3 Conditions Of Use For US T&E Bonds

Do you need to route your shipments through the US to keep them moving? There are various reasons that a ground carrier may need to take this action including road closures, dimensional or weight restrictions. Whatever the reason may be, here are a few conditions of use for US Transportation and Exportation (T&E) Bonds that may help you determine if routing your load through the US is a feasible option.

T&E bonds allow a load of foreign goods to enter through a US port of entry and exit through another without paying duty. A common use case for a T&E bond is when a Canadian load needs to be routed through the US due to road closures in Canada. The goods will cross into the US, travel along US roadways, then exit the US back into Canada.

Now that we understand what a T&E bond is and how they are used, let’s take a look at the conditions of use.

1. Bonded Loads Can Only Be Moved With US Bonded Carriers

In order to carry a bonded load through the US, the carrier must have applied for and received a bond from a US surety company. Bonded carriers can bring a load of goods past the port of entry into the US to an authorized location without customs release. 

Bonded Carrier Vs. Non-Bonded Carrier

In order to become bonded, carriers must have US operating authority, fill out an application and post-financial security. The process can take several months, however, it is not complicated.

Need Help With Your Bonded Carrier Code Application? Contact Us For Help Here

2. Goods Subject To USDA May Also Require A Transit Permit

Transit permits are required for certain commodities traveling in bond through the US that are subject to USDA review. Goods subject to these permits include:

  • Plants
  • Plant products
  • Plant pests
  • Soil

Common examples of commodities that require transit permits are:

  • Produce not grown in Canada
  • Dairy
  • Plants with roots and/or soil

These permits are required by the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) in advance of arriving at the port. Permits are applied for by the carrier and can take up to 60 days to process. Once received, they can be applicable for up to 2 years for the commodities and countries of origin specified on the permit.

Goods not requiring a transit permit include:

  • Non-regulated lumber from Canada (excludes pine and ash with bark attached)
  • Cut flowers (without soil or roots)
  • Fresh and frozen fruit, vegetables, grain, processed food, agricultural and vegetable seed oil grown, produced or manufactured in Canada
  • Emergency Action Notice cargo
Need Help Applying For A Carrier Code? Contact Us For Help Here

Additional documents needed to “cut” a bond:

  • Invoice showing where it is coming from and where it is going to
  • Copy of the in-bond manifest
  • Carrier bond number
  • Port of entry and exit
  • Bond type
  • Commodity information 
  • PGA information (if applicable)

3. Bonds Can Be Extended To Other Carriers

Bonded carriers can loan out their bond to other non-bonded carriers. The non-bonded carrier/driver must provide an authorization letter obtained from the bondholder to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the time of arrival to prove that they are under exclusive contract with the bonded carrier whose carrier code they are using. 

Many Customs Brokers No Longer Offer T&E Bond Service - But We Do!

While all carriers have the ability to cut their own bonds, many do not have the expertise or time to do so. This is especially true in times of crisis where a large volume of trucks with perishable critical items all require bonds, and the volume is too great for one team to complete. In cases like this, carriers can often reach out to customs brokers to help them obtain the bonds they require - but many no longer offer this service. PCB Customs Brokers still does and would be happy to assist you. Whether you need 1 bond or hundreds, our team has the capacity and experience to accomplish this task.


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About Author
Breanna Leininger
CCS, LCB

Breanna has been in the industry since 2004 and has dealt with clearances and compliance concerns for a multitude of commodities for all ports of entry and all modes of transportation. She has a Bachelors in Communications, Bachelors in Political Science & Government, is a Licensed Customs Broker as well as Certified Customs Specialist. Breanna has been asked to be the speaker in a variety of events including the BC Agriculture Show, Doing Business in the US seminar and has been a contributor to Small Business BC publications. She was recently nominated for the NCBFAA Government Affairs Conference Emerging Leaders and Mentors by the NBCBA. She participates in the Northern Border Customs Brokers Association and the NCBFAA annual conferences in Washington, DC. Breanna has a deep passion for politics, global affairs, and how communication shapes policy and international business relationships. She feels very fortunate to work in an industry that allows her to take part in how policy impacts the global economy and domestic businesses of all shapes and sizes.

While we strive for accuracy in all our communications, as the Importer of Record it is incumbent upon your company to ensure that you are aware of the requirements under the new regulations so that you maintain compliance as always.
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