Customs Bond Types

continuous customs bonds

 All rates are subject to change without notice and are quoted subject to underwriter approval.
Some rates may be higher depending on the particular circumstance.

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customs bond activity code 1Activity Code 1

Import Customs Bond: Used by an Importer of Merchandise to guarantee that the proper amount of duty is paid, and that the imported goods are in compliance. The bond is issued to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). It is sometimes referred to as a Continuous Import Bond, the minimum bond amount is $50,000. This is by far the most common type of customs bond. Some conditions that may increase the underwriting requirements and cost of this bond include but are not limited to:

  • If the importer imports any items that are subject to Anti-dumping and/or Countervailing duties, additional underwriting will be required. This includes submission of the company’s most recent year‐end financial statements** .
  • Any commodities that require FDA compliance can cause additional risk to the surety. As such, it is possible that a financial statement** would be requested, especially if the surety has a past history of claims with the commodity, the importer is a foreign company or the bond amount is above the minimum ($50,000).
  • Additional commodities that would likely lead to a request for financial statements(again, each bond is reviewed separately) include, but are not limited to: tobacco, electronic cigarettes, cars/automobiles (especially if automobiles are less than 25 years old), seafood, textiles, honey, solar panels, tires, etc.

The cost for a $50,000, continuous Customs bond is just $249.00 per year for most customers. Apply Now

What size customs bond do I need?

The bond amount is usually based on 10% of the duties, taxes and fees paid by the importer during the previous 12 months. The minimum bond amount, however is $50,000. CBP will periodically review each bond on file to determine whether the bond is adequate to protect the revenue and ensure compliance with applicable law and regulations. If CBP determines that a bond is inadequate, the principal and surety will be promptly notified in writing. The principal will have 15 days from the date of notification to remedy the deficiency. 

The cost for a $50,000, continuous Customs bond is just $249.00 per year for most customers. Apply Now

How do I know what the customs duties are?

The Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) provides duty rates for virtually every item that exists. The HTS is a reference manual that is the size of an unabridged dictionary. The U.S. International Trade Commission-Tariff Database, is an interactive data base that will enable you to get an approximate idea of the duty rate for a particular product. Use of this data base will require that you register to receive login credentials. There is no cost to register. Please be aware that the duty rate you request is only as good as the information you provide. The actual duty rate of the item you import may not be what you think it should be as a result of your research.

customs bond activity code 2Activity Code 2- Custodial Bonds

Custodian of Bonded Merchandise: This type of customs bond is required for operations which carry or hold merchandise not yet entered into the commerce of the United States, for export or entry at a later time or place. This typically includes: cartmen/lightermen, warehouse proprietors, general order warehouses, carriers, container freight stations, and central examination stations.

  • The bond amount for an Activity Code 2 bond must be approved by customs. The annual rate for this bond is 1.2% of the bond amount, which includes a .2% filing fee.
  • The company’s most recent year‐end financial statement** will be required by the underwriters.

What does a custodial customs bond cover?

The principal agrees to comply with all Importer Security Filing requirements of CFR 149 – IMPORTER SECURITY FILING including but not limited to providing security filing information to CBP in the manner and in the time period prescribed by regulation. If the principal defaults with regard to any obligation, the principal and surety (jointly and severally) agree to pay liquidated damages of $5,000 per violation.

What is the bond amount for a Category 2 customs bond?

The bond amount varies and is determined by the CBP. IT will also varies by port, for instance the minimum C-2 or C-3 bond in Long Beach is $50,000 and it is $100,000 at LAX.  There is no way for us to know what bond amount you will need. You will have to have this information prior to applying for the bond.

You may need C-TPAT Certification. For more information, click here.

customs bond activity code 3Activity Code 3

International Carrier Bond: This customs bond type is for operators of ships, airlines, and other conveyors (NVOCC’s) of international merchandise. (This includes: any company that transmits data through Automated Manifest System (“AMS”), any airline required to pay passenger user fees, vessel repair duty, requirements for airport security and ISF.)

  • The bond amount for an Activity Code 3 bond must be approved by customs. The annual rate for this bond is 1.2% of the bond amount, which includes a .2% filing fee.
  • The company’s most recent year‐end financial statement** will be required by the underwriters.
  • As this bond type can be used for multiple operations, additional information on why the bond is being will be required by the underwriters.

You may need C-TPAT Certification. For more information, click here.

customs bond activity code 4Activity Code 4

Foreign Trade Zone Bond: Covers area within a port’s limits which are designated as Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ).

  • The bond amount for an Activity Code 4 bond must be approved by customs. The annual rate for this bond is 1% of the bond amount, which includes a .2% filing fee.
  • The company’s most recent year‐end financial statement** will be required by the underwriters.

Activity Code 11

Airport Customs Security Area Bond: This bond type guarantees that the principal will comply with the customs regulations applicable to customs security area in and around airports.

  • The bond amount for an Airport Customs Security Area bond must be approved by customs. The annual rate for this bond is 2.25% of the bond amount, which includes a .2% filing fee.
  • The company’s most recent year‐end financial statement** will be required by the underwriters.

customs bond activity code 14Activity Code 14

In‐Bond Export Consolidation Bond: Required for export consolidators who consolidate conveyances for export under 19CFR§192 outside the port of exportation.

  • The bond amount for an In‐Bond Export Consolidation Bond must be approved by customs. The annual rate for this bond is 2.25% of the bond amount, which includes a .2% filing fee.
  • The company’s most recent year‐end financial statement** will be required by the underwriters.

Who Needs A Customs Bond?

Every party that imports products into the U.S. for commercial reasons, or that transports or carries imported goods through the U.S., must have a customs bond in place.

Timeline

For a “standard” $50,000 continuous customs bond, your approval will take one day. You’ll then sign some paperwork that we send you and then we’ll file your bond with customs. This process typically takes 1 – 3 business days.

Application Process

Complete our two minute, online application, then an agent will call and e-mail you within 1 – 2 business days with your approval. Bonds4customs.com is a Service of Surety Solutions Insurance Services, Inc., a surety bond only agency since 2003.

Servicing Your Customs Bond

Our dedicated staff at Bonds4Customs.com will call you shortly after you apply to announce the great news! If you have any questions, call us at 877-654-2327.

 

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