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How to File your ISF for Japanese Car Imports to the U.S.

Updated: Nov 26, 2023

ISF Filing for Cars

For individuals who are importing a car from Japan under the 25 year rule into the United States. The ISF Filing must be submitted to U.S. Customs before arrival to the U.S. port. If the car is being shipped via a RORO vessel, the requirement is that the ISF must be filed no later than 24 hours before arrival to port, and for cars being shipped inside a container, the requirement is 24 hours before loading or departure overseas. In general, as soon as your seller provides you the ISF Info Sheet or Bill of Lading shipping details, get your ISF filed as soon as possible.

Please note that for car imports, in most cases the seller will not be issuing the standard ISF info sheet, and may only provide a bill of lading which will be sufficient to file the ISF.

Step 1: Gather your documents

Have ready a copy of the bill of lading or ISF info sheet, along with a copy of the seller's invoice. In addition two forms of ID are required which is the drivers license and proof of tax id social security number. These documents will be required to be uploaded onto the online ISF form.

Step 2: Complete the EZISF Online Form and Upload documents

Use the EZISF Online form to enter your contact information and to upload your ISF documents and proofs of ID. Once all data and documents are entered, payment for the ISF Filing Fee and ISF Bond for total $110 can be made on the form. (ISF Filing Fee: $30 + ISF Bond $80)

Please note that there are no extra fees for new importer registration with CBP, or late ISF Filing Fees, if late.

Step 3: Receive the ISF Transaction Number

Upon submission of the online ISF form. The completed ISF and transaction number will be emailed to you within 6 hours. Importers can provide the completed filing and transaction number to their seller or shipper.


What is the time limit to file the ISF for cars?

RORO shipments (non containerized) 24 hours before arrival U.S. port. Containerized shipments, 24 hours before loading or departure of overseas vessel.

After my ISF is filed? What is the next step?

Upon completion of the ISF Filing, the next filing required would be the customs clearance filing in order to pay for the import duty and to get the actual release of the car from the port.

Can I clear the goods myself?

For those who prefer to forgo using a hired service for the customs clearance. They can check with their local CBP port office to see if the officer on duty can assist them with the clearance filing. Please note each U.S. port office may differ in their assistance for clearance, it is recommended to check with your local port office to see if they can offer assistance.

Does EZISF offer customs clearance service for cars?

Customs clearance services are available for all ports of entry into the United States. Our broker agent can handle all aspects of clearance under the 25 year rule, and to complete the required NHTSA HS-7 and EPA 3520-1. A flat rate of $250 for the clearance fee, includes the customs clearance filing, single entry bond, and the NHTSA and EPA declarations. Import duty will be accessed separately according to your vehicle at 2.5% for passenger cars, or 25% for transport vehicles.

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