Alert: Updated ISF Enforcement Strategy Announced by CBP

AIT Worldwide Logistics is committed to supporting our partnership with our customers by supplying timely and informative communication coupled with relevant consultation that alleviates the complexity of global transportation management.

If your company imports goods by sea into the United States, please review the following alert.

In Brief

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently issued an update to their strategy for Importer Security Filing (ISF or 10+2) enforcement. To avoid freight being held or liquidated damages (i.e. – CBP-levied penalties), AIT recommends that our U.S. customers who import goods by sea confirm that ISF data is being supplied and filed for all applicable shipments in a timely manner. An FAQ about the new enforcement strategy is posted on


ISF was implemented in 2009, requiring every shipper importing to the U.S. to communicate specific information and documentation to CBP prior to cargo being laden on an exporting vessel. CBP began an enforcement review period in July 2013 that was expected to last twelve months. As part of the updated enforcement strategy, this review period has been extended to May 13, 2015 and CBP port directors have been advised to focus enforcement efforts on severe violations such as ISF filings that are "significantly late" or missing.

Consequences of ISF Non-Compliance

Warnings may be issued, freight may be held or penalties may be levied in cases where ISF data is transmitted late, erroneously or not at all, especially if CBP concludes a specific location or importer is consistently non-compliant.

According to the CBP's aforementioned FAQ, part of the new enforcement strategy includes "informed compliance outreach" in the form of warnings by email, telephone or letter. The updated guidelines call for three warnings to be issued before resorting to liquidated damage claims. CBP also has local discretion to hold freight as an enforcement technique.

The potential liquidated damages have not been explicitly stated by CBP. However, based on previous CBP communications, AIT expects penalties could range from $5,000 to $10,000 per shipment for importers who fail to comply with ISF regulations.


Customers who ship by sea with AIT can continue to rest assured knowing that our logistics experts have the internal processes and resources in place to ensure full ISF compliance, as has been the case for the past several years.

If you are a customer using AIT's Custom Brokerage services, but shipping by sea with another forwarder, we urge you to protect your interests by confirming that your shippers are submitting ISF data in a timely and thorough fashion.


Please email for more information.

As always, thank you for your continued business with AIT as your global transportation management partner.

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