What is a Customs Bond?
A customs bond is a surety bond required by the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) agency. It serves as a guarantee that importers, carriers and warehouse or facility operators will conduct business in accordance with CBP’s and other government agencies’ regulations. It also guarantees that they will pay taxes, duties and fees or charges on time. The bond further serves as a protection for the public.
The U.S. customs bond (or CBP Form 301) is required by the CBP for all imports of goods for commercial purposes that are valued above $2,500. It is also required for commodities, such as food or firearms, that are under the jurisdiction of other agencies.
There are two types of customs bond: a ‘single entry bond’ and a ‘continuous bond’. Single entry bonds are useful when you are importing something occasionally and through one port.
Continuous customs bonds are better if you import frequently and through various ports. For example, international freight and passenger carriers usually obtain the latter.
The sides that make up a customs bond agreement are: the obligee (the party requesting the bond - the CBP and the public), the principal (the party obtaining the bond - importers, carriers and operators) and the surety bond company which issues the bond.
If importers do not pay their taxes, fees or charges diligently or if they infringe regulations, a claim can be placed against their customs bond. The surety then has to step in and compensate the obligees for any damages that were sustained due to the principal’s actions, up to the full amount of the customs bond. In turn, the principal then has to indemnify the surety to the full amount of its backing, which is why it is always best to avoid claims against a bond.
Customs Bond Cost
Customs bond cost is determined by the CBP. The factors that are taken into account when determining the full amount of your customs bond are:
- Continuous or Single entry bond
- Quantity of goods being imported
- Type and value of goods being imported
The cost of your customs bond is not the full amount of the bond, though. When obtaining a bond, you pay only a percentage of the full amount to the surety bond company - a premium. Premiums are usually between 1%-4% of the total amount but this depends on the particular case.
Choosing the right surety bond company is also essential for getting the best rate on your surety bond premium. By working with Bryant Surety Bonds you are guaranteed to have your bond rate sourced only from among A rated and T-listed surety bond companies.
Check out our surety bond cost page to find out more about how the cost of surety bonds is formed.
How to Get Your Customs Bond
If you want to receive a quote on your U.S. customs bond, simply apply online. We will then send you a no-obligations and free of charge quote. To proceed with having your bond issued, you will have to submit some more additional documentation and you will shortly receive your bond.
If you are not sure what kind of customs bond you need or have more questions, just call us at (866)-450-3412. Bryant Surety Bonds’ experts will be there to respond to all your queries and guide you through the process.