Importing goods on any scale can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to figuring out what type of bond to secure for a shipment. For one-time imports, importers could use a single entry bond to get their goods through the border without much hassle or cost, but there are situations in which a single entry bond wouldn’t work. There’s a lot to consider in the world of importing, but finding the right customs bond for your company is a large part of the issue.
Trying to figure out what type of bond is best for a shipment can be confusing, especially if you don’t understand how customs bonds work. A single entry bond is the simpler of the two options since it is intended to cover one shipment of goods into the U.S. However, a licensed customs broker can make it easier to get a continuous bond, and can help you manage multiple imports.
If you’re unsure if a single entry bond is right for you, the experts at USA Customs Clearance are here to help. Our team of import customs experts and Licensed Customs Brokers can guide you to the right decision based on your needs. Utilize our customs consulting services to get the information you need and have all of your questions answered.
It’s important to understand the intent of a bond, how it works and the various types. A bond in basic terms is an insurance policy the importer provides to ensure that the customs fees and other taxes are paid. All commercial goods entering the country valued at over $2,500 must have a U.S. Customs Bond.
Can an importer decide not to have U.S. Customs Bonds?
- No. It is not optional to secure U.S. Customs Bonds when importing goods. A U.S. customs bond is required.
Who needs a bond?
- Importers, International carriers, warehouse operators, and secure area operators must all obtain an import bond.
What are the required documents to obtain a U.S. Customs Bond?
- Documents to obtain a customs bonds include a commercial invoice, a packing list, a bill of lading, and an arrival notice from the U.S. agent.
A Single Entry Bond means just that; a one-time entry of a shipment through a designated US port. Once a single entry bond has been acquired, the goods have to move through the port of entry that has been decided upon. Importers cannot choose to change up how or where their shipment comes in after it is put in writing.
A single entry bond type is a good fit for importers with occasional shipments, usually less than four times a year. A single entry bond is sufficient for importers of goods with a low-cost value, since higher-cost shipments will usually require a continuous bond.
A Continuous Bond is as its name suggests, a bond that covers shipments on a continuous or ongoing basis. An importer using an international carrier to transport products can secure a continuous bond that allows shipments to arrive through any US port for a year. A continuous import bond is highly effective since it allows for a large number of entries to different entry ports throughout the U.S. during the course of a full year. Imported items of high value are covered by this bond type, as well as shipments with a larger quantity of goods.
To better illustrate the different situations in which each bond type would be most useful, take a look at these examples.
If you are set to import shipments of lawn equipment ahead of the busy spring gardening season, then a continuous bond would likely be your best option. This way, the numerous shipments you would need to make would be covered under the same bond, thus saving money in the long run. Similarly, seasonal merchandise being imported will fall in this category of multiple shipments to various points of entry.
In contrast, a small boutique may schedule to receive a couple of boxes of handbags. While it depends on the commercial value of the handbags, if that figure is $2,500 or less then the importer can use a single entry bond. However, if the value exceeds $2,500, then the handbags will need to be covered under a continuous bond.
If you normally source parts from a domestic manufacturing plant, but they weren’t able to provide you all the parts you needed for whatever reason, then you could choose to have those missing parts imported from a manufacturing plant overseas. The problems the domestic plant is experiencing won’t last forever, but you need to get more parts just once until they can continue normal operations. In this case, you would use a single entry bond since you don’t normally need to import these parts, and likely won’t import more than once.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection provides a few useful tips for those who are new to importing or exporting goods. The CBP suggests being familiar with customs clearance policies and other requirements specific to the commodity you plan to import. If you aren’t sure where to get started, signing up for a consulting session or speaking with a licensed customs broker can help you understand the process better and get you started down the path of importing.
In 2016 the CBP reports the agency processed $2.28 trillion in imports representing 32.6 million entries into the U.S. via in excess of 27 million cargo containers.
A customs broker works with you to ensure the bond on file is correct and the shipment clears U.S. customs without incident. Basically, licensed customs brokers work on your behalf to handle all the behind the scenes work related to a bond. Customs bond agents handle everything from importing coffee to importing fireworks, and they can handle your imports too.
At USA Customs Clearance, we ensure that everything is taken care of when you import your goods. We’ll make sure that your shipments don’t encounter holds or delays each and every time.
It’s a seamless process to obtain a customs bond. Give us a call at 855-912-0406 to learn more about custom bonds and which one will best fit your needs.