In-Bond Shipments

Most people believe that all containers transported to or from the US have to go through US Customs and are subject to import duties and taxes. However, this is not true for containers considered to be in-bond. These in-bond shipments do not go through US Customs and are transported with security provided by indemnity bonds, which indemnify the shipping party against losses. Since these in-bond shipments are not intended to enter the US commerce, they are considered to be different and face unique regulations. For in-bond container shipments, these are only temporarily in the US. For example, foreign trade zones that allow shipments to pass through the US, with their final destination port outside of the US, would count as in-bond. And when the shipment finally exits the US jurisdiction, the bond is lifted.

Some logistics experts question some of the details with in-bond shipments. The controversy dealing with in-bond international container shipments is with the cost associated with them since these shipments are exempt from normal US shipping taxes. More importantly, there are the security concerns and red flags raised when shipments are exempt from US customs. Some groups have expressed concern for the possibility of illegal shipments making their way through the US and because of the in-bond shipments law, it would be a like a loophole for those shipments. Still, the vast majority of the containers considered being in-bond shipments are perfectly legal and an important part of the US trade market.