Can An Importer Correct Errors In An ISF After It’s Been Submitted?

So, you’ve just submitted an Importer Security Filing (ISF) and suddenly realized there are some errors in it. Oops! Now you’re wondering if it’s possible to correct those mistakes even after the submission. Well, the good news is that there might still be a chance for you to rectify those errors. In this article, we’ll explore whether an importer can correct errors in an ISF after it’s been submitted, and we’ll also touch upon the importance of domestic trucking services in the whole process. Trust me, you won’t want to miss out on this valuable information.

Can An Importer Correct Errors In An ISF After Its Been Submitted?

——– US Customs Clearing Services ——–


What is an Importer Security Filing (ISF)?

An Importer Security Filing (ISF), also known as a 10+2 filing, is a required document that must be submitted to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) by the importer or their authorized agent before the cargo is loaded onto a vessel destined for the United States. The ISF provides CBP with detailed information about the imported goods, helping them assess the potential security risks associated with the shipment.

Purpose of ISF

The primary purpose of the ISF is to enhance the security of the international supply chain by providing the CBP with advance information about the imported goods. This information allows the CBP to identify high-risk shipments and take necessary measures to mitigate potential security threats.

Requirements for ISF Submission

To comply with the CBP regulations, importers or their authorized agents are responsible for submitting accurate and timely ISFs. The ISF must be submitted at least 24 hours before the cargo is loaded onto the vessel that will transport it to the United States. Failure to submit the ISF or submitting inaccurate or incomplete information can result in penalties and delays.

Importance of Accurate ISF

Consequences of Errors in ISF

Accurate and complete submission of the ISF is crucial to ensure smooth customs clearance and avoid potential penalties. Errors in the ISF can result in delays, fines, and even the detention of the shipment. Additionally, inaccuracies in the information provided may raise suspicions about the cargo’s integrity, potentially leading to further inspections and disruptions to the supply chain.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Non-compliance with the ISF requirements can attract significant penalties. The CBP has the authority to impose penalties of up to $5,000 per ISF violation. These penalties are strictly enforced and can quickly add up, especially in cases involving multiple shipments or repeated violations. It is crucial to take the necessary steps to ensure accurate and timely submission of the ISF to avoid these costly penalties.

Timeframe for ISF Corrections

ISF Submission Deadline

The ISF must be submitted at least 24 hours before the cargo is loaded onto the vessel. This deadline is critical, and failing to meet it can lead to severe consequences, including delayed clearance, penalties, and potential disruptions to the supply chain. Importers must be aware of these deadlines and ensure that all necessary information is provided within the prescribed timeframe.

Allowed Time for Corrections

If errors are identified in the ISF after it has been submitted, importers have a limited window of opportunity to make corrections. The CBP allows for corrections to be made up until the departure of the vessel from the foreign port. However, it is important to note that corrections made after the ISF submission deadline may still result in penalties or delays, so it is in the importer’s best interest to submit accurate information upfront.

Can An Importer Correct Errors In An ISF After Its Been Submitted?

——– Customs Import Bond ——–

Correctable Errors in ISF

Minor Errors and Typos

Minor errors and typos, such as spelling mistakes or transposed digits, are generally considered correctable. However, it is crucial to rectify these errors promptly to avoid any potential issues during the clearance process.

Incorrect Port Codes and Voyage Information

If the port codes or voyage information provided in the ISF are incorrect, it is essential to make corrections before the departure of the vessel. Providing accurate port codes and voyage information ensures that the CBP can accurately track and identify the shipment during the clearance process.

Missing or Inaccurate Bill of Lading Numbers

The bill of lading (BOL) numbers are critical identifiers for the shipment and must be accurately provided in the ISF. If the BOL numbers are missing or inaccurate, it can lead to confusion and delays. Importers should promptly correct any discrepancies in the BOL numbers provided.

Incorrect Manufacturer or Supplier Information

The ISF requires accurate information regarding the manufacturer or supplier of the goods. If errors or omissions are identified in this information, corrections should be made to ensure proper identification of the parties involved.

Errors in Consignee or Notify Party

Similar to the manufacturer or supplier information, errors in the consignee or notify party details can lead to confusion and delays. Importers should promptly correct any inaccuracies in these details to ensure smooth customs clearance.

Wrong HTS Codes or Goods Descriptions

The Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes and goods descriptions provided in the ISF play a crucial role in determining the appropriate duty rates and customs regulations applied to the imported goods. If errors or inaccuracies are identified in these codes or descriptions, it is important to make corrections promptly to ensure compliance with the CBP regulations.

