What is an International Carrier Bond?


An International Carrier bond, or Activity 301-3, ensures that operators of ships, airlines and conveyors of international merchandise properly manifest their goods, pay for overtime services and comply with Customs regulations related to clearance of the vessel. Therefore, any entity operating a ship, airplane or railway in international areas wishing to gain entry to the United States would be required to obtain this type of bond.

When operating in this capacity, the principal should contact the port(s) where they will be working to determine what specific requirements the port(s) may have in order to approve the principal as an international carrier. Upon approval of the principal’s operations, Customs will prescribe the bond amount required. Please note the bond amount can only be determined by Customs; however, it is usually not less than $25,000.

As Customs must provide approval for this type of bond, including the amount required, the principal must contact Customs prior to submitting a bond application. Although our office is not involved with the application process between Customs and the principal, we can assist a broker with most questions regarding this process prior to submitting the application on behalf of their client.