Exhibiting In A U.S. Trade Show: Consider A Temporary Import Bond

Exhibiting In A U.S. Trade Show: Consider A Temporary Import Bond

Among the most easily confused or missed of the import bonds, the Temporary Import Bond (TIB) is the perfect tool for a particular kind of import, namely, brief stays in the US with the intention of being returned within a set timeframe. Most famously, this bond is used for exhibitions, trade shows, repairs, and assembly.

We always encourage our readers to educate themselves and learn as much as they can about the intricacies of global trade, but if you find yourself unsure about any part of this post, including if your next import could use a TIB, it behooves you to get in touch with one of the expert Customs brokers we have at PCB. Our team can help you identify the correct bond along with any missed regulations, government agencies, or opportunities relevant to your shipment. 

Read on to learn more about what you’ll need if you intend to import for a tradeshow or exhibition, but be sure to count on the expert if you ever feel out of your depth.

How To Import For A Trade Show In The US Or Canada

What is a Temporary Import Bond? 

A TIB is a special entry type used exclusively when products are imported into the US only to be exported back to their originating country by a specific day - typically, within a year. The goods are imported without payment of duty or the Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) by posting this bond that essentially promises that the goods will return within the specified time frame. 

The TIB cost is typically twice the estimated duty, taxes, etc. 

What are the Different Types of Temporary Imports?

There are many different use cases for the TIB. Essentially, a TIB makes a lot of sense when you bring goods in for a brief period of time with the intention of exporting them back to where they came from. A few examples of situations where a TIB could be utilized include: 

  • Trade shows
  • Conventions
  • Training
  • Assembly
  • Processing
  • Re-export after resale
  • Repair or replacement of damaged goods

Temporary Bond Exportation Requirements and Rules

The rules for TIBs are reasonably straightforward, but as with everything in the world of global trade, they become more complex as you get into the details. 

What goods can qualify for TIB entry? 

The only goods that can qualify for TIB entry are those listed in subheadings 9813.00.05 through 9813.00.75 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS).

How long is a temporary import?

Products that are imported under a TIB are permitted to stay in the US without payment for up to a year. The goods must be appropriately exported out of the country before the expiration date to avoid a penalty. 

Extensions are permitted, but they have to be approved by US Customs. In most cases, TIB provisions can be extended for up to three years with the following exceptions: 

  • Shipments covered under 9813.00.75 (autos and parts for show purposes) may not exceed six months, and an extension will not be granted.
  • Shipments covered under 9813.00.50 (tools of trade), if seized by Customs for reasons other than by suit of private persons, have the requirement of exportation suspended during the period of seizure.

Proof of Export

Among the other relevant documents used for goods imported temporarily, the importer of record must present proof of export to US Customs to avoid liquidated damages. Customs accepts the following as proof of export: 

  • Customs Form 3495 Application for Exportation of Articles Under Special Bond
  • Certified copy of the entry that the goods are being imported to (Canadian B3)
  • Certified copy of the bill of lading

Of course, if the goods are destroyed under the supervision of Customs, relief from liability can also be obtained. However, the article cannot retain any commercial value if it is to be considered ‘destroyed.’ 

Common Mistakes

There are many pitfalls when it comes to the TIB entry type, but some of the most common we encounter include: 

  • A failure to indicate on the shipping documentation or a notification to your customs broker that the shipment you are sending is a temporary import.
  • A failure to properly document and re-export or destroy the articles. When this happens, the bond or security deposit is forfeited, and the importer will bear the duty and tax expense.

When it comes to exhibiting in the US, a TIB is a vital piece of the puzzle, and this article is just meant to give you a brief overview of what you should consider before you make the trip. For an expert opinion and help with every step of the import process, be sure to get in touch with our import specialists today. We can ensure that your exhibition gets into the country quickly, compliantly, and efficiently. 

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About Author
Aimee Miller

Aimee Miller is the Trade Compliance Supervisor with Pacific Customs Brokers Inc. US operation, located in Blaine, Washington. She is a licensed US Customs Broker and a Certified Customs Specialist, with 19 years of operational and Trade Compliance experience in the trade and transportation industry.

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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