If you are considering operating an import business or an enterprise that will rely significantly on imported goods, you may need a customs bond. A customs bond is a surety bond that guarantees your compliance with very specific reporting requirements and the payment of import related duties. How can you determine your business will need surety bonding? Fortunately U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has made that simple for you. Here is what the CBP has to say about your compliance along with a suggestion about using a specialty customs broker.

If you are importing merchandise into the U.S. for commercial purposes that are valued over $2,500, or a commodity subject to other federal agencies requirements (i.e. firearms or food), you must post a Customs bond to ensure that all duties, taxes and fees owed to the federal government will be paid.

If you use a Customs broker to clear your goods through CBP, the broker’s surety bond may be used to secure your transaction. You have the option of obtaining a “single entry” or “continuous bond”. The type of bond you elect to obtain ultimately depends on how often you import into the U.S. For instance, if you only import on occasion, the single entry bond is recommended. If you import frequently and through various ports of entry, the continuous bond is beneficial and economically the best choice. To do business with customs using a continuous bond, you must apply for permission. The application package should be submitted to the Entry office at the port through which your goods are imported or where the majority of your goods are imported.

The customs bond electronic posting protocols, reconciliations and annual compliance can be daunting. Unless you really enjoy complicated administrative b.s., it is probably best to enlist the assistance of a surety bond professional. SuretyOne.com provides both U.S. and Canadian customs bonds for all activity codes and all ports of entry and transit. Call us to discuss your particular need (800) 373-2804 or visit our customs bond page at SuretyOne.com/us-customs-bond.

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