Important Updates
    from US Customs and our customs brokers

    " **Importer Security Filing (ISF 10+2) is the responsibility of the Importer. Since January 2010 Custom Penalties of $5,000 per violation will be accessed on the Importer. A 10+2 form must be provided to us for each and every ocean import shipment. We can provide you with a template form upon request. You can visit the U.S. Customs website for further details at Contact us if you have any questions. In order to achieve the most compliance with the least disruption to the trade and to domestic port operations, CBP has been applying a measured and commonsense approach to Importer Security Filing (ISF or 10+2) enforcement. On July 9, 2013 CBP will begin full enforcement of ISF, and will start issuing liquidated damages against ISF importers and carriers for ISF non-compliance."

    Any Sefco account that is importing cargo to the USA, if self-clearing their cargo without intervention or referrals from Sefco, must identify prior to departure of shipment, the name, address and contact details for their customs broker (export/import).

    If Sefco is to assist with any export/import customs handling, the shipper MUST return signed and completed customs forms to Sefco PRIOR to departure of any shipment, including the signed/dated ISF importer security filing form, the signed POA power of attorney form for the designated customs broker, and any related forms (3299, Treasury Supplemental) for the designated overseas and/or US customs broker. Shippers who do not sign/complete the ISF form prior to departure may be liable to fines and demurrage. Completing these forms (ISF and others) can not be an afterthought. The forms are accessible on our web site (see below).

    Sefco can either refer our shipper/importer account to a broker for assistance (any clearance related fees paid direct to broker) or Sefco can pay the broker their fees and this will be billed back to the shipper/importer including our handling fee.

    Please note: Quotations to arrival at the port only, means any/all DTHC destination terminal handling, DDC destination clearance/delivery and any/all fees after arrival at the port remain for the account of the cargo owner. Importers may need to pay a retainer/deposit to be used to pay for any local charges in the US, including any VACIS inspection (X-Ray by US Customs terminal) and demurrage beyond free time at the port/termimal. For individuals - minimum retainer (for any DDC services prepaid in advance by specific quotation through SEFCO): USD $500.00 This is in addition to actual port to port shipping/handling cost.

    Corporate accounts with regular shipments will need to provide to SEFCO a signed dated letter of guarantee on their company letterhead from the person responsible for payment, of any local customs and demurrage related expenses.

    The following links may be helpful for shippers/consignees, depending on direction / destination / situation.

    US Imports > Shipments of personal property coming into the USA:

    EU Exports / US Imports > Port/Port Economy Shipments of personal property coming into the USA:

    Japan Exports / US Imports > Port/Port Shipments into the USA:

    US Exports > Shipments going to - or touching / trans-shipping through - the EU:

    US Exports > Shipments departing the USA (titled)

    US Exports > Regs concerning titled cargo departing from the USA:

    Acronyms > Some terms that are used in the shipping industry:

    US Exports > EEI filings and how to look up HC Harmonized Code numbers for your commodity:


Advance Filing of Customs Paperwork is Required




    Posted > Feb 2010 - Customs Clearance expenses > Updates - Jan 2012

    The ISF importer security filing fee (new for 2010) is extra; in addition to the port to port shipping cost, the cost to export clear original titles, and the separate/additional cost for the US Customs broker to submit Informal/or Formal US Customs Entry when the cargo actually arrives in the USA.

          Sefco will advise port/port shipping cost, and if needed we can refer/or arrange customs clearance through our designated customs brokers.   Clearing cost will be for the account of the importer. Fee varies depending on port pairs, the non-US origin and US-destination ports. The ISF handling fee, is a customs clearance related expense (additional to the actual entry/clearance fee).

    As a general indication of 2010 US Customs broker ISF filing/Sefco handling fees to prearrange from origin and follow-through on the ISF at destination, allow approx:   From UK, Australia/New Zealand, budget the following service handling costs of $50 OISF-origin ISF filing (arranged pre-shipment), $45 DISF-destination handling, $35 OP-outport fee (appies to US ports other than Baltimore) , $65 Sefco service handling fee = $ 195.00 Total for ISF importer security handling (separate from actual "US Customs Entry" and and taxes/duties, courier, storage or other accessorial fees as may apply, subject to final invoicing from the US Customs broker assigned to the task.)   From NL, BE, other EU origins, actual cost varies and must be reconfirmed at time of booking/receipt of cargo. If necessary, banking fees, courier costs are extra and will be billed back to importers account.
    Some RoRo SS Line offices at certain ports of loading will assist with vehicle export formalities (title clearance assistance/local customs assist), and other carriers will not (requiring outsourcing to a designated 3rd party customs broker.) Carriers and customs brokers will assist when they know a firm booking for cargo transport has been made and the space reservation is in the system for a specific sailing (i.e. "it is real cargo/ready to go".)  

    For an example of the data / information we will need to obtain from an importer please see:
    Dec 2009 notes:   Complete paperwork and copies of full documentation pertaining to any shipment going to the USA (and/or Canada) from outside the United States must be tendered to Sefco at least 2 weeks prior to the cargo moving to the port of loading. Any shipment lacking full documentation necessary to process export clearance procedures for customs at origin, may be subject to export storage / demurrage. There is a limited amount of time that port terminal operators will give (to the cargo owner/shipper/ocean carrier) for cargo to stand at their port facilities before being loaded or collected. This applies for both the export / origin side, and the import / destination side. Please be certain to have all requested docs submitted to Sefco well in advance of pier delivery, so they may be distributed to the proper authorities and parties in the supply chain. Customs Brokers at origin an destination need several business days at a minumum to open files and process documents. Much longer lead times are now required for both export and import clearance processing. Last minute pier deliveries - if lacking necessary clearances prepared well in advance - will not be loaded.

