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U.S. Customs Surety Bond

What is a Customs Bond?

  • A Customs Bond or a U.S. Customs Bond is a surety bond that is required to be posted if you are importing into the United States a commodity subject to other federal agencies requirements, such as food or firearms, or merchandise that is used for commercial purposes with a value greater than $2,500. U.S. Customs Bonds are also required for international carriers that transport cargo or passengers via vehicle, vessel, or air from a foreign destination into the U.S. and for domestic carriers that transport imported cargo “IN BOND” from one state to another. In addition, customs surety bonds are required for those who want to perform any activity in a secure Customs and Border Protection (CBP) area, or serve as a Customs Broker, and also for warehouses or facility operators that want to become a Customs bonded facility in order to store or secure imported or exported goods.
  • There are two types of Customs Bonds, both using bond form CBP 301:
    • Single Entry Bond: This is best for when you only import on occasion; it is good for only one entry or transaction.
    • Continuous Transaction Bond: This bond is better if you import frequently and through various ports of entry; it covers a large number of entries through several ports of entry during a given year.
  • The Single Entry Customs Surety Bond amount is calculated as:
    • Not less than the total entered value, including all duties, taxes, and fees.
    • The minimum surety bond amount for a single entry Customs surety bond is $100.
    • If the merchandise is considered restricted or if it is subject to other federal agency requirements - then the bond amount is calculated as not less than three times the total entered value of the merchandise.
  • The Continuous Transaction Customs Surety Bond Amount is calculated as:
    • 10% of duties, taxes, and fees paid for over the 12 month period.
    • The minimum surety bond amount for a Continuous Transaction bond is $50,000. Wherein all bond amounts are rounded up to the multiple of $1,000.
  • There are several different types of Customs activities and each has an Activity Code on the bond form. The CBP Regulation that corresponds with each activity is included on the bond form as well. These Activity Codes are:
    • Importer or Broker (Section 113.62),
    • Drawback Payments Refunds (Section 113.65),
    • Custodian of Bonded Merchandise (Section 113.63),
    • International Carrier (Section 113.64),
    • Instruments of International Traffic (Section 113.66),
    • Foreign Trade Zone (Section 113.73),
    • Public Gauger (Section 113.67),
    • Wool & Fur Products Labeling Acts Importation (Section 113.68),
    • Bill of Lading (Section 113.69),
    • Detention of Copyrighted Material (Section 113.70),
    • Neutrality (Section 113.71),
    • Court Costs for Condemned Goods (Section 113.72), Airport Security Bond (Section Part 113 App A), and
    • Importer Security Filing (ISF) (Part 113 App D).

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  • Due to the risk from the perspective of the bonding company, Customs Bonds are very carefully underwritten and priced accordingly. Part of the cost of this bond will be the time and effort needed to provide the documentation and information the bonding company will require. In all cases, personal credit, personal financials, and business financials will be required. Of course, we can typically handle all credit types and financial situations — from excellent to poor — as such those terms vary.
  • Customs Bonds can be written for lower than a 1% rate of the bond amount when applicants have excellent credit (700 FICO or higher), excellent personal financials, excellent business financials and excellent experience. So for example, a $50,000 U.S. Customs Bond could cost as low as $259.

Customs Bonds are in place to ensure the Principal abides by all U.S. laws and the regulations specified in Title 19, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Subpart G of Part 113. The obligations are different for each Principal depending on the type of transactions or activities they are engaged in. For example, an importer will have different obligations than a carrier or a warehouse proprietor. By posting a surety bond the Principal is guaranteeing all, or a combination of, the payments of all duties, taxes, and fees owed to the federal government, submission of entry documentation, redelivery of merchandise to CBP upon lawful demand, compliance with regulations relating to the receipt, carriage, safekeeping, and disposition of bonded merchandise, maintenance of all records required by regulations relating to merchandise, and the production of records when demanded by the CBP.

Title 19, U.S. Code, Section 1623 gives The United States Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection the authority to require these surety bonds. The required surety bond form is the CBP Form 301. The Obligee on the bond is the United States.

  • A single transaction Customs bond is not renewable since it is only valid for a single entry or transaction.
  • A continuous transaction Customs bond remains in full force from the effective date for one year and for each succeeding annual period, or until canceled. The surety bond may be canceled by the surety with 30 days notice to the Principal (entity seeking to do business with CBP) and Obligee (CBP). The Principal may cancel the bond with at least 10 days notice to the Obligee and the Surety. The bonding company will renew and bill for the bond on an annual basis. It is likely that variations in business volume each year will require a different bond amount than the prior year.

Contact The ProSure Group. As surety bond experts in business over 23 years, The ProSure Group has experience handling Customs Bonds and has partnerships with more than 30 different surety companies. This ensures that we get you the best, most competitive pricing and terms available in the marketplace. You just need to complete our simple application and one of our specialists will quickly contact you.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection requires those that wish to do business with a continuous bond to submit an application package. The package should include the surety bond form (CBP 301), a letter of intent on a company letterhead, and a CBP Form 5106, if applicable. Your statement of intent should include the type of surety bond (i.e. import bond, international carrier bond, cartage bond, etc.), the amount of duties and taxes paid to CBP the preceding year or the amount you expect to pay, and a description of merchandise being imported. The application package must be submitted to the Entry office at the port through which the majority of your goods are imported.

If you don't see the bond you're looking for give us a call at (800) 480-3883 and speak to one of our many
Customs Bonds Surety Bond Experts!
Type Bond Obligee Bond Amount
Tax Customs Bond U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Varies