Remote Location Filing

Remote Location Filing – RLF

Remote Location Filing (RLF) allows a customs broker with a national permit to file entries remotely for any merchandise and transact other customs business from a location other than where the goods arrive. This means a broker in Houston can file an entry in New York without a district permit for it. With RLF, Cap Intl can clear merchandise nationwide in any Customs and Border Protection (CBP) office with the capabilities and staff to process electronic entries, no matter what city they reside in, right from our offices in Houston. The proposal to implement remote location filing was published by Customs in the Federal Register on March of 2007; and on the final rule of December 30, 2009 RLF became a permanent program of Customs.

Benefits of Remote location Filing

The benefits of RLF can be huge for you if you’re an importer, who has customers outside your home city, including:

  • No restriction to either the port of arrival or port of filing for a physical exam.
  • Allows for an exam to occur at the port nearest the cargo’s final destination.
  • The electronic management and control of Customs cargo data by the filer.
  • The accurate electronic tracking of cargo.
  • No dealing with several companies; just one point of contact—a company familiar with you and your products.
  • Paperless clearing saves time and money.
  • One company clearing all your freight = savings.
  • Makes conforming to customs matters simpler.
  • Reduces the cost of messenger service.
  • Reduces the cost of communication.
  • Provides a more consistent cargo processing in general.

RLF Eligibility Qualifications

Cap Intl meets all the criteria and qualifications to be a Remote Location Filer. They are as follows:

  • Submission and approval of application to be a licensed national Customs broker.
  • Ability to participate on the Automated Brokerage Interface—the system in which we submit and receive data with the government agencies.
  • All duties and fees are paid to the different customs offices via Automated Clearing House (ACH).
  • Ability to transmit the invoice via the Electronic Invoice Program (EIP). Meaning we have to submit the invoice data in detail.
  • Ability to submit data for products regulated by other government agencies (OGA), such as the Food and Drug Administration, which have the capacity to receive/send electronic data.

Other Things to Consider

For an importer to be able to submit a remote location entry the importer must have a continuous importer bond which meets or exceeds the national guidelines for bond sufficiency. While the RLF is intended to be completely paperless a lesser-known rule exists. The Hybrid Policy provides for CBP review of certain other government agency (OGA) paper forms in conjunction with the RLF data filed electronically in ACS or ACE. In addition, while there are currently more than 250 participating RLF ports, not all ports are equipped to handle RLF procedures; however, Customs is in the process of evaluating additional ports and welcomes recommendations for further ports. For more on this and RLF procedures call (832-649-4392) or email


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