Importers know the requirement of getting a Customs bond before having their cargo arrive in the US. But there is a common question that concerns newcomers to the Customs bond process: where someone can get a customs bond in the first place.
You cannot just get a Customs bond from any freight forwarder or shipping provider. The Bureau of Fiscal Service, from the US Department of the Treasury, publishes a list of certified surety companies that allow you to get a customs bond. These certified companies can write and reassure bonds for the cargo process. The list of surety companies from the Bureau of Fiscal Service is updated, and will be subject to change in the future. Keep in mind: it is possible that some companies listed are not certified in every single state, so please read the fine print.
There are nearly two-dozen US Customs offices. However, only a select few are drawback centers for filing the Customs bond. These select few drawback centers include Chicago, Houston, Newark and San Francisco. A single entry bond can be filed at the customs port before arrival. If there are multiple ports involved in the shipment, it might be best to receive a continuous bond, which is appropriate for those shippers who have a lot of imports.
The ocean freight shipping process to the US requires a Customs bond. By knowing ahead of time where to receive a Customs bond, and where to file it, you will save yourself a lot of time during the process.