In October 2006, the U.S. Congress enacted a law requiring U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect additional data elements 24 hours prior to lading shipments on-board any vessel destined to the U.S. This data is in addition to the current electronic manifest data filing requirements. The additional elements, which are to be used for security screening, were later defined as 10 importer level and 2 carrier level elements. This Importer Security Filing (ISF) program has since come to be commonly referred to as simply “10+2”.

CBP published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register on January 2, 2008. The publication outlined the program in detail, including the data elements themselves, spoke about bonding requirements of the importer and filer, and required that the security filing be completed through the current methods of electronic communication with CBP, namely the customs Automated Broker Interface (ABI) or the Automated Manifest System (AMS) connection.

The largest challenges in completing the 10+2 security filing will be: the actual collection of the data itself; meeting the 24 hour prior to loading timeline to file; and the confidentiality and accuracy of commercial data that is required in the filing. Secure and timely communication between the U.S. importer and the security filer is critical. Failure to file the 10+2 data elements in a timely fashion can result in enforcement action, including monetary penalties, which would be issued to the party responsible for filing the data (ie. the Importer).

While the White House had imposed a November 1 deadline on the agencies involved to issue the final regulations, this deadline was waived because of the controversial nature of this proposal. The interagency working group continues to review suggested modifications to CBP’s initial proposal. The final rule is anticipated to be published in the Federal Register as early as next week. The implementation is expected to occur within 60 days of its publication, with a one year informed compliance period following. The roll-out is expected to occur in two phases:

Tier I 

  • Importer of record number
  • Seller name & address
  • Buyer name & address
  • Consignee number

Tier II 

  • Manufacturer/supplier name & address 
  • Ship to name & address
  • Country of origin 
  • Container stuffing location name & address 
  • Consolidator name & address
  • Tariff number

A comment period is likely to begin on June 1, 2009 giving the trade community an opportunity to describe what is working and what is not, and based on those comments, the new Obama Administration may decide to enlist further modifications.

As soon as the final rule is published and the concrete details of CBP’s expectations and requirements have been established, we will outline any changes in a supplemental news bulletin. Metro Customs Brokers Inc. will offer our clients and their carriers complete ISF (10+2) filing capabilities and services. For further information regarding this program, please contact one of our Sr. Consultants.