ISF (Importer Security Filing)

Importer Security Filing, ISF (10+2) became mandatory January 26th 2010. ISF is composed of 10 data elements which are required to be sent to US Customs on all import shipments arriving via sea-freight into the United States. This information is in addition to and distinct from the AMS data elements that the Steamship lines are required to file with US Customs.

PWS, as a US Customs Broker, is certified to file your ISF transactions with US Customs. ISF filings must be done prior to your shipment being on board the vessel at its origin point. A few items may be updated in transit; however, it is incumbent on the US Importer to ensure that the filings are done timely and correctly. PWS works in conjunction with its overseas offices and partners to ensure your ISF information is filed properly, thereby protecting you from a possible ($5000) penalty customs may assess for failing to or incorrectly filing  your ISF information.

There are a few requirements which must be met in order to allow PWS to file ISF and/or Customs Entries on your behalf. PWS needs:

  1. Customs Power of Attorney
  2. Non-Refundable Customs Bonds
    (Annual Customs Bond Holders do not need a separate bond for ISF)
  3. Contact with your overseas partners


  • Importer of Record is ultimately responsible for filing
  • Mandatory for all Imports by Sea Freight (as of Jan 2010)
  • Penalties: $5000 per shipment
  • Customs Power of Attorney Required
  • ISF Customs Bond Required
  • ISF must be filed no less than 24 hours prior to your shipment loading on board the vessel overseas
  • ISF and Customs Clearance are separate transactions
  • No ISF filing is required for air or road freight shipments
  • Shipments without ISF data on file may be issued "DO NOT LOAD" messages at origin


  1. Supplier or Manufacturer
  2. Seller
  3. Consolidator/Forwarder
  4. Container Stuffing Location
  5. Importer of Record or FTZ Applicant
  6. Buyer
  7. Ship to Party/Consignee Number
  8. AMS Waybill Number
  9. HTS Number
  10. Country of Origin

PWS is an active ISF filer and has a web based portal for clients/agents to assist in completion of ISF entries. Additionally, PWS has a form that can be used for manual entry of ISF information.