How to Capitalize on Importer Security Filing (10+2)



Sometimes opportunities present themselves in the unlikeliest places—in the bureaucracy of Customs compliance, for example. When U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) introduced the idea of Importer Security Filing (10+2) early in 2008, many global shippers and consignees greeted the proposal with reservations.

The mandate requires importers to electronically submit a security filing specifying 10 data elements plus an additional two carrier requirements before cargo is permitted entry into the United States by vessel. The filing tasks consignees and carriers with collecting and conveying necessary shipment information to CBP 24 hours prior to loading at a foreign port.

Unlike other CBP directives such as Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), shippers don’t have a choice whether or not to comply with 10+2. They do have a choice in how they embrace change.

Security regulations are increasing the complexity of supply chain management. Much of this enforcement is driven by perceived or real threats, and efforts to improve cargo security abroad and at home continue to grow in importance.

Businesses that resist change and continue to look at increased regulation as a challenge will struggle with integration and compliance. For others, 10+2 is an opportunity to drive business process improvement.


GAIN BETTER INSIGHT INTO YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN Before companies commit to any strategic undertaking, they should review supplier networks. A proactive approach allows businesses to align upstream processes and reconsider offshore business models with the new security filing in mind. If nothing else, businesses should embrace 10+2 as a mandatory opportunity to reconnect the dots at the point of origin.

IMPROVE SUPPLY CHAIN VELOCITY To properly gather and communicate shipment data to CBP 24 hours prior to loading, shippers and consignees have to be more diligent in holding vendors and carriers to cut-off times. The threat of demurrage charges, penalties, and costly shipment delays warrants better processes for capturing demand signals, linking them to suppliers, and holding all parties accountable. 10+2 requires information speed, which can have a ripple impact downstream.

INTEGRATE IT SYSTEMS, DRIVE VISIBILITY Technology is critical to gathering and communicating shipment data among intermediaries, carriers, vendors, and CBP. Many third-party companies offer electronic solutions tailored to 10+2 and can merge, manage, and convey proprietary information quickly and securely. This centralized data empowers shippers and consignees to drive visibility elsewhere in the supply chain.

STRENGTHEN SUPPLY CHAIN PARTNERSHIPS 10+2 is all about communication. Once processes and technology are in place, businesses will have much better connectivity to their extended supply chain partners. Tearing down functional and cultural silos invites opportunities to find synergies, drive greater transparency, and create better partnerships.

Reduce Costs, Increase Revenue While there will be upfront costs in driving compliance, businesses that meet CBP’s requirements in the most effective manner will improve supply chain velocity, visibility, and capacity utilization. This creates competitive advantage in speeding inventory cycles, reducing static inventory, and transporting product to market.

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