The importation of goods into the United States requires the ISF Filing to be completed no later than 24 hours before loading of the vessel. In this article, we will go over the steps to get this completed to avoid any fines or penalties which may arise.
1. Make sure your seller provides you the ISF Info Sheet and Invoice before goods depart overseas
When your seller is ready to ship the goods, it is recommended to ask them to provide a copy of the ISF Filing information sheet and a copy of the commercial invoice no later than 2-3 days before departure of the vessel overseas. U.S. Customs requires the ISF to be filed 24 hours before loading of the vessel before departure. Note that even if the goods have shipped already, and if you late late to file the ISF. The ISF still needs to be filed.
In the event if you are late to file, this does not mean there will be an automatic penalty of $5,000. Late filing gives US Customs the right to issue penalty if they deem necessary according to their metrics such as consistent history of late filings.
2. Gather the documents required to file the ISF
Once your seller has provided you the ISF information sheet and invoice, you are now ready to get ISF Filing service. The documents you need in addition to the two documents provided by your seller are two proofs of ID. The first ID required is a photo ID such as the driver's license or State ID. The second proof required is your Tax ID Number. Importers can either use their Social Security Number as the Importer Tax ID, or their Business EIN Number if using a business identity.
3. Using the Online ISF Submission Form
To get your ISF Filed with U.S. Customs via the ImporterSecurityFiling.com Online Form, enter the Importer Information section below with your contact information, importer type, tax id, description of the goods and estimated departure date.
Page 1: Online ISF Submission Form - Enter Contact and Shipment Information
Page 2: Online ISF Submission Form - Upload ISF Documents and Proofs of ID
Next step, complete page 2. Upload the 4 documents required. For importers who do not have all the documents listed, the form can still be submitted in which any pending documents can be emailed directly to us at a later time when available. The documents submitted later will be correlated with your initial ISF submission.
Upon uploading all the required documents, the next step would be to make payment by credit card. The ISF Filing Fee is a flat rate of $115 which includes the ISF Filing and ISF Bond.