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Does Your Company Need a Continuous Customs Bond?

U.S. Customs requires all imported commercial goods with a value over $2,500 be secured with a customs bond. If you are going to be importing a large amount of goods through a variety of ports, you may want to apply for a continuous customs bond.

Various costs need to be paid to U.S. Customs and Border Protection before your goods can be cleared to enter the country. Your company must provide a monetary guarantee, called a customs bond, that you will pay these fees, duties and taxes. If you are using a customs broker to get your goods and merchandise through U.S. Customs and Border Protection, you may be able to use the broker’s bond.

The two most common types of bonds are single entry and continuous. Single entry bonds are best for companies who infrequently import goods through a particular port. There is a one-time fee per transaction. Companies who regularly bring in foreign goods through multiple ports should apply for a continuous bond. The cost is usually 10% of the annual fees and taxes paid by your company; the minimum amount is $50,000.

The continuous bond will renew until you decide to terminate it. Whether you decide to apply by yourself or use a broker, the application should be filed at the port you will use most frequently.