4 Types of Customs Bonds

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4 Types of Customs Bonds, Purchasing a customs bond can be complicated and time-consuming. Working with an international freight shipping company can make the process as painless as possible. The following are four common types of bonds: ISF, Carnet, Custodian, and Continuous. To get a better understanding, read on! After reading through this article, you will be able to choose the type of customs bond that will best meet your needs. And remember, the right bond can make or break your business!

4 Types of Customs Bonds


Importer security filing (ISF) is required when ocean shipments are imported into the U.S. The new ISF single entry bond allows importers to secure their Importer Security Filing (ISF) requirements without a Continuous Customs bond. The Continuous bond is cheaper than a Single Entry+ISF bond and is applicable to all ISF imports for a full 12-month period. Regardless of the method of importation, the Continuous Bond is an excellent choice.

The cost of an ISF customs bond varies depending on the mode of transport used to import or export goods. For air shipments, a single entry bond of $65 is enough, while an ocean shipment requires two separate bonds, one for each port. Another option is an annual bond, which is worth $500 for a year and is attached to the company’s tax identification number. This bond is reusable for multiple imports throughout the year.


A Carnet of customs bond is a type of security that guarantees the holder’s performance of a temporary import agreement. When issued, a Carnet guarantees the exporter’s obligation to re-export goods in accordance with the terms of the Carnet, including returning them in the same condition as they were when they were imported. If a Carnet is not re-exported in the agreed-upon time frame, the importer may face liquidated damages of up to 110 percent of the duty, based on the original value of the goods. A Carnet of customs bond is valid for one year from the date of issue, so the applicant should pay attention to the wording.

To obtain a Carnet, a person must fill out the Carnet Application form. The application must include the items covered by the Carnet and the stated value of each item. A Carnet Application defines the Carnet holder, provides general shipping information, and indicates how many transit sheets and counterfoils the holder will need. The Processing Fee is calculated by the total value of the shipment and is subject to an additional fee if expedited service is needed.

4 Types of Customs Bonds


The U.S. Customs Activity Code 2 Custodian of Bonded Merchandise Bond protects the Obligee by holding the Principal accountable for the shipment’s delivery. The bond also informs the Obligee that the shipper’s goods will be protected in the event of a breach of the bond’s terms. Custodians are required to have these documents as part of their import and export business.

The Custodian of a customs bond may be a private party, a semi-government firm, or a government-owned organization. A custodian of customs bond functions on a memorandum of undertakings between the shipper and the customs department. A custodian of goods can deliver only after receiving approval from customs. Without the permission of the customs department, the shipper cannot move the cargo until it is delivered.


If you import goods frequently and through multiple ports, a continuous customs bond is more practical than a single entry customs bond. Continuous bonds are a financial guarantee for the CBP that your imports will be paid in full. Unlike single entry bonds, continuous customs bonds cover all of your entries for the year, so there’s only one fee to pay. You can also save money by not purchasing several single entry bonds, as you only pay one price for the whole year.

A continuous customs bond is required for importers every year. This insurance covers goods for a full 12 months, but is renewable at the end of the 12-month period. In addition to continuous bonds, continuous customs bonds are also commonly known as warehouse, FTZ, and drawback bonds. They protect your import business from unexpected costs, so they are an essential component of a successful import business. And because they automatically renew if they’re calculated correctly, they’re perfect for a seamless import process.

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