How to Apply for CBP Filer Code

If you wish to file your Importer Security Filings (ISF) directly with Customs, you will be assigned a CBP filer code. Each unique filer code has three alpha, numeric, or alpha-numeric characters. When filing the Importer Security Filings, this assigned three-character code is used.

How can you apply for a CBP filer code? The process is fairly straightforward. In order to receive a CBP filer code from U.S. Customs, an entity must submit a letter in writing to the Customs  Office of Information Technology. Within 10 working days, an ISF filer code will be assigned to the company.

Application Process for a CBP Filer Code

If your company is interested in obtaining a CBP filer code, there is a simple step-by-step process to follow.

  1. Find and complete the ISF filer code request form and include a letter of intent on your company letterhead.
  2. Fax or email the letter directly to the Office of Information Technology at  letterofintent@cbp.dhs.gov for review.
  3. If no contact has been established after 10 business days, contact the OIT to request a general status update.

An important thing to understand is that when it comes to obtaining a CBP filer code, a company must be applying for the first time. If a company already has a filer code assigned to their account from previous filings, it must be noted in the updated request letter to the OIT. Reasons a company may already have a filer code include entry processing or drawback.

Typically, customs will allow the same filer code for ISF processing for a company and will update their files accordingly.

The Role of the ABI Entry Filer

The Automated Broker Interface (ABI) is an essential component in the process of filing for an ISF filer code. When submitting a letter of intent to Customs, it signifies the filer’s intent to participate in ABI. From there, an ABI Client Representative is assigned to your account to help facilitate the process of getting the ISF Filer Code.

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