|Air Waybill (AWB) or air consignment note (Air Shipment ONLY ) refers to a receipt issued by an international airline for goods and an evidence of
the contract of carriage, but it is not a document of title to the goods. Hence, the AWB is non-negotiable.
First 2 HTC/HTS/Harmonized Tariff Code Classification are free, but after 2nd Classification of items, each Classification is $10 each per line.
For Example: IF you are importing 4 different category items (on your invoice/packing-list/Bill-of-Lading/ISF-Form: 100 apples, 75 Oranges, 50
Toys & 25 Desks), you will be charge extra $20 for ISF Filing + other $20 for Customs Clearing Entry Filing. The Fees are add it to your Invoice.
To AVOIDED HTC/HTS/Harmonized Tariff Code Classification fees, please ask your Factory/Supplier to have it on the Invoice, Packing-List & Bill-
of-Lading (BL), if your Factory/Supplier don't know the HTC/HTS/Harmonzied Tariff Code, you could Look-up your own (Duty/Tax)
HTC/HTS/Harmonized Tariff Code (click here) or call & email US Customs Import Specialist (click here).
Also, First 2 factories/suppliers invoice submission are free for Customs Clearing Entry filing, under same Bill-of-Lading(B/L). For Example: IF you
are importing from 3 different factories/suppliers with 3 different invoice/packing-list. First 2 factories/suppliers invoice/packing-list submission
Entry filing are free, But AFTER 2nd invoice/packing-list factory/supplier, you will be charge $20 per supplier/factory invoice submission to US
Customs as ADDITIONAL INVOICES & will be add on to your Customs Clearing invoice/fees (click here)
MUST described: what materials of each category are made-out-of at invoice, packing-list & bill-of-lading. For Example: if you are importing 10 of
MENS Sweat Shirt ( 80% Cotton 20% Polyester / HTC# ) / 5 Tablecloth ( 100% polyester / HTC# ) / 20 Desk (stainless steel / HTC# ) Aluminum
(Aluminium Ingot / HTC# ) & Etc. (click here) for samples
IF you are buying from Two different factory/supplier, you could consolidated the shipment under one Bill-of-Lading(BL), but you can NOT
consolidated under one invoice/packing-list. It MUST be submitted as 2 different invoice/factory/supplier to US Customs.
Each Bill-of-Lading(B/L) is considered as one shipment & it must be cleared as each BL by US Customs/us.
Third Party Billing Waiver (if any) grantor hereby waivers receipt of the customs entries and invoices from the grantee and directs that copies of your
bills for services and copies of customs entries, isf filings, bond number and Etc be transmitted to individual business/warehouses relating to
The Air Waybill (AWB) is the most important document issued by a carrier either directly or through its authorised agent. It is a non-negotiable
transport document. It covers transport of cargo from airport to airport. By accepting a shipment an IATA cargo agent is acting on behalf of the
carrier whose air waybill is issued.
AWBs have eleven digit numbers which can be used to make bookings, check the status of delivery, and current position of the shipment. The
number consists of:
1. The first three digits are the airline prefix. Each airline has been assigned a 3-digit number by IATA, so from the prefix we know which airline has
issued the document.
2. The next seven digits are the running number/s - one number for each consignment
3. The last digit is what is called the check digit. It is arrived at in the following manner:
The seven digit running numbers are divided by 7, by using a long division calculation. The remainder becomes the check digit. That is why no
AWB number ends with a figure greater than 6. Air waybills are issued in sets of different colours. The first three copies are classified as originals.
The first original, blue in colour, is the shipper’s copy. The second, coloured blue, is retained by the issuing carrier. The third, coloured orange, is
the consignee’s copy. A yellow copy acts as the delivery receipt, or proof of delivery*. The other copies are all white.
