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CBP Provides Additional Details on Electronic Bond Submission

Friday, December 05, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has posted to its Web site the following additional information regarding the upcoming launch of an electronic mechanism for submitting customs bonds from a surety or surety agent to the Automated Commercial Environment via electronic data interchange.

Benefits. CBP anticipates that eBond will eliminate the mandatory paper requirement when a single transaction bond is used to secure cargo release, provide 24x7 capability for submitting bonds and processing entries through EDI, help expedite the release of cargo, standardize the way CBP interacts with the trade across ports, provide a single repository for all continuous and single transaction bonds, increase the traceability of bonds for audit purposes, and reduce the burden on entry and import personnel.

Continuous Bonds. For continuous bonds, eBond will utilize many of the existing validations used for transaction processing that have been in production for a number of years. There should be little to no impact on transaction processing when using a continuous bond regardless of whether the transaction is filed in ACE or ACS. All existing continuous bonds will be valid and usable when eBond deploys on Jan. 3, 2015, and there is no need to refile them. After Jan. 3 all continuous bonds should be filed using eBond.

Single Transaction Bonds. For ACE entries followed by ACE entry summaries, or ACE entry summaries certified for ACE cargo release, where an STB is used an eBond will be required starting Jan. 3, 2015. ACE will implement validations on these inbound transactions and if a bond is referenced on a transaction and no bond is found on file in ACE, that transaction will be rejected.

For other STB scenarios (ACS entry followed by ACE entry summary, ACE entry summary certified for ACS cargo release, ACS entry followed by ACS entry summary, and ACS entry summary certified for cargo release), eBond will not be required and paper processing of these STBs will continue. Due to the eventual retirement of ACS processing for entries and entry summaries, the same eBond STB validations in place for ACE filed transactions will not be deployed to ACS, and CBP will therefore not perform system validations to ensure an STB is on file for these entries/entry summaries.

CBP notes that if a superseding or substitution STB is filed as part of the entry summary (at entry summary filing or after the submission of the entry summary), that filing will be subject to eBond validations. The substitution or superseding STB must be present in the eBond system in order for that entry summary to be accepted.

For all other STB activity types, the filing of those bonds in eBond will be mandatory, as there are no time-sensitive transactional validations that are required.

The computation of the STB amount will need to be done by the entry filer. The initial launch of eBond will not include sufficiency edits because more ACE functionality must be deployed for that to be accurately implemented. However, the ports will have the opportunity to review the bond amount and reject the entry if the bond is not sufficient. The Office of Administration will also be performing quality control checks to verify compliance with the required bond formulas.

For entries submitted in ACE, brokers/filers will not have to submit any documentation regarding the STB with the entry package.

There will be an option to void an STB prior to being matched with the entry.

If an STB needs to be filed for an entry summary released on a continuous bond after release, the surety/surety agent can send in an additional bond related to that entry summary.

If a paper entry is submitted via ACS with an STB, a paper STB will still need to be submitted with the entry package filed with the port.

Adjustments. If the bond amount needs to be adjusted based on a new value, a user can submit through the original bond surety/surety agent a request for a bond amount adjustment any time between entry and when the entry summary is filed.

ISF Bonds. CBP envisions that all importer security filing STBs will be filed electronically. Importers who do not have a continuous bond on file will be able to submit a unified filing for the entry and ISF utilizing eBond.

Bond Dates. CBP recognizes that the bond may be submitted several days before the filing of the entry, and eBond anticipates that brokers may request bond approval prior to the arrival of the cargo.

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