10+2 Importer Security Filing

(Commonly referred to as ISF or 10+2)

What is ISF?

Importer Security Filing (ISF) is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulation that affects reporting requirements for ocean shipments entering the United States, or shipments that transit the United States to a foreign destination. Commonly referred to as "10+2" for the number of the data elements required, ISF regulations require importers and Vessel Operating Carriers to submit specific information pertaining to ocean cargo in advance of entering the country. The targeted cargo screening initiative was developed to help prevent high-risk shipments from being transported to the United States and is fully enforced by CBP.

With 10+2, the importer is ultimately responsible for the filing. It is imperative that the ten ISF data elements are completed timely and accurately in order to fully comply with the regulations. The Vessel Operating Carrier is responsible for an additional two elements, which are the vessel stow plan and container status messages.

ISF-5 is a separate and distinct data reporting requirement for shipments that are transiting the United States but not remaining in the country, and requires the importer to file five data elements.

What does it mean to me?

ISF-10 ("10+2") regulations require advance transmission of trade data 24 hours prior to vessel lading for containerized freight, and 24 hours prior to arrival at the port of discharge for break bulk shipments. (Importers of bulk cargo are exempt from filing an ISF with respect to that cargo.)

All ISF filings are to be done electronically via vessel Automated Manifest System (AMS) or the Automated Broker Interface (ABI). Corrections and updates must be made before the goods enter the limits of a U.S. port. Only the party who submitted the original filing may make changes.


ISF-5 applies to foreign cargo remaining on board. Foreign Remaining On Board (FROB) filings are required for freight on board a vessel that will dock in the United States before moving to foreign port of destination or freight that will move in-bond through the United States to a foreign destination. This type of ISF filing requires five data elements and must be filed by the ISF importer prior to lading. For the purposes of the FROB filing, the importer of record is construed to be the carrier.


Per CBP, failure to comply with these regulations will result in amendments to the importers bond conditions, including the issuing of liquidated damages up to $5,000 USD per violation, with a maximum of $10,000 USD per shipment. CBP can assess these damages on late or inaccurate ISF filings.

How can FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage, Inc. (FedEx Trade Networks) help?

FedEx Trade Networks is committed to assisting you in your compliance efforts by offering two primary ISF solutions for your ocean cargo:

  • Your company can designate FedEx Trade Networks to file ISF data on your behalf – As a customs broker and freight forwarder founded upon over 100 years experience in international trade, FedEx Trade Networks has the expertise necessary to file your Importer Security Filings for you.
  • Your company can utilize the self-filing option available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, via FedEx Trade Networks My Global Trade Data, a secure web application and single source for viewing ISF status and entry data in real time.

Email FedEx Trade Networks today for more information on how we can help you meet your ISF needs.