Document Processing Guidelines

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Document Receipt Guidelines

  • Initial ISF and entry documentation messaging will be specifically acknowledged with an email receipt.
  • Arrival notices sent separately by forwarders & carriers will be acknowledged as requested.
  • Subsequent documentation messaging may or may not be acknowledged.

The daily document processing cut-off is 1600 Eastern 01/02/20

  • This cutoff only indicates the time by which new shipments received will have a file opened. It does not guarantee same-day processing, as that will depend on numerous factors.
  • Cut-off times are subject to change without notice.
  • Processing for shipments received after cut-off starts not earlier than the next business day – shipments will not be processed on weekends or holidays!
  • For best results, ISF details should be provided 48-72 hours prior to scheduled vessel departure, not including weekends.
  • Please be sure your ISF transaction details are complete by providing an ISF Detail Sheet with relevant fields completed.
  • See FgL’s ISF resources for more information, including a handy Presentation Checklist and ISF Detail SheetISF Tools
  • ISF transactions are filed the day prior to scheduled vessel departure, but not later than Friday of the week received (subject to the above daily cut.)
  • Requests for Customs clearance should include, where possible:
    • Arrival Notice
    • Bill of Lading or Airwaybill
    • Commercial Invoice & Packing List
  • Air Shipments:
    • It is not necessary to wait to receive a carrier certificate or forwarder arrival notice to send documents for air shipments. The necessary AMS information is obtained directly from CBP. Improve the turnaround time on your air shipments by providing documents prior to the date of flight.
  • Ocean Shipments:
    • Up to 3 business days may be necessary to complete processing. For best results, ocean shipment documents should be provided 5 to 7 days prior to arrival at port of entry.
      • File is opened on day of receipt (or next day if received after daily cut-off).
      • Entry is prepared for data entry on 2nd day.
      • Entry is filed on 3rd day.
    • Entry processing is scheduled to start on the 5th day prior to arrival at the port of entry.
    • It is not necessary to wait for carrier arrival notices to send ocean documents, especially for FCL shipments. As with air freight, necessary information can be obtained directly from AMS.


  • Documents required:
    • Completed POA form
    • Driver’s license or government issued ID of party signing POA
  • Please allow 1 business day for processing.
Please note that processing priority is afforded to air freight, truck freight and ISF transactions. 

Note: during times of office closure and other limited operations, the following guidelines are effective:
  • Critical shipment issues will still be addressed as time permits.
  • Air, truck & ISF processing will be done, but may be delayed.
  • Ocean freight entries will not be processed.
  • Non-essential email inquiries may not be responded to until the office reopens.

Originally published 09/04/2015