CBP filer codes – How to get your Code without jumping through hoops

CBP filer codes

Filer codes can seem to be another overwhelming hurdle to jump through the hoops of getting customs clearance. However, besides the number crunching, customs will usually allow an import company with a filer code in place from previous filings to use the same filer code for Entry Summary processing and update their files accordingly. Moreover, the application process is not as complicated as it may seem. So let’s look at how you can do this as seamlessly as possible.

What is a CBP Filer Code?

A filer code is a unique identification code issued by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The Code is a unique three-character (alphabetic, numeric, or alphanumeric) that the CBP assigns to self-filers or licensed brokers.

CBP will assign an entry filer code to certain importers filing CBP entries based on the frequency of entry filing, importer entry volume, and further considerations. The importer – be it a self-filer or broker – will use the first three characters of their Code for all CBP entries, irrespective of where they file the entries.

Once assigned a filer code, an importer, exporter, or carrier can conduct customs business under the same filer code, whether importing, exporting, or a carrier transporting freight in bond from one port to another.

How do I apply for CBP Filer Code?

To file your Entry Summary, also known as Form 7501,  directly with Customs, you need the Code.

The process of applying for a Code is quite simple. To receive a Code from U.S. Customs, importers should submit a letter in writing to the Port Director of the port where your entries are filed, to the attention of the Broker Management Officer. If you have operations at more than one port, make your request at the port where you conduct most of your business. You should be assigned your Code within ten working days.

It is essential to understand that to obtain a Filer Code, a company must be applying for the first time. Suppose a company already has a filer code assigned to its account from previous filings. In that case, this must be noted in the updated request letter to the OIT.

Step-by-step Filer Code application

If you want to obtain the CBP filer code, there is a simple step-by-step process to follow:

  1. Find and complete the Filer Code request form and include a letter of intent on your company letterhead.
  2. Fax or email the letter directly to the CBP’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) at letterofintent@cbp.dhs.gov for review.
  3. If no contact has been established after ten business days, contact the OIT to request a general status update.

What information to include in your request form?

  • The company name, phone number, address, and contact person.
  • The company’s federal tax ID or Importer number
  • The entity requesting a filer code (i.e., importer, exporter, or carrier).

Becoming a Self-filer

As mentioned above, you can become a self-filer and pass customs clearance without a customs broker, saving time and money.

eezyimport offers importers the opportunity to become self-filers through its advanced, accessible, user-friendly, and cost-efficient online customs clearance solution. The eezyflow™ system enables importers to self-file and thereby meet CBP customs clearance requirements. For more details, please read our article on becoming a self-filer with eezyimport.

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eezyimport is an online platform and is not a licensed customs broker. However, we work closely with a third-party licensed customs broker who can assist with any entry-related issues.

eezyimport is an online platform and is not a licensed customs broker. However, we work closely with a third-party licensed customs broker who can assist with any entry-related issues.

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