Customs bonds and ATA Carnets are two options for saving money on your shipment to the U.S. Both options serve as a security for payment of fees, duties and taxes, as well as compliance with U.S. law. The bond is meant to protect the U.S. government in case an importer fails to pay penalties and duties after the release of goods or when they are in CBP custody. It also speeds up the clearance. Obtaining a customs bond may be a vital part of international tradeshow shipping to the U.S.
If you don’t properly prepare for the bond, you could face serious problems. It is crucial to ensure that it meets specific minimum requirements. Your shipment cannot clear U.S. customs if the bond is not executed correctly.
Types of Customs Bonds
Single Entry Bond
This type of customs bond covers only one custom entry. The bonds are calculated on the value of duties, merchandise, taxes, and fees. Typically, the cost of this type of bond is based on the total value of the merchandise.
This bond covers all entries made by the importer at U.S. ports of entry. $50,000 is the minimum liability charge for a continuous bond. The validity of these bonds is 1 year. If you have either high value items or plan to ship multiple times to U.S. shows this option may be best.
Important tip: If you are a regular shipper, develop your account relationship with CBP. Having a clean record with customs will help speed up clearance in some cases.
Why Importers Need a Customs Bond
When importing, you are only sure of taxes and duties. The government requires you to have a bond, so it guarantees your taxes and duties are paid even when your company can’t pay due to extreme events, such as bankruptcy. Bonds cover all shipments traveling by truck, air or water. If you are not covered, you may encounter severe delays or face fines.
How to Choose a Bond Provider for Your International Tradeshow Shipping Needs
Not all customs bonds are created equal, whether your volume suggests a Single-transaction Bond or a Continuous Bond. The insurance carrier sets the cost of your bond, not customs. If you are planning for international tradeshow shipping, it is advisable to purchase bonds through reputable and highly knowledgeable providers. Doing so will not only allow you to obtain competitive rates, but will also give you peace of mind.
Choosing a bond depends on how often you import goods. A Single-transaction Bond is an excellent choice if you occasionally import (less than 3 times annually). The best investment for those who ship frequently is the Continuous Bond.
Understanding customs bonds and ATA Carnets can be complicated, which is why it’s beneficial to work with an international tradeshow shipping company, as they can handle all documentation for you. Contact us today at 702-800-6385 to get a quote.