do Not Load” order is applied to this cargo.


The U.S. Customs can assess damages up to $10,000 per shipment for various violations. Here’s a general breakdown: 

Failure to file ISF - $5,000 / shipment

Late filing of ISF - $5,000 / shipment

Incomplete filing of ISF - $5,000 / shipment

Failure to withdraw ISF - $5,000 / shipment

Failure to match ISF filing to Bill of Lading - $5,000 / shipment.



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