Update to US Importer Security Filing Policy

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On January 26, 2009, a new US import security policy came into effect. Importers and ocean carriers operating ships are now required to provide US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with advance notification for all transoceanic vessel shipments to the United States. The United States import security policy, commonly known as the importer's 10 + 2 classification, is a regulation of the US Customs and Border Protection CBP, established under the US Customs and Border Protection Act. Section 203 of the 2006 SAFE Port Act and Section 343 (a) of the 2002 Trade Act, as amended by the Shipping Safety Act, 2002, for shipments by sea not in bulk arriving in the United States.

US Customs and Border Protection has recently released a list of frequently asked questions. The new US import security policy imposes on the US importer the burden of compliance of the new security data repository. In general, most importers do not clear their own goods directly from US Customs. Most importers have signed proxy forms with customs brokers to liaise with US Customs on their behalf.

Many importers are confused about the new importer safety record. A common question from importers is: Can I ask my customs broker to prepare the Import Security Security (ISF) document? Below is a clarification provided by the US CBP (Customs and Border Protection):

If we hire a customs broker to be our agent, should he be our agent for all our documents related to the safety of importers during a single year? CBP Response: No. Each security classification by the importer (ISP) is carried out on an individual basis. An ISF importer can either deposit the ISF himself or hire an agent for each rating. There is no limit to the number of different agents that an ISF importer can use during a year.

Can we use different agents for different repositories? Can our agents use both AMS and ABI to make our deposits? Will it affect our deposits in any way? CBP Response: The ISF importer can choose to use different ISF agents for each separate deposit. In addition, these ISF agents may use the ship's AMS or ABI to perform these separate depots. However, if a unified entry ranking is in progress, ABI must be used and the ISF importer must classify or use a licensed US customs broker to perform the ranking on his behalf.

If an importer uses more than one customs broker, can the importer choose a customs broker to conduct an ISF and another customs broker to make the entry (on the same shipment)? CBP Response: Yes, unless the deposit is a "unified deposit", in which case the deposit must be made by a single entity.

If the import compliance system will not be ready until April or May 2009, do I have to turn to a third party to file my importer security statement? CBP Response: During the structured review and flexible enforcement period, to allow the transaction time to accommodate new requirements and changes in business processes that may be required to fully comply requirements, CBP will exercise restraint in the application of the rules. this rule, taking into account the difficulties that importers may encounter in complying with the rule, as long as importers are progressing satisfactorily towards compliance and make good faith efforts to comply with the rule to the extent their current capabilities. CBP will consider the progress of an entity in the implementation of the rule during the late implementation period as a mitigating factor for any enforcement action following the deferred execution period. .

Should the ISF workbook be located in the United States? CBP Response: No.

Does the reporting agent of the importer have to be a licensed customs broker? Can it be from a foreign forwarder? CBP Response: A filing agent does not have to be a customs broker, except in the case of a "unified filing". A foreign forwarder can also be a ranking agent.


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