Automate Your Import Filing to Reduce Compliance Costs with SAP BusinessObjects Global Trade Services

  • by Rajesh Malle, Krypt, Inc.
  • Rajen Iyer, Cofounder and CTO, Krypt, Inc.
  • February 28, 2011
Companies have to deal with the import of goods into their country and the declarations that go along with importing. To improve on efficiency, reduce costs in your compliance process, and avoid delays in customs clearance, you can automate your import declarations using functionality in SAP BusinessObjects Global Trade Services.
Key Concept
Import filing to customs is performed in different stages, such as cargo manifest, entry summary, automated clearing house (ACH) authorization for duty payment, and finally the daily and monthly statement. For shipments that are sent through vessels, US Customs and Border Protection has mandated that companies send notification 24 hours prior to cargo being set aboard. These are called 10 plus 2 critical data elements. Upon the arrival or prior to the arrival of the goods, the products are declared to the CBP authorities in two formats: CF 3461 (entry or immediate delivery) and CF 7501 (entry summary). With CF 3461, you are notifying the CBP of the goods that are arriving and with CF 7501 you are declaring the goods with values for appropriate duty and other fee payments.

Every export is an import into another country. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has introduced a new rule titled Importer Security Filing and Additional Carrier Requirement, as of January 26, 2009. Under this rule, before any goods arrive by vessel into the US, the Importer Security Filing (ISF) needs to be submitted in advance by the importer or the agent (licensed customs broker) electronically to the CBP. This requirement only applies to cargo arriving in the US by ocean vessel, not to cargo arriving by other modes of transportation. The ISF importer or their agent must provide eight data elements no later than 24 hours before the cargo is set aboard a vessel destined to the US.

These data elements are: seller, buyer, importer of record number, consignee number, manufacturer (or supplier), ship-to party, country of origin, and the commodity’s Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) number. Two additional data elements — container stuffing location and consolidator — must be submitted as early as possible, but no later than 24 hours prior to the ship’s arrival at a US port.

CBP may issue liquidation of $5,000 per violation for the submission of an inaccurate, incomplete, or untimely filing. If goods for which an ISF has not been filed arrive in the US, the CBP may withhold the release or transfer of the cargo, refuse the unloading of the merchandise, or seize it if it is illegally unloaded. Additional noncompliant cargo could be subject to “do not load” orders at origin or further inspection on arrival.

From an importing point of view, companies use different approaches to meet the requirement. We’ll discuss the import processes setup using SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC) and SAP BusinessObjects Global Trade Services, and the key configuration setup for building a robust solution, data, and process to support the requirement. We’ll also provide details on building an automated interface with your brokers for import declarations.

Rajesh Malle

Rajesh Malle is a principal consultant at Krypt Inc. He focuses on providing consulting solutions in global trade and logistics areas. He holds a master's degree in engineering and project management and has executed several SAP projects involving SAP Materials Management and customer-facing modules with SAP ERP.

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Rajen Iyer

Rajen Iyer is the cofounder and CTO at Krypt, Inc. Rajen has written several in-depth, best practice articles, white papers, patents, and best-selling books on SAP Logistics and SAP Global Trade Services, including Effective SAP SD and Implementing SAP BusinessObjects Global Trade Services. He is also an invited speaker at industry conferences.

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