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US Customs to begin full ISF enforcement

ISFs are required to be filed on all ocean shipments 48 hours before sailing from the final port of discharge or risk fines.

As from March 15, 2019 US Customs is going to start enforcing fines for all importers who are failing to file their ISFs before the 48 hour period. 


When this system was implemented, US Customs stated that they would fine the importer up to $5,000 USD for each infraction of this new policy. Up until now, they have been lenient and have not consistently enforced these fines. 


Woodland Group are able to file ISF’s on behalf of our customers upon request. Please contact your Woodland representative for more information.


For instances in which importers elect to have their own broker file the ISF on their behalf – If ISF is not filed within required timeframe, then penalties will be imposed as above.


The penalty will be issued to the Importer.


What can you do to help ensure ISF’s are filed correctly if Woodland are not submitting for you?


  • Always ensure that ISF information is passed to the responsible party in a timely manner.
  • Look to minimise chain of communication to the broker responsible for submitting the ISF entry. This will help to avoid any potential delays in getting the required information to the relevant party.
  • Transfer ISF filing responsibility to Woodland Group, who can ensure ISF is submitted correctly and within required timeframe.


Woodland Group do not have visibility of any ISF filings that we do not file with US CBP. Woodland Group will not take any responsibility for costs incurred due to late ISF filing by another party.


Repalletising of Non-ISPM 15 Heat Treated Pallets


The USA's Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced on 15th September 2005 that it had conducted a special operation during the month of July 2005 to determine the baseline level of wood packaging material (WPM) compliance with ISPM15. Based on examination results, CBP will perform phased-in compliance enforcement of the USDA WPM regulation. Details of the phased-in compliance can be viewed in the CBP's Operating Procedures for Trade Community Regarding Implementation of the Wood Packaging Materials (WPM) Regulation 

APHIS in cooperation with CBP then begun enforcing phase two of the wood packaging material (WPM ) regulation. During the phase, APHIS and CBP required that all commodity imports entering or transiting the United States with WPM consisting of pallets and crates be either heat treated or fumigated with methyl bromide (methyl bromide was banned for use in the EU in March 2010). The shipments must also be marked with an approved international logo, certifying that the WPM has been appropriately treated. WPM that does not meet these requirements will not be allowed to enter into the United States and will be re-exported. Acceptable logo can be found via the following link:- 
Operating Procedures for Trade Community Regarding Implementation of the Wood Packaging Materials (WPM) Regulation  

Shipments containing WPM that violate the rule may be allowed entry only if the CBP port director determines that it is possible to separate the approved material from the noncompliant portion of the shipment. Arrangements to have the noncompliant WPM exported from the United States would be required before the approved cargo can be released to the consignee. All costs associated with this process are the responsibility of the cargo owner based on incoterms of the offending shipment.  

Full enforcement of the WPM regulation began on July 5. At that time, all WPM must meet the import requirements and be free of timber pests before entering or transiting through the United States.


Woodland Group endeavour to offer an extra level of protection wherever possible to our customers by working to check pallets received into our facilities for export to the USA.


Should any non-compliant WPM be identified, Woodland Group will offer to repalletise at a minimum cost of £50 per pallet (any specialist crates will be subject to price upon request) or will need to be returned to collection point for repacking prior to export. All costs associated will be for the account of the cargo owner in line with shipping Incoterms.


Whilst we work to check as much cargo as we can for compliance, this is an added service we offer to our customers and it remains the shippers responsibility to ensure all shipments are compliant with the destination countries regulations.


 Correct Marks and Numbers


Marks and Numbers on your cargo act serve the same purpose as a person’s ID card.


All companies involved in the transport of your cargo (manufacturer, shipper, customs, carriers, warehouses, consignees, etc.) trust on the respective marks and numbers to distinguish it from all others.


Any missing, incomplete or old marks (when packages may be reused), or irrelevant information shown in the external packing, may interfere with the correct identification of your cargo which can lead to un-necessary costs, avoidable errors, confusion and delays during transportation to final destination. Any and all costs associated will be for account of owner of the goods in accordance with shipping incoterms.


Should Woodland receive any cargo without the following identifying marks as a minimum, your cargo may be at risk:


  • Consignee Name / Address
  • Country of Final Destination
  • Number of pieces (1 of 2)
  • Identifying order, shipment or part number


We do understand that on occasions our customers wish to keep some information confidential, therefore in these instances marks and numbers can be simplified in line with United Nations recommendations. One example of how to effectively simplify marks and numbers but still ensure the necessary information is included can be seen below:




         Please contact us should you require any further information.  





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