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What is a Customs Bond? And Why Do I Need One?

U.S. Customs (CBP) regulations require that a Customs Bond be posted for most shipments that enter the U.S. The importer of the goods must post a Customs Bond as a guarantee to CBP that the import meets all regulatory requirements and that proper duties will be paid. In this post I’ll talk a bit about what a Customs Bond is and what it is not.





● Customs Bonds come in two types - an annual (continuous) bond and a single entry bond (SEB).


● Most importers import under a continuous bond and continuous bonds usually represent a significant savings over the use of a single entry bond for each shipment.


● A Customs Bond is much like a “performance guarantee” as it helps CBP ensure that importers will fulfill all regulatory requirements and pay their duties as required. The Customs Bond does not “pay” the duties for the importer, it is just a guarantee that helps CBP ensure proper duties will be paid.


● If the importer fails to meet their regulatory obligations or pay their duties as required, CBP notifies the bond company and the bond company can pursue legal means to collect any duties or penalties form the importer.


● Importers who fail to meet their regulatory requirements or who fail to pay all applicable duties as required can have their Customs Bond revoked and can have their importing privileges suspended.


An importer must complete a Customs Bond application in order to request a bond and most importers purchase their bond through their Customs Broker. Setting up a bond can normally be done quite quickly, usually in a day or two, but in some cases the bond company may require further documents from the importer in order to approve the bond and this can take a longer time to complete.


For more information about Customs Bonds or other issues involving importing into the United States please contact us via email at info@tradelogicintl.com.

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