Industry News

First Bond Guidance in 33 Years Issued

Feb. 15, 2024
By: Pietro N. Bianchi

CBP published a new “Guide for the Public” on how CBP sets bond amounts. The new guide replaces a 1991 bond directive, which will now be for internal use only. Some notable changes include a definitions section and updated bond amounts. CBP also created a Summary of Changes outlining the differences between the new guide and the old directive for those who do not want to comb through the 35 page guide.

The guide, which was produced in collaboration with the trade community, serves to address the gaps between contemporary CBP practices and the practices of the Customs Service 30 years ago. While importers and sureties have been using ever-evolving bond language and rules for years, the updated Guide provides a convenient single document to review the current state of the Customs bond rules.

CBP’s message announcing the guide lists some of those changes made in the last three decades: “transition of customs functions from the Department of Treasury to the Department of Homeland Security, creation of CBP, changes to CBP’s internal handling of various aspects of bond policy and procedure, the introduction of new, and termination of unnecessary, bond requirements, and the creation of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) eBond test.” Since some of these changes actually occurred in 2003, it is probably high time for an update.

Because this guide was created to address gaps between the old directive and contemporary practice, it should not be viewed as a revolutionary development in Customs bond regulations. However, if you have questions about Customs bonds do not hesitate to contact an attorney at Barnes Richardson, & Colburn LLP.