There are several purposes that an air waybill serves, but its main functions are:
Contract of Carriage. Behind every original of the AWB are conditions of contract for carriage
Evidence of Receipt of Goods
When the shipper delivers goods to be forwarded, he will get a receipt. The receipt is proof that the shipment was handed over in good order and
condition and also that the shipping instructions, as contained in the Shipper's Letter of Instructions, are acceptable. After completion, an original
copy of the air waybill is given to the shipper as evidence of the acceptance of goods and as proof of contract of carriage
The air waybill may be used as a bill or invoice together with supporting documents since it may indicate charges to be paid by the consignee,
charges due to the agent or the carrier. An original copy of the air waybill is used for the carrier's accounting
Certificate of Insurance
The air waybill may also serve as an evidence if the carrier is in a position to insure the shipment and is requested to do so by the shipper
Although customs authorities require various documents like a commercial invoice, packing list, etc. the air waybill too is proof of the freight
amount billed for the goods carried and may be needed to be presented for customs clearance The format of the air waybill has been designed by
IATA and these can be used for both domestic as well as international transportation. These are available in two forms, viz. the airline logo
equipped air waybill and the neutral air waybill. Usually, airline air waybills are distributed to IATA cargo agents by IATA airlines. The air waybills
the carrier's name
its head office address
the pre printed eleven digit air waybill number
It is also possible to complete an air waybill through a computerised system. Agents all over the world are now using their own in-house computer
systems to issue airlines' and freight forwarders' own air waybills. IATA cargo agents usually hold air waybills of several carriers. However, it
gradually became difficult to accommodate these pre-numbered air waybills with the printed identification in the computer system. Therefore a
neutral air waybill was created. Both types of air waybills have the same format and layout. However, the neutral air waybill does not bear any pre-
printed individual name, head office address, logo and serial number
The validity of the Air Waybill
We have seen earlier that the air waybill is a contract i.e. an agreement enforceable by law. To become a valid contract it has to be signed by the
shipper or his agent and by the carrier or its authorised agent. Although the same individual or organisation may act on behalf of both the carrier
and the shipper, the air waybill must be signed twice one each in the respective carrier and shipper boxes. Both signatures may be of the same
person. This also implies that the air waybill should be issued immediately upon receipt of the goods and letter in instructions from the shipper.
As long as the air waybill is neither dated nor signed twice, the goods do not fall within the terms of the conditions of contract and therefore the
carrier will not accept any responsibility for the goods. The validity of the air waybill and thus the contract of carriage expires upon delivery of the
shipment to the consignee (or his authorised agent).
Responsibility for Completion
The AWB as we have seen is a contract - an agreement between the shipper and the carrier. The agent only acts as an intermediary between the
shipper and carrier. The air waybill is also a contract of good faith. This means that the shipper will be responsible for the hall also be liable for all
the damage suffered by the airline or any person due to irregularity, incorrectness or incompleteness of insertions on the air waybill, even if the air
waybill has been completed by an agent or the carrier on his behalf.
When the shipper signs the AWB or issues the letter of instructions he simultaneously confirms his agreement to the conditions of contract.
Definition of the term Not Negotiable
Waybills are non-negotiable documents unlike bills of lading which are negotiable. The words non-negotiable are printed clearly at the top of the
air waybill. This means that the air waybill is a contract for transportation only and does not represent (the value of) merchandise mentioned in the
box nature and quantity of goods. The ocean bill of lading, if negotiated may represent (the value of) the goods and must be endorsed by the party
ultimately accepting the goods. Although the AWB is a non-negotiable document, it can be used as a means of payment. This can be done only
through the intermediary of a bank and only when the carriage is subject to a letter of credit. The air waybill executed according to the terms of a
letter of credit allows the shipper to present the original of the air waybill to the bank and collect the billed value of the shipped goods from the bank.
The amount paid by the bank to the shipper will be debited to the consignee who ordered the goods. At the destination the carrier will only hand
over the goods to the consignee on receipt of a bank release order from the consignee's bankers.
The goods in the air consignment are consigned directly to the party (the consignee) named in the letter of credit (L/C). Unless the goods are
consigned to a third party like the issuing bank, the importer can obtain the goods from the carrier at destination without paying the issuing bank or
the consignor. Therefore, unless a cash payment has been received by the exporter or the buyer's integrity is unquestionable, consigning goods
directly to the importer is risky.
For air consignment to certain destinations, it is possible to arrange payment on a COD (cash on delivery) basis and consign the goods directly to
the importer. The goods are released to the importer only after the importer makes the payment and complies with the instructions in the AWB.
In air freight, the exporter (the consignor) often engages a freight forwarder or consolidator to handle the forwarding of goods. The consignor
provides a Shipper's Letter of Instructions which authorizes the forwarding agent to sign certain documents (e.g. the AWB) on behalf of the
The AWB must indicate that the goods have been accepted for carriage, and it must be signed or authenticated by the carrier or the named agent
for or on behalf of the carrier. The signature or authentication of the carrier must be identified as carrier, and in the case of agent signing or
authenticating, the name and the capacity of the carrier on whose behalf the agent signs or authenticates must be indicated.
