Trade Tech, a major supplier of web-based supply chain and transportation applications and service solutions, has created a full-service Importer Security Filing (ISF) solution designed specifically for customs house brokers to solve all challenges associated with the new time-sensitive data reporting regulations enacted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s 10+2 Rule.
“The key issue for ISF this year will be on-boarding the more than 300,000 importers in the United States and the more than one million corresponding exporters that work with them around the world,” said Bryn Heimbeck, Trade Tech’s CEO. “It’s an issue of time. There are only eleven months until mandatory compliance is the law and at that rate, more than one thousand importers per day need to become ISF compliant.”
Through Trade Tech’s workflow management tools, brokers have full access to all ISF input and can review or add additional information to the ISF in the event that the shipper is unable to provide critical data such as the HTS number or bond number. “This keeps the broker directly involved in the process while assisting with the data input and customer service at origin,” said Heimbeck. “Since so much of the 10+2 data originates with shippers, we have created a ‘virtual back office’ to ensure there are no delays in reporting ISF data and that every container gets loaded.”
Trade Tech provides both logistics software and service, processing over 30,000 bills of lading per month for over 350 NVOCCs around the world.
Heimbeck said, “We are not talking about just a software package, but a vehicle for solving all 10+2 issues by communicating directly with shippers at their locations during their workday. What’s happened is the collection of commercial shipment information is moving closer to the beginning of the time line in the import process. This means the data collection window has been positioned in a very short time-critical slot – just 24 to 48 hours between container loading and the 24-hour cut-off time before vessel loading begins.”
According to Heimbeck, the ISF regulations have created specific new challenges for Customs House Brokers:
1) Brokers need to provide an ISF solution for their importers in order to stay competitive.
2) Brokers who are not able to do so will be at risk of losing their customers to a broker with an effective ISF solution.
3) In order to provide an ISF solution that allows for timely filing of all data elements required by 10+2, brokers must work directly with shippers, who are located on another continent and in a different time zone. Regional proximity to the shipper will be essential for brokers to remain competitive in this new environment.
“To create an effective 10+2 solution for brokers, there are three major issues that have to be addressed: direct contact with the shipper, the timing of data filing requirements and the need for a feedback loop in order to deal with any hold messages issued by U.S. Customs in response to the data filing, which are all covered by our full-service 10+2 solution,” said Heimbeck.
Brokers must be able to contact the shipper directly to receive relevant 10+2 data for Customs filing, which includes challenges such as:
a) Time Zones – the shipper is located on another continent, many time zones away from the United States.
b) Language – the shipper may not speak English.
c) Physical proximity – brokers are based in the United States while shippers are based overseas.
“A delay in receiving 10+2 data from the shipper will result in the broker having to contact the shipper in their language during their workday in order to avoid costly hold orders caused by delays in filing 10+2 data in the allowable time frame,” said Heimbeck.
Ten data elements must be filed with U.S. Customs 24 hours before the cargo loads on board the vessel. This creates a challenge because of the time zone difference between the United States and foreign ports:
a) Because most shipping vessels sail on the weekend, 65% of all AMS data is input between 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time Thursday night and midnight Pacific Standard Time on Friday night.
b) All administrative corrections are made in the last two hours before the CY cut-off between 1:00 AM and 8:00 AM Pacific Standard Time.
c) Brokers without a local overseas presence at the foreign port will need to be ready to work through the night on Thursdays and Fridays to bring all ISF data into their systems and file with U.S. Customs, or cause the shipment to suffer delays.
“The presence of a local back office at the foreign port will greatly reduce the amount of time a U.S.-based broker has to spend ensuring all ISF data is filed in time for the 24-hour cutoff before sailing,” said Heimbeck, “while still allowing them the capacity to review and add data, which is solely within their domain expertise.”
“The solution must be capable of addressing ‘hold messages’ that result from administrative error in real time at origin if cargo is going to move smoothly without delay,” said Heimbeck. “A broker that can effectively catch hold messages and resolve them prior to loading will be invaluable to clients who would otherwise suffer massive financial losses should their goods be unable to ship in a timely manner. Brokers have full access to all ISF input through Trade Tech’s workflow management tools and can review or add additional information to the ISF in the event that the shipper is unable to provide critical data.”
Heimbeck said the combination of Trade Tech’s international office structure, with nine overseas offices in Asia and Europe, and its data input and operations centers, allow customs brokers to fully leverage Trade Tech’s technology in servicing their customers’ origin-oriented needs in order to comply with 10+2.
Trade Tech is an Internet-based supply chain and transportation solutions company owned and operated by industry professionals. Trade Tech is an Application Service Provider (ASP), which licenses and delivers applications in seven key areas, including:
-10+2 Rule Solution Provider
-Cost optimization / Pricing
-Supply chain / Purchase order visibility (tracking and tracing) -Sales / Operations -Accounting -AMS/ACI and security related to ocean and air transportation, including all Cargo Security Filing requirements.