What is a customs import bond?
A Customs import bond is a financial guaranty between the Insurance/Surety company issuing the Customs bond, Importer of Record and Customs & Border Protection (CBP). Most Customs bonds filed are Activity Code 1 – Import Bonds. U.S. Customs requires all importers to file an Import Bond in order to clear their entries, even if the goods are duty free. The Import Bond guarantees U.S. Customs they will collect all import duties, taxes, fines or penalties, if not from the importer then from the insurance/surety company who issued the customs bond.
How is my import bond used?
A continuous import bond is good at any U.S. port and can be used by any Customs Broker or Freight Forwarder you choose to clear your entries. An Importer may only have one continuous import bond on file with U.S. Customs at a time. When a bond is placed, U.S. Customs issues it a unique bond number tying the bond to the company’s Importer Number (aka Tax ID). The broker/FF then files the import documents providing the bond number upon entry. Regardless of where the bond is purchased, it remains a policy of the surety and there is no ownership of this bond by a third party (broker/FF). TRG’s Clients enjoy the freedom of utilizing multiple brokers/FF while purchasing the customs bond direct.
Types of Import Bonds
- Continuous Bond
- Single Entry Bond
- Drawback Refund
- International Carrier Bond
Continuous Transaction Bond-is a self-renewing term Importer Entry Bond, which covers all Customs transactions through all ports of the country. The bond amount for a continuous bond is determined by taking multiples of $10,000 nearest 10% of duties, taxes and fees paid by an importer during the last calendar year. The minimum continuous bond amount is $50,000. This customs bond is valid until it is terminated by the principal or the surety.
Single Entry Bond is a one-time Importer Entry Bond for a particular import shipment, which can only be used for one Customs transaction. The bond amount for a single transaction bond is equal to the total entered value of the merchandise plus all duties, taxes, and fees. However, if the merchandise is subject to other government agency requirements or visa/quota requirements, the customs bond amount would be equal to three times of the total entered value.
Drawback Payment Refunds-allows an importer to obtain a refund of 99% of the duties paid on imported goods upon providing proof these goods were exported.
International Carrier Bond- ensures operators properly manifest all goods and passengers they carry, pay for the overtime services of Customs officers and comply with all regulations related to the clearance of their vehicles.