A Customs Broker is a person or company licensed by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to transact Customs business on behalf of an importer for a fee. The duties of a customs broker include: Prepare & submit customs documentation & ensure compliance with CBP and other government agencies rules & regulations; provide the required surety bond; pay duty and fees to CBP; arrange delivery of cargo to the importer.
The Bill of Laden number (B/L#), or if used, the AMS House Bill of Laden number (AMS HB/L#), is used as an identifier to match the ISF filing to the manifest filing and to the Customs entry and therefore must be provided.
The following 10 items are required along with the time frames to submit the information to CBP.
No later than 24 hours before cargo is laden aboard the vessel at the foreign port:
1. Seller – full name and address
2. Buyer – full name and address
3. Importer of Record
5. ++Manufacturer (or supplier) – full name and address
6. ++Ship to party – full name and address
7. ++Country of origin
8. ++HTS Number
As early as possible but no later than 24 hours prior to arrival:
9. Container stuffing location
10. Consolidator (stuffer)
**Break bulk cargo** – 24 hours prior to arrival if cargo is exempt from the 24 Hour Rule.
For ++items, submit the best available information. The rule provides flexibility for importers with respect to the submission of these four ++data elements. The ISF must be updated as soon as more accurate or precise data becomes available and no later than 24 hours prior to the ship’s arrival at a U.S. port.
The ISF Importer is required to post a bond to secure the timely, accurate, and complete Importer Security Filing. A continuous bond will satisfy ISF bond requirement. (Read more about continuous bonds on our FAQ page).
ISF information must be received by LMB at least 48 – 72 hours before cargo is laden aboard vessel at the foreign port to ensure the filing of ISF in compliance with CBP regulations.
Food & Drug Administration (FDA) – is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the control and supervision of food safety, tobacco products, dietary supplements, prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs, vaccines, biopharmaceuticals, blood transfusions, medical devices, electromagnetic radiation emitting devices, cosmetics, animal foods & feed and veterinary products.
Department of Agriculture (APHIS) – Tasked with enforcing plant, animal and ‘pest’ control. The DA is the primary enforcement agency for Wood Packaging regulations.
Department of Commerce – Collects statistical information about import shipments.
Consumer Products Safety Commission – Regulates consumer products that the FDA doesn’t handle directly; (Toys, Clothing, etc.)
Fish and Wildlife Service – Concerned with non-domesticated animals and goods made from parts of these animals and subject to the CITES treaty.
State Department – Monitors artifacts and cultural property imported from various countries and may be involved with licensing of certain imports.
Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration – Regulates the import of automobiles and Aircraft
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms – Issues license and/or permits to import alcoholic beverages of all kinds, firearms, and other weaponry, and tobacco products. Note some of these goods are subject to State regulations and taxes.
Foreign Assets Control – Issues licenses to import products that would otherwise be prohibited (Cuban cigars, Iranian carpets)
United States International Trade Commission - An independent federal agency determining import injury to U.S. industries in antidumping, countervailing duty, and global and China safeguard investigations; directing actions against unfair trade practices involving patent, trademark, and copyright infringement; supporting policymakers through economic analysis and research on the global competitiveness of U.S. industries.