Background

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has implemented a new policy restricting the use of continuous bonds by businesses suspended or debarred by CBP or another federal agency.

When a person (i.e., any individual, corporation, partnership, association, unit of government, or legal entity, however organized) is suspended or debarred it is excluded from participating in certain federal transactions, including contracts, loan guarantees, etc.

Effective May 11, CBP is no longer allowing a person it has suspended or debarred to meet the bond requirements of any customs activity using a continuous bond unless it is the only form of bond acceptable for that activity (e.g., operating a foreign trade zone). However, CBP may decide, either categorically or on a case-by-case basis, whether to permit persons suspended or debarred by another federal agency to use a continuous bond for this purpose.

Written notice that CBP has decided not to permit use of a continuous bond to secure customs activities will be provided to persons suspended or debarred by CBP or another federal agency, as well as their sureties, at least 15 calendar days prior to the first customs activity that cannot be secured by a continuous bond under this policy.

CBP encourages sureties and surety filers to ensure that new or replacement continuous bonds are not filed in the Automated Commercial Environment eBond module and that any existing continuous bonds are terminated in eBond for persons that have been suspended or debarred and listed as excluded on the System for Award Management website.

Use of a continuous bond to secure customs activities may resume when a person’s suspension and/or debarment terminates. In the meantime, persons not permitted to use a continuous bond may still use single transaction bonds or cash in lieu of surety (for single transactions only) to engage in customs activities.

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