Investing Rulebook

Continuous Bond: What it is, How it Works, Examples

Continuous Bonds: A Guide to Understanding and Utilizing ThemWhen it comes to international trade and commerce, bonds play a vital role in ensuring compliance and safeguarding the interests of all parties involved. One type of bond that is frequently used in the business world is the continuous bond.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the definition and usage of continuous bonds, their renewal and cancellation process, how they differ from traditional bonds, and their applications in various industries. Additionally, we will delve into the parties involved in continuous bonds and their respective roles.

Definition of Continuous Bond

Continuous bonds are a type of surety bond that extend coverage over a specific period, typically one year. These bonds serve as a guarantee to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency that the importer or principal will fulfill their obligations and comply with all import regulations.

This bond remains in effect until canceled or its terms are modified. Continuous bonds are an essential tool for importers engaging in regular import activities, eliminating the need to obtain individual transaction bonds for every shipment.

Renewal and Cancellation of Continuous Bonds

To ensure continuous coverage, it is crucial to understand the renewal and cancellation process associated with continuous bonds. Most continuous bonds have an expiration date, after which they can be renewed for another year.

Importers must timely file a renewal application with the CBP to extend the bond’s coverage. On the other hand, continuous bonds can be canceled by either the surety company or the principal.

The cancellation process typically involves providing written notice to the CBP and any other relevant parties.

Comparison with Traditional Bonds

One significant advantage of continuous bonds over traditional bonds is the absence of an expiration or maturity date. Traditional bonds have a specific expiration date, requiring frequent renewals or adjustments to ensure uninterrupted coverage.

With continuous bonds, importers can focus on their business operations without worrying about renewing their bonds after each transaction. This streamlined process saves time and resources, making continuous bonds a preferred choice for many importers.

Applications of Continuous Bonds

Continuous bonds find extensive applications in various industries and scenarios. One common application is in the realm of customs bonds.

These bonds are required by the CBP to ensure that importers comply with U.S. Customs laws and regulations. Another application of continuous bonds is in airport security, where bondholders provide financial security to mitigate any potential risks associated with the importation or storage of goods at airports.

Importer Security Filing (ISF) bonds are also a type of continuous bond that guarantees compliance with ISF requirements. Additionally, continuous bonds are used for intellectual property rights, protecting the rights of patent or copyright holders and ensuring the lawful use of their intellectual property.

Parties Involved in Continuous Bonds

Several parties are involved in the issuance and management of continuous bonds. The surety company, acting as the issuer, underwrites the bond and assumes the financial risk on behalf of the principal.

The principal, typically an importer, is the party required to obtain the bond and comply with its terms. Finally, the CBP is the regulatory agency responsible for overseeing the importation process and ensuring that the bond requirements are met.

In conclusion, continuous bonds are a valuable tool in international trade, offering a convenient and efficient solution to importers’ bond requirements. With their extended coverage and streamlined renewal process, continuous bonds provide peace of mind to importers while mitigating financial risks for both themselves and the CBP.

By understanding the definition, renewal and cancellation process, and applications of continuous bonds, importers can make informed decisions and streamline their import operations.

3) Continuous Bonds vs Term Bonds and Single Transaction Bonds

Definition and Features of Term Bonds and Single Transaction Bonds

In addition to continuous bonds, two other types of bonds commonly used in international trade are term bonds and single transaction bonds. Term bonds, also known as single entry bonds, are bonds that cover a specific shipment or import transaction.

Unlike continuous bonds, term bonds do have an expiration date, typically tied to the date of the specific transaction. Term bonds are suitable for importers who do not engage in regular import activities and do not require continuous bond coverage.

These bonds provide a one-time guarantee for customs duties, taxes, and compliance with import regulations. On the other hand, single transaction bonds are specific to a single shipment or entry, similar to term bonds.

These bonds are used for one-time imports and have to be obtained separately for each transaction. Single transaction bonds are ideal for importers who engage in irregular import activities or do not have a consistent volume of imports.

Renewal Process and Continuation Certificate for Non-Continuous Bonds

Unlike continuous bonds, term bonds and single transaction bonds require a renewal process after their initial coverage period expires. Importers must ensure that their bonds are renewed before their expiration to maintain compliance and uninterrupted coverage.

The renewal process for non-continuous bonds involves submitting a continuation certificate to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This certificate acts as proof that the bond is still valid and extends its coverage.

Importers must provide the continuation certificate within 60 days of the bond’s expiration date. Failure to renew within this timeframe may result in the CBP limiting an importer’s ability to import goods until the bond is renewed or replaced.

4) Examples of Continuous Bonds

The Process of Obtaining Continuous Bonds in the United States

In the United States, continuous bonds can be obtained from insurance or surety companies authorized to issue such bonds. These companies work closely with the importers to gather the necessary information and offer coverage based on standardized terms set by the Revenue Division of the CBP agency.

The process of obtaining a continuous bond starts with completing an application provided by the surety company. Importers need to provide detailed information about their business, such as their tax identification number, financial statements, and proof of compliance with all relevant federal regulations.

Once the application is submitted, the surety company reviews and underwrites the bond, assessing the importer’s financial stability and ability to fulfill their obligations. The $50,000 Continuous Import Bond as a Common Example

One common example of a continuous bond in the United States is the $50,000 continuous import bond required by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) for certain import activities.

This bond acts as a financial guarantee that the importer will comply with all import laws and regulations, fulfill their financial obligations, and pay any duties, taxes, or penalties owed to the CBP. The $50,000 continuous import bond is typically issued by a surety company and serves as protection for the CBP in case the importer fails to meet their obligations.

In the event that duties and taxes are not paid, the CBP can make a claim against the bond to recover the owed amount. If the importer fails to pay the claim, the surety company becomes responsible for compensating the CBP on behalf of the importer.


Continuous bonds offer a flexible and efficient solution for importers engaged in regular import activities. Their ongoing coverage eliminates the need for repeated bond applications for each transaction, saving time and resources.

However, for importers with irregular or infrequent import activities, term bonds or single transaction bonds provide suitable alternatives. Understanding the differences between continuous bonds, term bonds, and single transaction bonds allows importers to select the most appropriate option to meet their unique needs and protect their interests in international trade.

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