Importer Security Filing FAQs – Top 10 Questions Asked by Direct Filers

Importer Security Filing FAQs - Top 10 Questions Asked by Direct Filers

* Why am I receiving a “Duplicate” file message?

Someone else has used the bill of lading number to send an ISF — maybe it’s not the shipment you’re trying to send. This is the reason you’re receiving a “duplicate” file message —- CBP can accept the ISF of the initial importer who uses the bill number but refuses any other filings using the identical bill number. Therefore, to meet the rules of ISF and in the event that the carrier can’t find the problem on their end, You can request to issue an additional bill number in order to rectify your ISF filing and then retransmit it with an alternative bill number. If you get a rejection for your ISF, the reason is that you have not filed the form with CBP.

Unfortunately, CBP has not provided filers with any guidance regarding what they can do in order to fix the issue (and at present, up to Jan. 26 — there are no consequences for failing to submit the ISF). The only suggestion we can offer is to cooperate together with your Bill issuer to fix the issue that has led to your ISF being rejected by CBP and, as the last alternative is to argue that you have an updated bill number in the order, you can file your ISF.

Any efforts you make to solve this issue of duplicate files rejected should be recorded inside the “notes” file to assist in any response to an enforcement action CBP could take in response to ISF’s submitted after January 26th.

* Do rollovers require new ISFs?

If you have a particular cargo that was part of the shipment, however, other items are rolling over, you must amend your ISF with the details of the specific cargo that made up the shipment. If the ISF has been sent with an invoice of lading (BOL) which is currently being transferred, you’ll have to remove the BOL off the ISF as well, and a request for an additional BOL is issued to the rolled-over cargo. It is then time to create the fresh ISF for the rolled-over cargo, using your new invoice of lading.

If a whole shipment has been carried over, you’ll be required to revise the ISF in the event that any details have changed, for example, the bill of lading that was updated. If the information remains identical, it is not necessary to do anything.
It can be challenging to obtain the fresh BOL for a roll-over shipment; However, if you’ve already sent an ISF using that BOL that you have, you’ll be notified that you have been rejecting ISF with a duplicate ISF Transaction error message as Customs will not allow multiple ISF that use identical BOL. It can be difficult, but it is a reality that all businesses will eventually need to address and adjust to.

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* What is an AMS Bill of Lading?

ISF has introduced the word “AMS bill of lading” to the vocabulary of importers, which has led to further confusion about the exact terms BOL Customs wants when the importer files an ISF. The AMS bill-of-lading is any bill of lading that is entered into the AMS system. It will be the BOL that you would like to see to be included on your ISF since it is the one that Customs matches up to the ISF BOL to the BOL that is entered into the AMS. Even if you believe that you import using a house bill or straight bill of delivery, it’s helpful to ask your transporter or freight forwarder to provide the bill of lading in AMS to ensure the ISF will be correctly matched.

* Why am I not getting an answer from Customs after submitting an ISF?

If you’ve filed an ISF and you haven’t received a prompt response from Customs, Don’t be concerned. It happens when Customs’ system is overwhelmed and overloaded. In the event of this happening, do not worry because your ISFs were sent as well. Customs is aware of the delay. You can just rest and watch the system be cleared.

* Can I submit my ISF earlier?

TRG Direct recommends filing as early as you can get all the correct information elements. If you make your Importer Security File prior to the time that the bill of lading has been entered in AMS, you’ll get a no Bill on File message since there isn’t a bill of lading to compare the AMS bill. If this occurs, the system will repeat through the entries until the bill is matched. Making an ISF when you’ve got the data is a great way to ensure that you file on time. A No Bill on File message won’t cause a negative impact on your report of progress. The earlier CBP gets the information, the better, as this allows CBP time to read through the information and review it.

What is an unintentional transaction error?

This happens when someone attempts to submit an ISF that was previously submitted by another entity or the data was identified as a deleted ISF. This is often the case when you attempt to submit an old ISF or change the filer’s code and try to submit an ISF.

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* Definitions of the Entities (Data Elements).

Importer – The company that is liable for duty and taxes and is subject to federal regulations when imports to the United States.
The consignee is the person or entity to whom the goods are delivered. It is typically similar to an Importer.
Ship to – The name and address of the person who will receive the items once they have cleared Customs. This can be the Importer.
Manufacturer Name as well as the address for the firm manufacturing the products.
Seller Address and Name of the seller selling the products. If they’re household items, it is usually the address and name of the seller. It is usually similar to the Manufacturer.
Buyer Name and address of the person who is buying the items. If they’re household goods typically, this is the address and name of the person who owns them. This can be the Importer or Ship to.
Container Stuffing Location The name and the location of the location where the contents will be packed in the box.
Consolidator, The person who coordinates the stuffing of products.
HTS Customs Customs is able to accept both 10 and 6 digit Harmonized Tariff Schedule numbers. It is not necessary to state the quantity of each item.
Country of Origin Customs demands the country where each HTS came from.
Bill of Lading This is also known as the 11th and secret component. The smallest bill of lading is required by all ISFs.

How do I determine the various ISF types of transactions?

“Compliant Transaction “Compliant Transaction” is used when you send ten exact ISF details. This means that you’re communicating to Customs that everything in the ISF is accurate (to the highest of your knowledge).

“Flexible Range” is used in cases where you’re not sure which items are included in the package. If this is the situation, then you must input each possibility HTS codes and file by using “Flexible Range.” If you do receive exact information, it is necessary to change the ISF before the ship is at the port. After you have updated and transferred, Customs will consider the ISF as a “Compliant Transaction.”

“Flexible Timing” is used in situations where you do not know the location of the Stuffing or Consolidator. Because these entities weren’t needed prior to now, Customs allows you to submit the Importer Security Filing with this type of transaction without the entities. But, just like “Flexible Range,” the ISF is required to be revised and then retransmitted prior to the time the vessel arrives at port.

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If you submit your application using the Flexible option, you will be notified of an Accepted with Warnings and a warning message “Complete Transaction Required.” This message is meant to remind you to change the ISF and retransmit the file using the Compliant transaction type at least 24 hours before the date of arrival. The message “Accepted with Warnings” will show in yellow on the ISF dashboard, making it easy to identify that it’s due to be updated.

* How do I receive my Bill of Lading Number on a date?

CBP has been working on getting the shipping industry the fact that the invoice of delivery needs to be issued earlier. Some sellers use the booking number as their bill of lading to remedy this problem. The majority of importers require the invoice of lading to be received at least 48 hours prior to the time of loading. If you don’t get the BOL prior to the time your skip is loaded and you are late, you’ll be in the red. If you’re already a TRG Direct ISF client, we’ve prepared letters that you can mail to vendors informing them that you require the necessary elements of data early. If they do not comply, then we can take them to CBP and ask them to resolve the issue with vendors that are not compliant.

* I’ve done everything I could to send an appropriate ISF; however, I was in a position not to be able to do it. What can I do to inform Customs know that I tried?

The notes field offers an opportunity for users to note the specifics of an ISF. If something noteworthy happens during the filing of an ISF, it is essential to make a note of it in the field. Notes are not sent to Customs and are an insurance policy in the event that you are subject to ISF penalties. In the event that CBP is trying to penalize you for an ISF, You can enter your notes into the field to remind yourself of the specific circumstances surrounding that ISF and apply it to show Customs that you have done your due diligence to file on time and in a timely manner. This will be highly beneficial in reducing penalties. Notes fields can be altered and updated as frequently as you would like.


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