Sea freight shipments from “Bel Paese” to the USA

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Before sailing from Italy to America, is everything in order with the Importer Security Filing?

According to the United States Census Bureau, Italy is among the top 10 countries importing in the USA. Some of the most imported products from Italy are Medicines, Motor vehicles for transporting people, wine etc (statistics)


Which documents are needed for a standard sea freight shipment of general cargo from Italy to the USA?

The sea freight shipments from Italy to the USA require the sales invoice of the exporting company, a packing-list indicating the number of packages, the gross and net weight, and preferably the HS CODE of the articles, the dual use declaration filled out with signature and stamp (on the headed paper of the exporting company).

Sea freight shipments to the USA require the compilation of the ISF (Importer Security Filing), also known as “10 + 2 Rule”, which requires containerized cargo information, for security purposes, to be submitted to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at least 24 hours before goods are loaded onto an ocean vessel headed to the U.S. for shipment into the U.S.

The data elements required from the importer are the following ones:

  • Manufacturer (or supplier) name and address
  • Seller (or owner) name and address
  • Buyer (or owner) name and address
  • Ship-to name and address
  • Container stuffing location
  • Consolidator (stuffer) name and address
  • Importer of record number/foreign trade zone applicant identification number
  • Consignee number(s)
  • Country of origin
  • Commodity Harmonized Tariff Schedule number to six (6) digits

These are the “+2” data elements which are entirely the responsibility of the steamship line:

  • Vessel stow plan
  • Container status messages
ISF 10+2



Importers who do not file the ISF properly prior to the shipment of their goods will be penalized (US$5,000 fine).

The collaboration of the Italian exporting company for the ISF compilation is very important. In this regard the freight forwarder must assist him by asking the needed information.


Are you importing from Italy to the USA? Rely on our preparation and experience. Thanks also to the strong support of our American Logistics partner, we are able to provide you a great service. Contact us!

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