International AWBs that contain consolidated cargo are called master air waybills (MAWB). MAWBs have additional papers called house air
waybills (HAWB). Each HAWB contains information of each individual shipment (consignee, contents, etc.) within the consolidation. International
AWBs that are not consolidated (only one shipment in one bill) are called simple AWBs. A house air waybill can also be created by a freight
forwarder. When the shipment is booked, the airline issues a MAWB to the forwarder, who in turn issues their own house air waybill to the
 House and Master AWBs and BLs
A freight forwarder offering a consolidation service, will issue its own air waybill or bill of lading. From now on AWB will be used to refer to both. This
is called a Forwarder's or House AWB with its equivalent House BL. These act as contracts of carriage between the shipper and the forwarder, who
in this case becomes a Deemed Carrier. The forwarder in turn enters into contracts with one or more carriers, often using more than one mode of
transportation. The contract of carriage between the forwarder and carrier is called a Master Air Way Bill ( MAWB or MBL). A House Air Waybill
(HAWB) or Bill of Lading (HBL) could act as a multimodal transport document.
Air Waybill Number
The AWB number has 11 digits and 3 parts.
The first 3 digits are the Airline Prefix
The next 7 digits is the Serial Number of the AWB
The last digit is the Check digit The check digit is derived by dividing the 7 digit Serial Number by 7. The remainder determines the Check Digit.
Example: Serial Number 8114074 divided by 7 is 1159153 remainder 3. Therefore the Serial Number + Check Digit is 81140743
Importers are responsible for all fees, US Laws & International Laws.
|Air Waybill (AWB) or air consignment note Terminology & Definitions Relating (For Reference Only)
Importer / Exporter are RESPONSIBLE for all U.S. Laws (www.cbp.gov), all fees (www.cbp.gov/fee) & all International Laws (cbp.gov)
Consignee/Importer/forwarder understands that as part of ISF/importer security filing rules & Customs Clearing Entry Filing & any other filing to
US Customs. BEFORE you import, double check your HTC/HTS/Harmonized-Tariff-Code (Duty/Tax) classifications & Anti Dumping Duties (ADD)
& Countervailing Duty (CVD). Importers / Exporter are responsible for the all HTC/HTS classifications of their own goods.
Our HTS/HTC/Harmonized Tariff Code Classification on ISF filing & Customs Clearing Entries Filing are ADVISORY and not binding.
|Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that they will begin full enforcement of Importer Security Filing (ISF) regulations on July
9, 2013 and will start issuing liquidated damages against ISF importers and carriers for ISF non-compliance.
LATE OR INACCURATE ISF TRANSMISSIONS
CBP will assess liquidated damages in accordance with the relevant mitigation guidelines which were published in the CBP Bulletin on
July 17, 2009. There can be multiple errors on an ISF transmission and in accordance with the guidelines, CBP may assess / fines a
claim for liquidated damages as follows:
$5,000 per late ISF,
$5,000 per inaccurate ISF, and
$5,000 for the first inaccurate ISF update.
Additional Statutory Penalties may be assessed for serious or repetitive violations.
FAILURE TO FILE AN ISF
Because liquidated damages cannot be assessed for the failure to file an ISF if no bond is in place, CBP will withhold the release or
transfer of the cargo until CBP receives the required ISF information and has had the opportunity to review the documentation and conduct
any necessary examination. CBP also reserves the right to not permit unlading of merchandise for which no ISF has been filed, and, if
such cargo is unladen without permission, it may be subject to seizure.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS:
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2415, the statute of limitations for ISF liquidated damages is six years from the date of the breach of the bond. CBP
will not limit its authority to enforce the ISF requirements.
First violation: If an ISF Importer incurs a liquidated damages claim for filing a late or inaccurate ISF or an inaccurate ISF update, the
liquidated damages claim may be cancelled upon payment of an amount between $1,000 and $2,000, depending on the presence of
mitigating or aggravating factors, if CBP determines that law enforcement goals were not compromised by the violation.
Subsequent Violations: If an ISF Importer incurs a subsequent liquidated damages claim for filing a late or inaccurate ISF or an inaccurate
ISF update, the liquidated damages claim may be cancelled upon payment of an amount not less than $2,500 if CBP determines that law
enforcement goals were not compromised by the violation.
No relief will be granted if CBP determines that law enforcement goals were compromised by the violation.
ADDITIONAL MITIGATION FOR C-TPAT PARTICIPANTS:
An ISF Importer which is a certified Tier 2 or Tier 3 C-TPAT member may receive additional mitigation of up to 50% of the normal mitigation
amount, depending upon tier of C-TPAT participation.
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