Import Compliance a Measure of Readiness for 10+2

February 27, 2009 — In the past year U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued the Proposed Rule on the Importer Security Filing (ISF, or "10+2") to satisfy section 203 of the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006. CBP received and reviewed comments from the import community; the Office of Management and Budget officially signed off on the Proposed Rule; and on November 25, 2008, CBP published the interim Final Rule in the Federal Register.

The requirements of the Importer Security Filing — unofficially named "10+2" for the 10 data elements supplied by the importer and the two elements supplied by the ocean carrier — took effect on January 26. The interim Final Rule allows for public comments (on six of the importer's data elements) to be received on or before June 1 and provides a compliance date of one year from the effective date.

Although much has been said and published on this subject, many have remained on the sidelines contemplating the resources in preparing for the implementation. CBP has granted a 12-month informed compliance period, during which importers are expected to gradually comply without the threat of full enforcement and monetary penalty.

Getting Ready

What do importers need to do to get ready? Who has the responsibility of gathering, validating and transmitting this information? How will this latest security initiative affect importers' businesses? The importer is required to submit these "10" data elements:

  • Manufacturer (or supplier) name and address
  • Seller name and address
  • Buyer name and address
  • Ship-to name and address
  • Container stuffing location
  • Consolidator name and address
  • Importer of record number
  • Consignee number
  • Country of origin
  • Commodity HTSUS number (minimum 6 digits)

  • Vessel stow plan
  • Container status messages

Role of the Customs Broker

Getting to the Data

  • How many customs brokers does an importer employ? Does each broker have the authority to classify product independently, or does the importer supply all classifications?
  • Does the customs broker have the support and coverage overseas to avoid lengthy delays due to time zone difference and the timing to correct those issues at origin?
  • Does the vendor know how to classify products correctly, and does it provide the information in a timely and consistent manner?
  • Does the contract manufacturer provide support needed for its products?
  • Do the Procurement, Logistics, Import and Trade Compliance groups work together to coordinate the information and avoid customs delays? Is there an inefficient inbound of materials due to lack of information from origin?

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