Has Customs required that you obtain a bond, and you’re not really sure what to do? Well, we can help.
Depending on what activity you are engaging in, you may need one of the various types of Customs Bonds. Here at Surety1, we can offer four of those bonds. The Activity 1 Customs bond is the importer/broker bond. The Activity 2 Customs Bond is the Custodian of Bonded Merchandise Bond. The Activity 3 Customs Bond is the International Carrier Customs Bond. And lastly, we also offer the Airport Security Customs Bond.
Activity 1 Customs Bond, or Importer/Broker Bonds, are required by Customs when a company is importing merchandise over a value of $2,500 into the United States in order to ensure that all duties, taxes, and fees owed to the government will be paid by the importer. The minimum bond amount required by Customs for the importer/broker bond is $50,000; although, there are circumstances by which Customs might require a different amount, usually based on what you are importing. If this is the case, they would make you aware of the bond amount you are required to obtain.
Now, during this whole process, you might have heard that you are required to file ISF for your shipment. Luckily, the continuous customs bond typically covers the ISF filing for all of your shipments. In some cases, however, the ISF is required in addition to your bond—if you’re not sure if this is required of you, you may want to check with your shipper or your local port, as they would be able to provide that information to you.
The Continuous Customs bond that we write here at Surety 1 costs only $249 for one year!! There are no additional fees, no hidden costs—you only pay $249 at the beginning, and the bond covers you for an entire year. We can write a customs bond for anyone importing merchandise into the United States from anywhere around the world (the exception being if the merchandise is subject to anti-dumping laws). If you’ve looked into customs bonds before, you might have discovered that a lot of other places charge a lot more than that, even for a single entry customs bond. A single entry customs bond covers ONE specific shipment of merchandise, whereas the continuous customs bond covers ALL of your shipments for the entire year at this $249 price.
The Activity 2 Customs Bond, or the Custodian of Bonded Merchandise Bond, is another type of Customs Bond that we can write for you. This bond is required by Customs if you or your company is a domestic carrier or trucker planning to transport imported cargo from one bonded warehouse to another. As a Custodian of Bonded Merchandise, you are held liable and responsible for the merchandise while in your possession until it is released to the bonded warehouse—this is why the bond is required. Most of the clients who come to us with the requirement of these types of bonds are carrying the merchandise into Canada or Mexico, although we do write the bonds for companies who are just releasing the merchandise elsewhere in the United States. If you are releasing the merchandise into Mexico, in addition to the Type 2 Customs bond, you may need a Mexican bond—this is something you would want to check on with Customs in order to ensure that you are properly bonded and therefore, have no issues releasing the merchandise.
The Type 3 Customs Bond, or the International Carrier Customs Bond is required if you are entering the United States through International Waters. Typically, these bonds are required for companies transporting passengers into the United States.
Lastly, the Airport Security Bond is required of companies who are performing work in or around a Customs Secured Area. It can be filed as any of the three above bonds, depending on what Customs requires.
The process for obtaining any of these Customs Bond is very easy, and takes only about 10-12 business days. To get started, apply here on our website. A Customs Bond Representative will be contacting you within as little as five minutes.