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Bond Related Questions

When is a Customs bond usually required?

If you are importing merchandise into the U.S. for commercial purposes that are either valued over $2,500, a commodity subject to other federal agencies requirements (i.e. firearms or food), or goods subject to quota/visa restrictions (i.e. textiles), you must post a Customs bond to ensure that all duties, taxes and fees owed to the federal government will be paid.

If you use a Customs broker to clear your goods through CBP, the broker's bond may be used to secure your transaction. You have the option of obtaining a "single entry" or "continuous bond". The type of bond you elect to obtain ultimately depends on how often you import into the U.S. For instance, if you only import on occasion, the single entry bond is recommended. If you import frequently and through various ports of entry, the continuous bond is beneficial and economically the best choice.

If you are an international carrier and you transport cargo or passengers via air, vessel or vehicle from a foreign destination to the United States or a domestic carrier that merely wants to transport imported cargo "IN BOND" from one state to another, you will also have to obtain a Customs bond.

If you are a warehouse or facility operator and want to become a Customs bonded facility with the ability to store or secure imported or exported goods, you must obtain a Customs bond. In addition, you must apply with the port director and determine the type of warehouse you wish to establish. Additional information on how to become a bonded warehouse is available on this Website.

If you want to perform some activity in a secure CBP area, i.e. cartage, or serve as a Customs Broker or as an approved gauger or laboratory, you must obtain a Customs Bond.

Customs bonds can be obtained through a surety licensed by the Treasury department. A list may be found on Treasury's Financial Management Service's Website. Many Customs brokers are also agents for sureties and sell bonds. A list of brokers in your state is available on this Website.

Be aware some brokers will not issue you a bond without you giving them power of attorney to file your entry or entries on your behalf. In lieu of purchasing a bond from a licensed - or corporate - surety, you may pledge cash.

For information on how to determine the appropriate bond amount for the type of bond required for your circumstance, please reference Monetary Guidelines for Setting Bond Amounts.

To do business with customs using a continuous bond, you must apply for permission. The application package should be submitted to the Entry office at the port through which your goods are imported or where the majority of your goods are imported. The application package should include the bond (CBP 301) issued by the surety, a letter on company letterhead stating your intent (i.e. type of bond (i.e. international carrier bond, cartage bond, import bond, etc.), description of merchandise being imported (if applicable), amount of duties and taxes paid to CBP the preceding year (if you have not paid duty previously, then the amount of duties and taxes you expect to pay in the current year), and a CBP 5106 if your address or telephone number has changed from a previous application.

Additional information on bonds is also available on this site.


Why are bonds required to import goods valued at more than $2500?

Bonds are posted with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to cover any potential duties, taxes, and penalties that may be assessed, but not collected, at the time a formal entry of merchandise is made or some other CBP related transaction occurs.

In lieu of a bond, an importer may pledge cash or other U.S. Government obligations, such as Savings Bonds or Treasury notes.

Bonds and or cash are held until one year after an importation is liquidated, or - in the case of a Temporary Importation Under Bond (TIB) - the importer demonstrates that the merchandise was either exported or destroyed properly.


What are the different types of bonds?

Customs bonds are keyed to specific types of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) transactions, the bond conditions vary with the type of activity being secured by a bond. Bonds are required for almost all formal CBP entries, and may be required for some informal entries and Temporary Importation under Bond entries. There are also bonds covering the activities of CBP warehouse proprietors, carriers, cartage operators, masters of vessels, drawback filers, etc.

Single Transaction Bonds (STB) may be used to secure a one-time importation, Continuous Bonds (CB) cover multiple transactions.

STB's are generally for the value of the merchandise plus duties, taxes and fees.

CB's are usually 10% of the duties, taxes and fees paid by the importer during the previous 13 months, and are valid until it is canceled either by the importer or the surety.

For a complete description of the various obligations of each type of bond, listed in Section II of CBP Form 301, please see 19 CFR, part 113, Sub part G.

Addendum to CBP Form 301


How do I get a Customs bond?

You can obtain a Customs and Border Protection bond through us.  Please be noted that we will not be able to issue you a bond without you giving them power of attorney to file your entry on your behalf.

The process is easy, please fill out the bond application and we will take care from there.



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