U.S. Customs Bonds

In most cases when importing merchandise into the United States, a bond must be posted by the importer with U.S. Customs and Border Protection ( CBP ).

There are two primary purposes of posting such bonds with CBP. One purpose is to ensure compliance by the importer with all U.S. laws and regulations applicable to the product or commodity. The second primary purpose is to have the bond serve as a guarantee to CBP for payment of all duties, taxes and fees. Depending upon the type of commodity or product, the value of the commodity or product and the potential involvement of any other U.S. government agencies, if any ( USDA, FDA, EPA, etc. ), the amount and cost of the bond may vary.

For the standard importer process, there are two types of bonds to address the bond requirement as outlined above. One is called a “ Continuous Bond “ and is valid at all U.S. ports of entry for one ( 1 ) year. For importers that plan to have multiple imports during the course of a calendar year, the “ Continuous Bond “ is the most cost effective. The second type of bond is a “ Single Transaction Bond “ and obviously covers only one ( 1 ) CBP entry of an imported shipment.

The bond amount is established by U.S. CBP. The amount of a Single Transaction Bond is equal to the F.O.B. value of the cargo combined with the estimated amount of any U.S. Customs duties. For a Continuous Bond, U.S. CBP usually sets the bond amount at US$ 50,000.00 but that may vary depending upon circumstances involving the importer.

    If the imported product or commodity is subject to any of the following, a surety company may request additional information to support an alternative bond type or amount to meet underwriting requirements:

  • Antidumping and / or countervailing duties
  • Commodities that require FDA compliance
  • Past history of claims for the commodity being imported
  • The importer is located outside the United States
  • The bond amount ( based upon estimated import volume ) is unusually high

Labay/Summers International, Inc., has been writing U.S. Customs bonds with outstanding surety companies since 1972. We carefully discuss importing histories and / or plans with our import clients and then properly approach U.S. CBP to confirm the appropriate bond amount. We also automatically renew Continuous Bonds annually for our clients to ensure there is no lapse in coverage.