What is a CBP (U.S. Customs) Bond and what does it cover?

A CBP (U.S. Customs) bond is a contract that is given to insure the performance of an obligation or obligations imposed by law or regulation. A bond is like an insurance policy that guarantees payment to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) if a required act is not performed. Bonds have a number of uses in CBP. The most common use allows importers to take possession of their goods before all CBP formalities are completed. Another common use allows a carrier to move goods under bond from one place to another before those goods are actually entered for consumption with duties paid. All parties that import merchandise into the United States for commercial purposes or transport imported merchandise through the United States must have a CBP (U.S. CUSTOMS) Bond. CBP has the authority to require bonds under title 19, United States Code, section 1623.  Most Customs bonds are taken under that authority.  In addition, there are a few statutes that specifically require Customs to get a bond from a person who wants to engage in certain transactions.