As part of US Customs’ stepped-up enforcement of liquidated damages for ISF violations, officials at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport have announced new enhanced enforcement measures particular to that port complex.
Specifically, in light of “continued non-compliance with ISF requirements,”
[b]eginning July 15, 2013, CBP [at the LA/LB Seaport] will make use of newly activated cargo holds in [ACE] to address non-compliance with the ISF rule. CBP will hold non-compliant ISF shipments at the terminal until the required ISF is filed. Once the ISF data is received and a security assessment is made, additional enforcement actions including Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) and/or intrusive exams may be initiated. CBP may also assess liquidated damages of up to $5,000 per violations as warranted.
Importers may notice that this is a departure from CBP’s past practice for situations where no ISF was on file; in those cases, Customs would typically order a Non-Intrusive Exam (e.g., x-ray) and/or an Intrusive Exam (e.g., physical exam at a CES), and, in most instances, would then remove the hold and allow the shipment to proceed.
Now, the shipment will be held, and no action will be taken, until an ISF is filed. If an importer receives notice that its shipment is being held, a manifest query should be run in order to determine the reason for the hold, which could possibly be no record of an ISF filing.
For more information, including the new ACE cargo hold codes, please see the attached Public Bulletin on LA&LB ISF Enforcement Procedures.