The U.S. has more than 300 land, air, and sea ports of entry, all of which are under jurisdiction of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP). The CBP is responsible for screening all entrants to the USA, including imported cargo.

As an importer or a shipper, if you plan on doing business in the U.S. it’s imperative that you understand the importance of customs bonds. Without a bond, your shipments may not get through U.S. Customs and you may face hefty fines and delays.

What is a customs bond?
Customs bonds are a binding contract between a principal (the importer/shipper), a Surety company (the issuer), and CBP. They guarantee that the importer complies with Customs regulations and that all applicable import duties, taxes, fines and penalties, are paid to CBP.

Who are customs bonds for?
According to CBP regulations, commercial imports valued at $2,500 or more require a customs bond. Importers can file for:

  • Single Entry Bonds – Ideal for importers looking to import a single, specific shipment of goods
  • Continuous Bonds – Ideal for importers that have a large number of shipments or who import goods through multiple ports of entry throughout the year

Additionally, if your imports are intended for commercial use or are subject to any Partner Government Agencies, such as the Food & Drug Administration, you need a customs bond.

Where can continuous customs bonds be used?
Continuous bonds can be used at any of the more than 300 U.S. ports nationwide. They can be accessed by any authorized individual who can clear entries on behalf of the importer (which includes customs brokers and freight forwarders). The surety issues bonds in a standardized format with consistent parameters, conditions, and coverages.

How often must you renew a continuous customs bond?
Continuous customs bonds expire one year from their date of issue. They’ll remain on file with CBP until a termination notice is issued (often by the Surety company or a customs broker). To keep continuous customs bonds active, payment to the Surety is required.

Why should you purchase a customs bond?
Simply put, customs bonds simplify the process of importing goods into the U.S. They ensure that your taxes and fees are completely covered, so that you can feel secure in knowing that your goods can be successfully imported.

Additionally, purchasing a customs bond can help you avoid steep fees and penalties as well as severe delays in importation.

How to get a customs bond

Once you’re ready to import, our experts at A Customs Brokerage can help your company get started with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Our Customers Brokerage Department will also help you handle the procurement and setup of your customs bond. As experienced brokers, we can help you secure a single entry or continuous customs bond within minutes.

Interested in purchasing a customs bond? Contact our team today.