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10+2 is often viewed initially as "my broker will do it" or similar comment by Importers. The filing process may not be straightforward and may be challenging, especially for small-medium enterprises (SMEs) that are trading partners. This includes importers, forwarders, customs brokers and others. Some key issues are:
1. Who is the Importer responsible for ISF filing? The Importer for ISF filing is "the party causing goods to arrive within the port limits of the United States." This basically means the goods' owner, purchaser, consignee or authorized agent. An authorized third-party agent can file on behalf of the ISF Importer.
2. How will data be gathered? The data elements are not known by any one party. They are known by multiple parties in the transaction. This is important, and the data must be accurate. A technology that enables multiple parties to input their data is required.
3. How will Importer gather the data in time? The ISF should be made 24 hours prior to loading cargo on the vessel for 8 of the data elements and no later than 24 hours prior to cargo arrival for 2 of the elements. These put a premium on collaboration among all partners.
4. Are there penalties? During the initial twelve months of compliance, CBP has indicated it will not assign penalties. After January 26, 2010, cargo may not be loaded on planned vessels because the initial ISF was not filed timely and accurately. Improper ISFs can result in liquidated damages of $5000 for each ISF violation. The Importer must secure a bond.
10+2 is more than just a systems topic for electronic filing via the Automated Manifest System or Automated Broker Interface portal. Carriers have indicated they are not going to do the filing because they do not want to make changes to their systems. Again, getting accurate and timely data by just one party is an issue whether they are NVOs, forwarders or customs brokers.
Importers must assess how they will timely and accurately gather the data and file the initial ISF, how they will file the final ISF, possible changes in how they buy and sell to place filing responsibility on the other party, how to deal with multiple suppliers in a container since each supplier would be a separate ISF, and other details. As they say, stay tuned.
Supply Chain Asia
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