You need a Customs bond — or, a bond to make sure all duties, taxes, and fees are paid to the federal government — in a variety of instances when importing goods.
You Need a Customs Bond When:
- You import merchandise valued at over $2,500 into the U.S. for business purposes.
- Importing items that have their own governmental requirements, like firearms or food. You can see more of the government agencies with their own requirements here.
- You are an international carrier transporting cargo or passengers into the U.S. from another country.
- You are a domestic carrier transporting imported cargo “In Bond” from one state to another.
- You’re planning to do anything in a secure Customs and Border Protection (CBP) area, such as transporting items or goods on a cart, or acting as a Customs Broker, or approved gauger.
Options Beyond A Customs Bond
If you’d rather not file for a bond for some reason, importers are allowed to pledge cash or other U.S. government items such as savings bonds or treasury notes.
The bonds and/or cash are held until one year after the importation is liquidated. If you filed for a Temporary Importation under Bond (TIB), then the cash and/or bonds are held until you’ve demonstrated that the merchandise was either exported or properly destroyed.