Who is required to have a Customs Surety Bond?
Anyone who imports merchandise into the United States for commercial purposes must submit a Customs Surety Bond to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP). The CBP requires a surety bond for merchandise valued at over $2,500 or a commodity subject to other federal agencies requirements (such as firearms or food). You will also need a Customs Surety Bond if you do one of the following:
- Are an international carrier and transport cargo or passengers via air, vessel or vehicle from a foreign destination to the United States, or a domestic carrier that merely wants to transport imported cargo “in bond” from one state to another
- Are a warehouse or facility operator and want to become a customs bonded facility with the ability to store or secure imported or exported goods
- Perform some activity in a secure CBP area, i.e. cartage, or serve as a Customs Broker or as an approved gauger or laboratory
What is a Customs Surety Bond?
There are two types of Customs Surety Bonds, and the bond amount varies depending on which type you need:
Single Entry Bond
- Used once for a particular transaction
- Bond amount is equivalent to the minimum declared value of your cargo, plus all duties, fees and taxes associated with it
- If the imported merchandise is subject to federal mandates or consists of restricted goods, the bond amount may be no less than three times the total value of the merchandise.
- Used for an annual period, covers all transactions within that year and can be used at any port of entry
- Bond amount is 10% of the total taxes and fees that the importer paid in the past 12-month period. Minimum bond amount is $50,000.
Customs Surety Bonds are required by the CBP to guarantee that the principal (importer and anyone partaking in import-related operations) pay duties, taxes and charges in a timely manner and operate in accordance with the regulations of the CBP. If the principal fails to pay the duties, taxes and charges owed, or conducts business in an unlawful manner, the harmed party can file a claim with the surety company. If the claim is validated, the surety company will pay out up to the penal sum of the bond. All monies paid out, including any attorney fees incurred during the defense of the claim, must be reimbursed by the principal.
What is the bond amount for a Customs Surety Bond?
Amounts for Customs Surety Bonds vary and are based on the declared cargo’s value, in addition to any duties, fees and taxes owed on the cargo. Therefore, bond amounts and requirements vary. Please contact us with specific questions regarding bond amounts, and our knowledgeable underwriting staff will assist you.
How much does a Customs Surety Bond cost?
Pricing for Customs Surety Bonds will vary, and your premium will be based on the following factors:
- Amount of the bond
- Term length of the bond
- Personal credit for all owners with at least a 10% ownership stake in the business
Individuals with good credit can expect to pay 1%-5% of the bond amount. Qualified applicants could pay as little as $500 annually for a $50,000 Customs Surety Bond. To find out how much your bond is going to cost, please complete our online application for your free, no obligation price quote.
Can I get a Customs Surety Bond with bad credit?
Pacific Surety offers a wide-range of approvals, regardless of credit, for Customs Surety Bonds. With our strong surety relationships, we have the ability to approve 99% of applicants, regardless of how bad their credit is. Our knowledgeable underwriting staff will work with you to ensure you receive the lowest possible pricing for your bond. Applicants with substandard credit can expect to pay 5%-10% of the bond amount in premium. To see what rate you will qualify for, please complete our online application for your free, no obligation price quote.
How do I purchase a Customs Surety Bond?
The first step is to complete our quick online application for your free, no obligation bond quote. Submission takes only five minutes, and our underwriting staff will be in contact with you within a couple of hours with pricing. If you prefer to speak with our knowledgeable staff, please call 1-866-722-7873 and one of our Underwriters will assist you in applying for your bond.
After you receive approval, you must sign an indemnity agreement with the surety and provide payment for your bond premium. In most cases, we can issue bonds the same day we receive your signed documents and payment.