Shipping Terms Glossary

ISF Filing

An Importer Security Filing (ISF), also known as a “10+2”, documents 12 specific details pertaining to ocean freight shipments coming into the US.

What is ISF Filing?

An Importer Security Filing (ISF), also known as a “10+2”, documents 12 specific details pertaining to ocean freight shipments coming into the US.


How to make ISF filing?

The following 12 data elements are gathered from the Commercial Invoice and/or Shipper’s Letter of Intent.


The 10 data elements required from the importer:


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 (stuffer) name and address

7. Importer of record number/foreign trade zone applicant identification number

8. Consignee number(s)

9. Country of origin

10. Commodity Harmonized Tariff Schedule number to six (6) digits

The remaining 2 data elements required from the carrier:

1. Vessel stow plan

2. Container status messages

Who prepares the ISF?


Freight forwarders prepare and file for the ISF based on information in the Commercial Invoice and/or Shipper’s Letter of Intent.

🚨 Important - Don't get a $5,000 fine!

Bookairfreight Tips:

"Make sure your freight forwarder files the ISF at least 24 hours before cargo is loaded onto the ship, or stand to face a fine of $5,000!"

How much does an ISF Filing cost?

Just the filing fee could be around  $50 but it may vary between the freight forwarders or customs brokers.

I noticed an “ISF filing” charge on my quotation. Why do I have to pay?

This cost covers the process of filing and lodging the required documents. The charges are often included in the freight quote you receive from your forwarder.

Who pays for the ISF Filing charges?

The importer of the goods pays for the charges. This can be the buyer or the receiver of the shipment (consignee).

Does ISF only apply to Ocean Freight?

Yes. ISF is only applicable to ocean shipments entering the US.

Cristian Ungureanu

Logistics nerd and resident marketing guy of Bookairfreight. I love writing content that simplifies old-fashioned industry processes and provides solid, accurate information you can base your decisions on. Outside of logistics, I enjoy nature, hanging out with friends, electronic music and spirituality.

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