Terms & Glossaries of Shipping and Trading

Single Entry Bond

The Single Entry Bond, also known as a Single Transaction Bond, is a financial guarantee required by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency for specific import transactions. Unlike the Annual Bond, which covers multiple import transactions over a one-year period, the Single Entry Bond is tailored for single or occasional import activities.

Exploring the U.S. Import Requirement: Single Entry Bond

When it comes to importing goods into the United States, customs bonds are a critical requirement imposed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). One type of customs bond that importers may use is the Single Entry Bond, also known as a Single Transaction Bond. This article aims to provide a detailed understanding of the Single Entry Bond, its purpose, usage, and important considerations.

Definition of a Single Entry Bond

A Single Entry Bond (SEB) is a type of surety bond used for a single importation of goods into the United States. Unlike an Annual Bond which covers multiple shipments over the course of a year, the SEB is specific to one transaction or shipment. Its primary purpose is to ensure the payment of all import duties, taxes, and fees and to guarantee compliance with U.S. laws and regulations for that particular entry.

Purpose and Use Cases

The SEB is typically required for importers who either import infrequently or have a shipment that does not fall under their Continuous Bond, if they have one. It is particularly useful for:

● Non-commercial importers making a one-time import.

● Importers testing the market with a new product.

● Occasional importers who do not regularly bring goods into the U.S.

Bond Amount and Calculation

The bond amount for an SEB is usually set at a minimum of the total estimated duties, taxes, and any potential fees associated with the importation, plus an additional amount to cover potential penalties. The formula CBP generally uses is the bond amount should be no less than the total duties, taxes, and fees of the merchandise plus an extra 10% of that amount.

Steps for Obtaining an SEB

1. Determine Bond Amount: Calculate the estimated duties and taxes for the shipment to understand the minimum bond amount required.

2. Select a Surety Company: Choose a Treasury-certified surety company that can issue the SEB.

3. Complete Bond Application: Provide the necessary documentation and information about the shipment to the surety company.

4. Payment: Pay the premium for the bond, which is typically a percentage of the bond amount.

Key Benefits

Customized Coverage: The SEB offers coverage tailor-made for a specific transaction, giving importers flexibility.

Cost-Effective: For one-time or infrequent imports, it's often more cost-effective than an Annual Bond.

Regulatory Compliance: It ensures that an importer meets the CBP's requirements for that specific importation.

Considerations for Importers

Bond Sufficiency: Importers must ensure the bond amount is sufficient to cover the duties and taxes plus additional fees; otherwise, CBP may refuse the bond.

Processing Time: Obtain the bond well in advance of the shipment arriving to avoid delays in cargo release.

Expiration: The bond is valid for that specific import only; new shipments require new bonds.


The Single Entry Bond is an essential tool for one-time or irregular importers to ensure they meet U.S. import requirements without committing to an Annual Bond. It is tailored to the specific import transaction, providing a cost-effective solution for ensuring duty payment and compliance with U.S. customs law for that shipment. Understandably, navigating these requirements can be complex, but with careful planning and the right support, importers can successfully utilize Single Entry Bonds to facilitate their U.S. trade operations.