Trade Regulations Mean Rising Costs for Bonds

Con-Tech International, like many other companies, has faced rising costs over the past year as a result of changes in trade regulations. With the recent tariffs and trade restrictions in place, it has meant our team has had to be creative and strategic.

The rise in tariffs means that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued thousands of importers with notices that their bonds, the cost of the guarantee -are inadequate. If importers fail to post a new bond within a month of receiving an insufficiency notice, customs officials can hold the cargo and charge additional fees. The CBP has around 224,000 active bonds on file.

Given the extra duties associated with this administration’s tariffs, importers have been forced to post bonds that are worth much more to guarantee they can cover the added cost of bringing Chinese imports, and foreign steel and aluminum, into the United States. In some cases, customs bond requirements have increased 500-fold, according to Reuters interviews with a dozen importers, underwriters and customs brokers.

Despite the extra costs and challenges, there are indications that things may change. Recently, the European Union (EU) indicated it was ready to start talks with the United States on tariffs. Negotiations will start amid escalating transatlantic tensions, with the U.S. having accused the EU of not acting in good faith and delaying the start of talks. The EU sought the deal with the U.S. president, in part to avoid levies Trump threatened on foreign automobiles and car parts.

Con-Tech will continue to monitor the tariff and bond issues, and work with our reliable and loyal suppliers to safely and economically bring goods and products to our customers the world over