May 14,2015 will be the final phase of ISF Full Enforcement by CBP. There are several issues that are very critical for importers to note as enforcement comes into full effect.
Recent protocol includes 3 warnings being sent before a liquidated damage penalty will be issued. This will no longer be the case as Customs HQ will stop reviewing the filings and it is now up to the ports discretion whether to issue a warning or to issue a liquidated damages penalty. These penalties typically start at $5,000, with a maximum of $10,000.
We have compiled several Importer’s Best Practices to help ensure an importer is compliant with ISF enforcement regulations:
1. Importers are ultimately responsible for the timely, complete, and accurate submission of ISF. ISF must be submitted 24 hours before the goods are loaded on the vessel which will arrive to the United States.
2. If ISF has not been filed on time, file the ISF even if it is late. It is better to file late than not to file at all.
3. Bill of Lading Mismatch: Importers must accurately provide the Master Bill of Lading Number and House Bill of Lading Number to have a B/L match. Otherwise, it will appear to Customs as though the importer has not filed an ISF at all. This is critical for Consolidated shipments.
4. When ISF has been successfully filed and there is a change on the Bill of Lading or any other information, the importer must let their broker know of any updates as soon as possible so that the appropriate changes can be transmitted to CBP.
Customs will continue to focus on repetitive and significant late ISF Filings. First time offenders might have a chance of penalties to be mitigated, but repetitive offenders will be penalized.
This enforcement is to ensure the highest standard of compliance with ISF regulations is met.
Thank you for your cooperation:
To listen to the recording of the webinar regarding the ISF Enforcement, please click the link below:
To View the Presentation Slides: