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.
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.
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:
- Plant products
- Plant pests
Common examples of commodities that require transit permits are:
- Produce not grown in Canada
- 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
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.