Importer Security Filing Gains Momentum

Aug. 19, 2009
The Importer Security Filing requirement has a voluntary compliance period through 2009 but becomes mandatory in 2010. Then electronic filing will be required

The US Customs and Border Protections Importer Security Filing (ISF) program is gaining significant momentum and quality, noted Log-Net, Inc., a provider of international logistics software and ISF filing services. Importers must provide details for the majority of their trading partners involved in the importation of goods to the United States before the goods leave the origin port. The new regulations are increasing the volume and velocity of data regarding the flow of goods thus creating process challenges for many importers, notes Log-Net.

The regulation is in a voluntary compliance period through 2009. Full compliance is required by January of 2010. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been continuously rolling out outreach programs and information system improvements related to the program, says Log-Net. CBP committed to respond to all electronic filings within two minutes of submission by an importer. Log-Net notes CBP has been keeping this commitment and continues to improve its performance. Some importers have been hesitant to comply with the importer filing requirements waiting for stronger momentum says Log-Net. Information is flowing well now, systems are very cost effective and the biggest challenge is now getting importers to update their business processes, the company comments.

For the month of July, CBP's performance improved across the board. Log-Net says it experienced the following interface activity in the ISF program:

Average time for response: 1.76 minutes, down from 3.5 minutes in June.

Mean time for response: 1.80 minutes, same as June.

Fastest response: 11 seconds, down from 12 seconds in June.

Slowest response: 14.9 minutes, down from 3 hours in June

During the same period, CBP implemented a format upgrade which occurred precisely as posted with no unexpected impacts to any of Log-Net's client filings, the company said. This was a testimony to CBP working closely with industry engineering teams to minimize any impact to trade flows, said Log-Net. CBP also announced that they will be tightening the acceptable filing requirements and will reject filings that have been submitted with some previously accepted errors in their format or content.