Importer Security Filing Progress Reports Released by U.S. Customs -- TRG Direct Notices Increase in Performance by Direct Filers

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U.S. Customs has released the second set of Importer Security Filing progress reports to TRG Direct. The company has reported an increase in the accuracy and timeliness of TRG Direct's self-filers. Less than six months remain in the informed compliance period of ISF. U.S. Customs continues to educate importers on this new requirement.

The Importer Security Filing (ISF), also known as 10+2, is a new U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulation requiring importers and vessel carriers to provide advance data elements electronically to CBP for non-bulk cargo shipments in-bound into the United States by vessel. The focus of this initiative is to improve CBP's ability to recognize high-risk shipments in advance to ensure the safety of America's borders. The initiative is currently in a flexible enforcement period awaiting the penalty phase which begins January 2010. CBP is issuing progress reports to importers periodically up until the final implementation date of ISF. These report cards are a way for importers to gauge the timeliness and accuracy of their ISF filings to date.

CBP has released the second set of Importer Security Filing progress reports. These reports were generated by CBP and contain data ranging from 5/19/09 through 8/06/069. TRG Direct, a leading provider of web-based software for ISF and consumption entry filing, recently met with Rich DiNucci, Secure Freight Initiative Director, to discuss the results of their direct filing clients' progress reports. TRG Direct noted that the main message from the meeting was that importers need to be filing. Although timeliness and accuracy play a role in the compliance of an ISF, the importer's progress with their importer security filing program prior to a violation will be a major mitigating factor come the penalty phase. Importers are able to request their ISF progress report direct from U.S. Customs or they will receive a copy from the party filing on their behalf. This report is helping many companies adjust their business processes as problems arise during this phase of ISF.

For those companies who have been hesitant to react to importer security filing, stiff monetary penalties will result. The mitigation guidelines were posted in Customs' Bulletin & Decisions in mid-July. After the announcement of a $5,000 penalty for non-compliance, TRG Direct experienced a jump in new self filers. Many importers that have relied on their broker or a different, less user friendly system have come to the company in hopes of increasing accuracy and timeliness of their ISF. Cost effective solutions that will help the importer comply are available, and importers can start filing within two days. http://www.TRGDirect.com

Direct filing importers are working closely with their ISF software providers, such as TRG Direct, to fully understand their progress report and determine what changes, if any, need to be made. One such result from review of an Importer Security Filing report card is the implementation of vendor and supplier compliance programs. "It seems that the two most troubling situations for importers right now are the inability to get the bill of lading number in advance and/or lack of suppliers' and vendors' compliance," noted Mike Laden, TRG Direct President." "In response, we have created suggested notifications for our customers to use in correspondence with their overseas partners. We have seen quite an improvement by our filers". The company meets individually with each ISF self-filer to discuss the progress report and suggest solutions to aid in increased compliance.

With less than six months left until the penalty phase is in full effect, CBP has reported an increase in the timeliness and accuracy of filings since the first round of report cards. CBP is also expanding their trade outreach program to various cities throughout the U.S. The events will focus on educating importers on how to comply with the new requirements.

About TRG Direct

Founded in 1991, TRG was ultimately committed to providing international traders the best possible option for U.S. Customs Bonds and Marine Cargo Insurance. After substantial growth, TRG recognized the need for a more economical option for importers to process their entry clearance. With that TRG Direct was born as a way for international traders to file their consumption entry with U.S. Customs in-house. Committed to addressing other needs of the industry, TRG Direct expanded its services to offer direct filing of ISF in addition to the entry.

TRG Direct consists of industry experts committed to developing related products that enhance the simplicity, safety and economics of international trading. The extensive background of the team consists of 25 years of Customs ABI development, 25 years underwriting Customs bonds and 30 years in supply chain security management. For more information, please visit http://www.TRGDirect.com.

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Jena Leary
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