A customs surety bond is a contract used for guaranteeing that a specific obligation will be fulfilled between customs and an importer for any given import transaction. The main purpose of a customs bond is to guarantee the payment of import duties and taxes.

The moment has arrived. You’re ready to start importing your goods. There’s only one step left: Getting your customs bond.

What is a customs bond? Put simply: A customs bond is an insurance policy that ensures that the government will be paid for your duties and taxes. In the industry, they are often simply referred to as a “bond.”

Why do importers need one? To riff on a popular saying, the only things certain in importing are duties and taxes. In this case, by requiring you to have a bond, the government is guaranteeing that your duties and taxes will be paid, even in the extreme event your company can’t pay for them (bankruptcy for example). Bonds are required to cover shipments traveling both by ocean and by air and without proper coverage; you can face fines and/or severe delays.

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