Here are answers to frequently asked questions.

For specific answers to your most pressing needs, please reach out to us.



What is an ISF Filing and what happens if I do not comply with them?

An ISF filing is a U.S. government mandate for all inbound Containerized Ocean Cargo to have shipment information transmitted to U.S. Customs prior to the cargo leaving the foreign port. Failure to comply could result in a $5,000 per occurrence penalty and the U.S. government has a 5-year window to audit your records.

Are there items that ICAT doesn't ship?

There are, below are the most common examples of items that we get asked about and don’t ship

  • Fine Arts
  • Cash, bonds, specie or stamp collections
  • Flowers/Plants
  • Cell phones
  • Cigarettes/tobacco
  • Fresh foods/perishables
  • Architectural and other models
  • Jewelry or precious stones
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Knitting and textiles
  • Eggs
  • Raw cotton
  • Live animals
  • Cash over $10,000
  • Pornography
  • Drug paraphernalia
  • Switchblade knives
  • Pre-printed lottery tickets
  • Radioactive
  • Vehicles for resale (ICAT only ships prototype vehicles for OEM and Suppliers)
  • Granite, Marble or Concrete Materials including countertops
  • Glass Materials
  • Personal Items
  • Shipments to and from private individuals
Do I need to file anything with the U.S. government prior to shipping out of the U.S.A.?

Many shipments with a value over $2,500 requires an AES (Automated Export System) filing with the Bureau of Census prior to export. Failure to do so could result in $10,000 per occurrence penalty.

What is the minimum amount of paperwork I need to ship internationally?
Many shipments can be processed once a packing slip and commercial invoice are provided.
What is a customs broker?
Customs brokers (or customs brokerage) are agents that help with the “clearing” of goods through customs barriers for importers and exporters (usually businesses). This is separate from the logistics costs of shipping items.
What is ISPM 15?
International Standards For Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM 15) is an International Phytosanitary Measure developed by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) that directly addresses the need to treat wood materials of a thickness greater than 6mm, used to ship products between countries. Failure to comply could result in fines, penalties and possible the destruction of goods shipped that are in violation.

Have a question about your business shipping?

(Please note: We do not ship personal items)