Why FBA Sellers Should Purchase a Customs Bond
When importing for Amazon, it is essential that you take the initiative to purchase your own Customs bond to avoid liability and likely save money.
What is a Customs Bond, and Why do I Need it?
A Customs import bond is a financial guarantee between the surety issuing the bond, the importer of record, and U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP). A Customs import bond ensures that should the importer be unable or unwilling to pay their duties, taxes, tariffs, or other money owed Customs, that the surety is liable to pay up to the bond amount to CBP. The importer will then pay back the duties, taxes, and tariffs that were covered to the surety.
Having a bond on file is a mandatory requirement to clear goods through U.S. Customs valued at over $2,500. Without a bond, FBA shipments will not be allowed to enter the U.S., which means the importer could face fines and severe delays.
If a manufacturer offers to import your goods into the United States under their bond, this creates a lot of risk. It is best to import under your own U.S. Customs import bond so that you can be directly aware of the duties, taxes, and fees that apply to your goods and be sure goods are entered correctly. It is also helpful in ensuring that duties, taxes, and fees have been taken care of and that you aren’t paying extra hidden fees to a manufacturer.
How Should I Purchase My Customs Bond?
It is usually more affordable to secure a Customs import bond directly from a surety rather than through a broker. When you purchase a bond directly from a Customs broker or freight forwarder, they will often charge more to secure a Customs Import bond than if you were to purchase it yourself.
FBA importers can go to a surety to purchase a Customs bond and are likely to get the bond at a lower price. Unlike Customs brokers or freight forwarders, sureties like TRG acquire the bond directly from Customs rather than purchasing and reselling bonds to clients. Learn more about Customs import bonds from TRG.
What Kind of Customs Bond Should I Get?
There are two different types of Customs import bonds for FBA Importers to choose from, and choosing between the two depends on how often you are importing into the United States.
Importers have the option between securing a single-entry bond or a continuous bond. Single entry bonds allow for the clearance of a single shipment, while a continuous bond will allow for unlimited shipments within a set time period. Generally, it is more affordable to purchase a continuous Customs bond if you import goods into the U.S. more than once per year.
When Do I Need to Renew My Customs Import Bond?
A continuous import bond remains on file with U.S. Customs until it is terminated by one of the three parties involved in the agreement. This means that a Customs bond automatically renews at the end of the bond term (one year) as long as the surety, the importer, or CBP does not terminate it.