“10+2 Rule” effective on January 26, 2009


The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”), in a ruling published last November 25, 2008, announced that the new “Importer Security Filing” program (better known as the “10+2 Rule”), should be entered into force on January 26, 2009.

The entry into force of such regulation has now been confirmed. Accordingly, starting from that date, for all goods shipped to the United States via vessel (even just transiting the US territory), American customs will require the transmission, at least 24 hours before the goods are loaded on board of the vessel and in addition to the electronic cargo manifest, of a new pre-arrival information containing 12 basic data elements. The responsibility for transmitting these data will be on the importers (or their customs agents) for 10 data elements, and on the carriers for 2 of them. For further details read: "The new American rule of "10+2", Il Doganalista, n. 10 (July/August 2008).

The ISF will determine tremendous changes to the manner in which operators process information within the supply chain. However, to give them the possibility to progressively adapt their internal procedures to the new requirements introduced, American customs foresee a "phase-in" period of 12 months within which violations to the above rule will be treated with less rigour.

More precisely, customs will take into account the "good faith" of the operators, i.e. their efforts in adapting their business to the new obligation of anticipated transmission of data stemming from the ISF program. This should lead to a mitigation of penalties applicable to those that despite the violation of the obligations fixed by the rule, will prove their good faith.

Further details are available on the CBP web site.