Customs & Border Protection (CBP) offers an amazing option to free-file your Importer Security Filing (ISF) online through the Automated Commercial environment (ACE). This option is available to importers with 12 or less ISF transactions annually.
As you get use to the ACE Portal it may take you longer to file your first few transactions. However, It will take you about 15 minutes to file your ISF once you get use to the system.
The first step to filing your ISF online is to apply for an ACE account. This can be done here. The process of getting an account can take a few weeks so apply well before your shipment.
After your account is activated you can free-file your ISF online without the need for an ISF declaration form or 10+2 customs form. ISF filing requirements specify that all transactions must take place electronically.
Follow the instructions below to get started. After you file, review your ISF progress reports using the reports tab.
10 Steps to Free-File your ISF Online with ACE
1. Apply for an ACE Secure Data Portal Account
2. Login to your ACE Portal Account | First Time ACE Login Instructions
3. Click the “References” tab at the top of the page
4. If the “Links” window is not open, click the “Links” hyperlink to open the “Links” window
5. Select the “Launch ISF” button to open the ISF Portal
6. Click the “New Filing” menu option
7. Continue to enter your 10 data elements and file your ISF transaction
8. Submit your ISF to the Automated Targeting System (ATS) through ACE
9. Review your ISF progress report
10. Celebrate the fact that you saved $30 by filing your ISF online through ACE
An especially relevant note, only the Trade Account Owner (TAO) will initially see
the “Launch ISF” button. The TAO must follow these instructions to allow other uses to free-file an ISF through ACE.