On December 28, 2010, our office was notified by Customs that hundreds of Customs bonds were to be “shut off” by Customs due to a failure to comply with an obscure Customs requirement. This requirement states that a specific rider must be added to any bond used to import into the U.S. Virgin Islands. The deadline for compliance with this requirement was January 10, 2011.
C.A. Shea immediately secured a list of bonds handled by our office that Customs claimed to be non-compliant. We found that a third of the bonds on that list were compliant (meaning that the necessary riders had been filed with the bonds). We immediately contacted the brokers that wrote the remaining bonds, and within one week of the notice from Customs, all of the bonds written through Shea’s office were brought into compliance. It was later determined that over 60 bonds (none of which were handled by Shea) had eventually been “shut off” by Customs (rendering those principals unable to import into the United States) for failure to comply with this notice.
While Shea was able to quickly rectify the bonds in violation, it is important to note that the importer is responsible for informing the surety if they import into the Virgins Islands to ensure their bonds remain compliant.