Global Update

Importers Beware: U.S. Government Imposing New Reporting Requirements

All importers—from those bringing in one container a year to those importing products weekly—are equally liable under a new rule issued by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP), which took effect January 26, 2009. The Importer Security Filing (ISF), more commonly referred to as the "10+2" initiative (because it requires importers to supply 10 pieces of data and shipping companies another two items), marks the first time importers are required to communicate with the CBP regarding incoming shipments and are held liable for failure to do so. Penalties for incomplete or non-compliance are steep, at $5,000 per incident, as well as possible no-load orders. The CBP is delaying enforcement for one year in order to allow companies time to implement compliant systems.

Even with the delay in penalties, the CBP has provided itself with the legal wiggle room to impose them sooner based on "lack of effort" on the part of importers. SEMA will be organizing an informational session to provide members details on these new reporting requirements. To participate in the meeting or for general information on the 10+2 initiative, contact Linda Spencer at