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  • Writer's pictureTurboISF

Tips for ISF Filing when purchasing goods from Alibaba

Updated: Jan 7

For those of you who are purchasing goods overseas from Alibaba for the first time. it is important to know what lies ahead as for the requirements U.S. Customs needs for your import and ISF Filing. Below are some easy tips to follow to ensure you are on top of the shipment and not be late

Tips for ISF Filing when purchasing from Alibaba

to file the ISF.

Tip #1 - Inquire with your seller about the ISF Filing responsibilties after purchase is made.

After you have completed the payment of the goods and shipping to your seller. Your seller will arrange the goods to be shipped with the same or following weeks ahead. Be sure to ask your seller what is the confirmed ETD (estimated departure) date of the vessel. When your seller provides you the given ETD date, it is important you ask them to provided you a copy of the ISF Information Sheet and Commercial Invoice at least 2-3 days before departure so that you will have time to file the ISF with U.S. Customs.

Tip #2 - File your ISF the Same Day when you have received the documents.

One of the top reason why many importers are late to file their ISF even after getting the ISF documents early from their seller is that they wait too long before they file. In the world of shipping even 1 or 2 days is a lot of time if the vessel has already sailed. To avoid time lost, as soon as you receive the ISF documents from your seller, file the ISF the same day. ISF Filing Online Services are available 24-7 via TurboISF Webfile Form.

Tip #3 - Provide the Completed ISF Transaction Number to your Seller.

Upon receipt of the completed ISF Filing, the ISF Transaction Number will be indicated on your ISF Filing. This is a unique number specific to your shipment which appears in the U.S Customs import database to show your ISF was completed. Simply forward the ISF Confirmation email to your seller to let them know this was completed so that they can inform the shipping company your goods are compliant to ship. There are times the shipping company would hold back the goods to the next vessel if they do not receive confirmation that the ISF was completed.

We hope this article helps you with your first import. Please feel free to visit our website for more detailed information and to file your ISF.

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