What is CBP Form 5106?

The CBP Form 5106, also known as the Importer Identity form is a document that must be submitted to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) before importing commercial goods into the US. After the process is completed, the importers will possess an account with the CBP and have the authority to import goods.

Why do I need to fill out a 5106 form?

This form is used to keep track of every importer’s identification information as per the format mentioned here. Such detailed information is important for various aspects of the import process, such as:-

  • For verifying the identity of the importer
  • For tracking the import history of the importer
  • For ensuring that the importer abides by all the import-related laws applicable in the US
  • Once this form is submitted, the importer is known as the Importer of Record (IOR).

How do I file a CBP Form 5106?

To those filing for the first time, the Form 5106 is likely to appear complicated, and the process may seem overwhelming. It is a three page document packed with lots of information for the applicant to fill.

Since the CBP Form 5106 is exceedingly detailed, it may take you a long time to understand it and provide the relevant details accurately. Moreover, most of the details might not be readily available and would hence take you additional time to complete the form.

CBP 5106 Form Instructions

The customs form 5106 instructions are generally provided on the third and fourth pages of the document. The guidelines for completing the CBP Form 5106 are general in nature and not that comprehensive, read them carefully, detach, and keep it for future references. You can find detailed step by step instructions below.

How to fill out CBP Form 5106:-

These are some details that must be provided in the CBP Form 5106:-

  • Owner’s name
  • Name of the company
  • The Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • The number of times the company intends to import annually
  • The Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Contact information
  • CBP Assigned Number
  • The program code if the company is affiliated to any CBP Partnership Programs
  • A brief description of the importer’s business
  • The year of establishing the business
  • The company’s North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code
  • The company’s Data Universal Numbering System (D-U-N-S) number
  • The bank-related information of the business
  • The names, SSNs, and contact information of key individuals in the company with insight and authority over the financial decisions of the business
  • The name of the firm’s broker/agency
  • The name, the date, and signature of the company’s owner/authorized person

Every detail requested in the form is important. If you are not sure about the information to be provided in any section or do not know how to fill it, avoid making any guesses.

Also, all the sections must be filled with appropriate and relevant information. No section should remain blank. Unless specifically marked, all the sections are mandatory data elements. The form will be automatically rejected if any of the sections are left empty.

How to submit CBP Form 5106?

For those who are self-filing the form, it can be submitted through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Secure Data Portal. However, the ACE portal demands some level of experience and expertise and can be confusing and intimidating for the first-timers.

The quickest and easiest way of submitting the form is to use the services of an experienced and qualified customs broker. With their familiarity and expertise in handling the ACE Automated Broker Interface (ABI), they can get your form submitted quickly and accurately. Licensed customs brokers with access to the ACE CBP Form 5106 portal and the ABI functionality can create an IOR entity within the ACE portal.

The completed and signed CBP Form 5106 can also be emailed to the appropriate Centers of Excellence and Expertise (Centers). The subject of the message should include ‘New 5106 Add’ or ‘5106 Update’ along with the team assignment of the account so it can easily be routed to the appropriate division. If the Importer has not been assigned to a Center, a Center should be selected based on the tariff number with the highest value.

Also Read ACE CBP | Functions, Registration and Customs Filing

CBP Form 5106 Sample

CBP Form 5106 Sample

The CBP is in the process of revising the form and incorporating the changes into the ACE portal. Once it's completed, they will be posting information about the updates being made to the 5106 on their official webpage. However, you can download the CBP Form 5106 sample from this link.

CBP Form 5106 FAQ's

How long does it take for the CBP to update the information for an existing importer who has correctly submitted the ‘change of name’ or ‘change of address’ request?

It takes the CBP five business days on an average to update an existing IOR.

If the shipment is for personal use only and not imported for the commercial purposes, is it still required to fill out the Form 5106?

It is necessary to register as an IOR with the CBP if an entity intends to be involved as an importer, or consignee/ultimate consignee, 4811 party, etc. on an informal or formal entry. Although individuals and organizations do not need to be registered as an IOR with CBP for shipments which are valued at $800 or less and imported by one person.

What are the new mandatory data elements required for the revised CBP Form 5106?

Entities submitting the revised form have to provide the type of address for their mailing address and their physical location address if applicable. Apart from this, an email address is also required. A phone number is also essential on the new form but that is not a new requirement as the previous version had the block 19 provision for providing this particular information.

Do individuals who have already filled the old CBP Form 5106 need to update their filing?

No, those entities who have already filled the old CBP Form 5106 before the ACE deployment of the revised form do not need to update their information because the new data elements will be grandfathered in. However, those ‘grandfathered in’ importers or consignees that update their CBP Form 5106 information after the ACE deployment have to provide the new mandatory data elements as required by the revised form.

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