ISF Information

Update on ISF Mitigation Guidelines final rule expected to be published on July 17 2009

Here is a heads up
Important Information Regarding ISF

Customs and Border Protection expects the Importer Security Filing (ISF) Mitigation Guidelines to be published in the Federal Register on July 17, 2009. In its continuing partnership with the NCBFAA, CBP has briefed the Association on the contents of the mitigation guidelines to ensure that the membership is fully aware of the newest ISF developments.

Circumstances Initiating a Liquidated Damages Case:
There are four situations that may initiate the issuance of liquidated damages. The importers’ failure to file an ISF as required by law. A late submission. An inaccurate submission. The failure to withdraw a filing.

Failure to File an ISF:
The issuance of a Do Not Load (DNL) message to the carrier at the foreign port of lading. Withholding permission issued to the carrier to unload the subject goods at the first U.S. port of arrival; delay in issuing permission to unload at the first U.S. port of arrival. Issuance of a seizure notification. Withholding Customs release of the goods allowing the goods to move to General Order (G.O.). The issuance of a liquidated damages case.
An Inaccurate Submission of Information on an ISF:
A liquidated damages case will be issued in the amount of $5,000.

A Late Submission of an ISF:
A liquidated damages case will be issued in the amount of $5,000.
The Failure to Withdraw a Filing:
A liquidated damages case will be issued in the amount of $5,000.

Mitigation Amounts:
There is a possibility of a total of $10,000 in liquidated damages per ISF filing. These may be mitigated based on several factors.

Mitigation Factors:
1. Evidence of progress in implementing ISF compliance during the phase-in period.
2. The number of ISFs compared with the number of violations.
3. C-TPAT Tier 3 and Tier 2 importers will receive consideration of up to 50 percent mitigation for violations.
4. The importer has demonstrated that remedial actions have been taken to address the circumstances surrounding the violation.
5. Inaccurate filings due to circumstances beyond the importer’s control, such as vessel diversions and rolling bookings completely due to carrier actions.
6. Receiving incorrect information from another party in the supply chain, if this information is found to be incorrect at a date later than allowed under the correction timeline. Under certain circumstances the liquidated damages may be canceled without payment.

Aggravating Factors:
There are four aggravating factors that will be outlined in the guidelines. A summary is provided below:
1. The lack of cooperation with CBP.
2. Smuggling attempts and other actions contrary to law in association with the shipment.
3. Multiple errors on one ISF.
4. A rising error rate calculated over all ISFs.

Bond Guidelines Due
Bond Guidelines are still being worked on internally at CBP and are expected to be issued a few weeks after the mitigation guidelines.
We will keep you updated when the ISF Mitigation Guidelines are published on july 17th 2009.

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