Importers beware — CBP to assess liquidated damages for ISF violations

Effective July 9, 2013, US Customs will now add liquidated damages to its arsenal of enforcement options for ISF violations.  CBP has essentially given ISF filers a nearly 4 1/2 year grace period from this type of enforcement, relying on manifest holds and “non-intrusive inspections” to address violations up to now.  Next month, CBP can issue liquidated damages of $5,000 per violation for the submission of an inaccurate, incomplete or untimely 10 + 2 filing.

Given that CBP has raised the ante, importers may wish to avoid relying on third parties, and take control by self-filing their ISFs.  No license is required to do so, and self-filing is easy with our Customs-certified software.


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    Liquidated Damages for ISF Non-Compliance (CSMS #13-000298)
    On June 7, 2013, CBP announced that it is making preparations to enter into the liquidated damages phase of the Importer Security Filing (ISF) enforcement process, which goes into effect next month.

    This next phase of ISF enforcement will begin on July 9, 2013. CBP is adding the use of manifest holds and non-intrusive inspections to its plans for enforcement on ISF compliance. In order to achieve maximum compliance with the least amount of disruption to the trade and to domestic port operations, CBP has been applying a measured and common sense approach to enforcement.

    CBP may issue liquidated damages of $5,000 per violation for the submission of an inaccurate, incomplete or untimely filing. Liquidated damages in simplified terms refer to a penalty secured by a bond. If goods arrive into the U.S. and an ISF has not been filed, CBP may withhold the release or transfer of the cargo. For carrier violations of the vessel stowage plan requirement, CBP may refuse to grant a permit to unlade the merchandise. Additionally, non-compliant cargo could be subject to further inspections upon arrival.

    ISF and the additional carrier requirements were created to support the Security and Accountability For Every (SAFE) Port Act of 2006, which required the filing of additional advance data elements to help CBP make earlier and more informed targeting decisions and improve CBP’s ability to target high-risk U.S -bound containerized vessel cargo prior to its arrival in the U.S.

    For additional information on ISF, please use the following URL:
    or you may send an email with your questions to:

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