A Customs bond is a legal contract between a principal (importer or shipper), a Surety company, and CBP that guarantees the importer complies with Customs regulations and that CBP is paid for applicable import duties, taxes, fines, and penalties.
Bonds are required for almost all formal CBP entries and may be required for some informal entries and Temporary Importation under Bond (TIB) entries. There are also bonds covering the activities of CBP warehouse proprietors, carriers, cartage operators, masters of vessels, drawback filers, etc.
The non-discretionary bond amount minimum is $50,000. To assist the district director in fixing the limit of liability amount, the following formula shall be used. None to $1,000,000 duties and taxes – the bond limit of liability amount shall be fixed in multiples of $10,000 nearest to 10 percent of duties, taxes, and fees paid by the importer or broker acting as importer of record during the calendar year preceding the date of the application. Over $1,000,000 duties and taxes – the bond limit of liability amount shall be fixed in multiples of $100,000 nearest to 10 percent of duties, taxes, and fees paid by an importer or broker acting as importer of record during the calendar year preceding the date of the application.
Single Transaction Bonds (STB) may be used to secure a one-time importation. STBs are generally for the value of the merchandise plus duties, taxes, and fees.
In the below cases, the STB bond will be executed in an amount that is not less than three times the total entered value of the merchandise.
A) Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
B) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) –
C) Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) – Alcoholic Beverages and Distilled Spirits Only
D) Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) – Toys and Fireworks only if sampled by Customs for CPSC testing
E) Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) – Subject to marketing orders
F) Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – All G) Toxic Substances Control Act (TOSCA)
Continuous Bonds (CB) cover multiple transactions. CB are usually 10% of the duties, taxes, and fees paid by the importer during the previous 12 months, and are valid until it is canceled either by the importer or the surety.
|Total 12 Month Taxes, Duties, and Fees||Bond Amount|
|$0 – $499,999||$50,000|
|$500,000 to $599,999||$60,000|
|$600,000 to $699,999||$70,000|
|$700,000 to $799,999||$80,000|
|$800,000 to $899,999||$90,000|
|$900,000 to $999,999||$100,000|
|$1,000,000 to $1,999,999||$200,000|
|$2,000,000 to $2,999,999||$300,000|
For a complete description of the various bonds, see 19 CFR §113.