    Be advised and guided accordingly.

10+2 Additional Information (relayed from one of our preferred US Customs Brokers)

"Due to the overwhelming request for more information we have compiled several resources that are available on line to help explain the implementation of the new importer rule, as well as the reasons for it.

One rule that has been asked many times is, 'does the filer of the ISF (10+2) require a US Customs Power of Attorney'. The answer to this question is yes. Without Power of Attorney the filer is transmitting information to US Customs on your consignment while in violation of the law.

While multiple entities can or may wish to file on your behalf, as importers you are ultimately responsible for the information filed, even if it is done by your supplier or their agent. It is recommended that this information is provided to US Customs by an entity you know and trust."

   (Ask Sefco for its list of preferred US Customhouse Brokers at your port of entry.)

Avoid Costly Penalties
Avoid Disruptions in your Global Supply Chains
Avoid Clearance Delays
Avoid Cargo Inspections

"Beginning January 26, 2009, importers will be required to provide U.S. Customs and Border Protection CBP with advance notification for all ocean vessel shipments inbound to the United States.

Importers may authorize a third party to file the ISF on their behalf. Opening your "New Shipper" account with Sefco at least 3 weeks before desired shipment date ensures timely handling of the "10+2 Importers Security Filing" requirement and compliance.

Get Compliant Today!   Email Sefco Export Sales or call (888) 286-0565 to obtain the forms required for the 10+2 Importers Security Filing.

The new 10+2 import security compliance requirements will dramatically change the way importers and ocean carriers conduct supply-chain logistics. Importers are required to transmit ten data elements in the Importer Security Filing to CBP at least 24 hours before loading any ocean shipments a vessel bound for the United States. An ISF is required for every inbound ocean shipment. Any changes or updates to the Importer Security Filing ISF must be done prior to the shipment arrival at the first U.S. Port of arrival."

"The Importer Security Filing (ISF), commonly known as the 10+2 Program, is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulation pursuant to Section 203 of the SAFE Port Act of 2006 and section 343(a) of the Trade Act of 2002, as amended by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, for non-bulk ocean shipments arriving into the United States.

The new 10+2 import security compliance requirements will dramatically change the way importers and ocean carriers conduct supply-chain logistics. Importers are required to transmit ten data elements in the Importer Security Filing to CBP at least 24 hours before loading any ocean shipments a vessel bound for the United States. An ISF is required for every inbound ocean shipment. Any changes or updates to the Importer Security Filing ISF must be done prior to the shipment arrival at the first U.S. Port of arrival. ISF filings will need to be secured by a bond. Generally, continuous bonds will be accepted for ISF filings.

The ten data elements required by importers for the ISF transmission are:
    1. Manufacturer (or supplier) name and address
    2. Seller (or owner) name and address
    3. Buyer (or owner) name and address
    4. Ship to name and address
    5. Container stuffing location
    6. Consolidator (container stuffer) name and address
    7. Importer of record Internal Revenue Number or Foreign Trade Zone applicant ID number
    8. Consignee number(s)
    9. Country of origin
    10. Harmonized Tariff Schedule number (HTSUS) minimum six digit level)

The importer will be solely responsible for filing ten data elements. Failure to file may result in customs clearance delays, cargo inspections and a penalty of $5,000.00 per ISF violation.

Importers may authorize a third party such as Freightgate to file the ISF on their behalf. Freightgate's 10+2 Solution helps importers avoid disruptions in their global supply chains and ensures 10+2 security compliance. Please check our web site for additional details or call us to discuss your 10+2 requirements."

Are You Prepared to Deal with the 10+2 Changes?

Further news and search engine results on this topic, follow below:

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On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 

     Just wanted to let you know that we just finished unloading the container and that all went exceptionally well.

      I wanted to thank the both of you for all of your help and that you will be my go to company for all my future needs and I will refer any business that I can to your company.

     Thanks again, Jerry
From: Sefco Export - customer service manager <>
Date: Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 1:13 PM
Subject: Re: container unloaded
Cc: "DeStefano, Peter"

Hello Jerry, Very good news, glad everything worked out ok. Appreciate your business. 
Best regards,      Account Support - Sefco Export Management Company, Inc.
Main Email Address: 

Read more Sefco Export client references - click here


      Are you already a Sefco Export account / customer?

      Port agents and customs brokers vary depending on the port and country.
      The forms below are to be used only by existing Sefco customers.
      This pertains to cargo being imported into the USA via the port of Baltimore.
      Other ports of entry and "outports" can be handled as well.

      If you are a Sefco customer and if our company will assist in arranging for customs clearances at any origin/destination and the extra cost is prepaid in advance of receipt of cargo and shipment, our company web site has the forms posted online to help expedite matters. Please follow our instructions well in advance of shipping your cargo, to help smooth the export and import clearance process.

      If you are a Sefco customer and our company will not be involved in export/import clearance please ask us for a referral to a customs broker or confirm that you will be self-clearing your cargo with local authorities at origin/destination.


      For further information on customs clearance services
      and international shipping, please read through our web site:

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(c) 2010-2013 J. Quinn/Sefco Export Management Company, Inc. v.1/2012