Inaccurate Container Loading Plans

Accurate container loading plans are essential for the CBP to assess the potential security risks associated with the shipment. If discrepancies or inaccuracies are identified in the container loading plans, importers should work promptly to correct the information provided.

Procedures for Correcting ISF

Contacting the CBP

If errors are identified in the ISF, importers or their authorized agents should make immediate contact with the CBP to report the errors and discuss the necessary steps to rectify them. The CBP will provide guidance on the appropriate procedures to follow for making corrections.

Submitting a Post-Summary Correction (PSC)

In cases where errors are identified after the departure of the vessel, importers can submit a Post-Summary Correction (PSC) to rectify the inaccuracies. The PSC process allows importers to make corrections to the ISF even after the initial submission and before the finalization of the customs entry.

Filing a Protest

If an importer believes that a CBP decision regarding the ISF was incorrect or unjust, they may file a protest. Filing a protest allows the importer to challenge the CBP’s decision and seek resolution for any disputes or discrepancies.

Obtaining an ACE Portal Account

The Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) portal is a valuable tool for importers to manage their trade activities and submit necessary documents, including ISF corrections. Importers can apply for an ACE portal account to gain access to the system’s features and streamline their interactions with the CBP.

Working with a Customs Broker

Engaging the services of an experienced customs broker can greatly assist importers in navigating the ISF correction process. Customs brokers have in-depth knowledge of the CBP regulations and can guide importers through the necessary steps to make accurate and timely corrections.

Limitations and Restrictions

Timeliness of Corrections

While the CBP allows for corrections to be made up until the vessel’s departure, it is important to note that delays in making corrections can still result in penalties or disruptions. Importers must prioritize timely and accurate submission of the ISF to mitigate any potential issues.

Availability of Data

The availability and accuracy of the necessary data for making corrections can impact the ISF correction process. Importers must ensure that they have the required information readily available and that it is accurate to facilitate smooth corrections.

CBP Approval and Discretion

The CBP ultimately has the authority to approve or reject ISF corrections and exercise discretion in penalizing violations. While the ISF correction process is available, importers should not assume that all errors will be easily rectified. Compliance with the CBP regulations is crucial to avoid penalties and maintain a good relationship with the CBP.

——– Customs Clearing ——–

Documentation and Record-Keeping

Maintaining Accurate Records

Importers must maintain accurate records of their ISF submissions, including any corrections made. These records serve as proof of compliance and can be crucial in case of any audits or disputes.

Retaining Documentation for Audits

Importers should retain all relevant documentation related to the ISF submission and corrections for a designated period of time. These records may be requested during audits or if any issues arise in the future.

Best Practices to Avoid Errors

Double-Checking Information

Double-checking all the information provided in the ISF before submission is a simple yet effective way to avoid errors. Taking the time to review and verify the accuracy of the information can significantly reduce the likelihood of mistakes.

Using Automated Systems

Utilizing automated systems, such as software or customs management systems, can help streamline the ISF submission process and minimize errors. These systems often have built-in validation checks that highlight potential errors before submission.

Utilizing Experienced Customs Brokers

Partnering with experienced customs brokers who are well-versed in ISF requirements can greatly assist importers in ensuring accurate and timely submissions. Customs brokers can provide guidance, expertise, and efficient handling of the ISF process.

Staying Updated with Regulations

Keeping abreast of the latest CBP regulations and updates is crucial to maintaining compliance. Importers should regularly review any changes in the requirements to ensure their ISF submissions align with the current regulations.

Benefits of Timely and Accurate Corrections

Avoiding Penalties and Fines

Making timely and accurate corrections to the ISF helps importers avoid costly penalties and fines. By proactively ensuring the ISF is correct, importers can maintain compliance with the CBP regulations and protect their business from financial liabilities.

Reducing Delays and Detentions

Timely and accurate corrections to the ISF help prevent delays and detentions of the shipment. By providing the CBP with accurate and complete information, importers can minimize interruptions to the supply chain and ensure the smooth flow of goods.

Maintaining Compliance and Professionalism

By prioritizing timely and accurate corrections to the ISF, importers demonstrate their commitment to compliance and professionalism. Adhering to the CBP regulations not only avoids penalties but also fosters a positive relationship with the CBP, enabling smoother customs clearance processes in the future.


Accurate and timely submission of the Importer Security Filing (ISF) is crucial to ensure smooth customs clearance and avoid potential penalties and delays. Importers must understand the importance of providing accurate information in the ISF, promptly correcting any errors, and maintaining compliance with CBP regulations. By following the appropriate procedures, working with experienced customs brokers, and implementing best practices, importers can navigate the ISF correction process effectively, reducing risks, and ensuring a seamless flow of goods through the international supply chain.

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