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Import Security Filing Solution : 10 + 2 Program Compliance for Ocean Vessel Carriers


ALERT: Vessel operating ocean carriers are required to provide U.S. Customs and Border Protection CBP with two additional data elements for advance notification of all ocean vessel shipments inbound to the United States.

The Importer Security Filing (ISF), commonly known as the 10+2 Program, is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulation pursuant to Section 203 of the SAFE Port Act of 2006 and section 343(a) of the Trade Act of 2002, as amended by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, for non-bulk ocean shipments arriving into the United States.

The ISF 10+2 import compliance requirements will dramatically change the way ocean carriers conduct supply-chain logistics. Vessel operating ocean carriers will be responsible for two data elements. And, the importer of record will be required to supply ten data elements. The importer of record may authorize a third party such as Freightgate to file the ISF on their behalf. In some cases the carrier may be the importer of record. Freightgate’s 10 plus 2 Solution helps carriers and importers avoid disruptions in their global supply chains and ensures 10+2 compliance.

For Brokers, Forwarders and Logistics Providers, we realize your specific needs are different from that of an Importer or Carrier. Freightgate’s 10+2 Program Solutions can help protect your relationship with Importers and protect your Compliance Liability. We offer custom branded solutions to satisfy the Importer Security Filing ISF requirements.


For Vessel Operating Ocean Carriers, the two additional data elements required for the transmission to the CBP are:

1. Vessel Stow Plan to indicate the location of each container on the ocean vessel. Must be transmitted no later than 48 hours after the carrier’s departure from the foreign port. For voyages less than 48 hours, must be transmitted prior to vessel’s arrival at first U.S. Port. Exclusive bulk and break bulk carriers are exempt. Must submit transmission via Automated Manifest System (AMS), or a secure file transfer protocol (sFTP).

2. Container status messages (CSM) which detail information on the movement and status changes of a container as it travels through certain parts of the supply chain. Must be transmitted no later than 24 hours after messages are entered in the carrier’s system. Container Status Messages for bulk and break bulk cargo are exempt for transmission.

In addition, For Transit of Foreign Cargo covering freight remaining on board the vessel (FROB), Immediate Exports (IE) and Transportation and Exportations (T & E), five data elements will be required for ISF transmission by the Vessel Operating Ocean Carrier to the CBP. These are five data elements:

  • Booking Party
  • Foreign port of unlading
  • Place of delivery
  • Ship to party
  • HTSUS (minimum 6 digit level)

  • CBP has announced a one-year period of “informed compliance” to help importers and carriers adapt to the new 10+2 regulations without the threat of fines.

    In addition, the CBP has added flexibility for four of the ten Importer Security Filing elements as to the interpretation of the data: manufacturer (supplier) name/address, ship to party, country of origin, and commodity HTSUS number. These elements are still required 24 hours prior to vessel lading. Importers, in their initial filing, will be permitted to provide a range of acceptable responses based on facts available at the time, in lieu of a single specific response. Importers will be required to update their filings as soon as more precise or more accurate information is available using an unique identification number as part of the amendment process.

    Also, CBP has added flexibility for two Importer Security Filing elements in terms of timing: container stuffing location and consolidator (stuffer) name/address. ISF Importer must file this data as soon as possible, but no later than 24 hours prior to U.S. arrival.


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