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US Customs Bonds

capnflyright

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Has anyone operating under Part 135 purchased/been bonded for/by the Customs service? Did you use the International Carrier Bond or one of the other Bonds? Thanks for any feedback.
 

Hawker rider

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We have an international carrier bond, normally it was a few thousand dollars, 1500 to be precise the last time, as in 2001.

Now this year something has changed and i believe we had to cough up $50.000 it is rediculous!
Especially since we never had a violation or a fine or anything, OK a warning once, since our agent in Mexico forgot to properly notify customs for a reposition into the US.

Since that we always make sure the captain hasd a badge number from the person who wrote down the appointment.

But again, it really got different all of the sudden.
 

No_Desk_Jobs

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A pilot in my company returned from Canada recently and was told by the U.S. Customs agent that Part 135 Carriers are now required to have a $75,000 International Carrier Bond. We're trying to figure out what we have to do to comply.
I just got off the phone with an agent in Boise and then D.C. They were not very helpful. The only information that I got was yes, we do need a Bond, and it is required by Public Law 107-71. I found the law on the Customs website but couldn't find anything about the $75,000 bond. It's a long law so I'm going to look at it again.
If anyone has any experience on the process of obtaining a bond I would appreciate it if you would let us know what the first step is.
Thanks in Advance,
Matt
 

cvsfly

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This language is all Greek to me. Is the requirement to have a Customs bond or is it also called a surety bond in Title 19 CFR Part 113? Is this required if you are a passenger only 135 on-demand carrier or only when transporting cargo? Also, is anyone having problems with the APHIS system? We had a flight where we submitted an electronic APHIS (for the second time this year) and low and behold we had an additional pax show up at the last minute. We did the flight and tried to call Customs in the air to add this extra pax on. They said they could not access the system. It would have taken hours to find an internet access where we were. They said a fine might be forthcoming. Is there any flexibility in this system and any way to transmit the report other than the NBAA site? Fax? If you find out what the actual requirements are for 135 on-demand pax operators, please let me know - who to call to get it - what it costs - what are the penalties if you don't have one?
 

No_Desk_Jobs

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Here's a little more info. The Customs Bond is done on Form 301. You can get a copy of it through this link. http://www.ddiservices.com/forms.htm
I think the next step is to contact your insurance company who is probably also a bonding agent. Once you get the bond you file it with the regional Customs office. FSS can give you the local office number and they should be able to tell you which regional office they fall under.
When the regional office receives the bond it is entered into thier computer and they should be able to confirm that you have a bond on file when you enter the States.
I hope this helps.
 

cvsfly

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Still doing my research on this. Spoke with our local Customs office recently. The agent gave me some help, but basically sounded like I should speak to another inspector to get the most official advise.
Question 1: As a Part 135 on-demand passenger only operator, do we have to have a Customs Bond when we return from an international trip? Advice I have seen here and from others is that any commercial operator would have to have at least a $75,000 bond (costing $750/yr). I'm having trouble interpreting the regs 19 CFR Part 113, 122, etc.
Q2: As a 135 operator are you allowed to clear customs at any landing rights airport (providing, of course, the proper notification and APHIS manifest)? Example; coming from Bahamas could you clear in Savanah, GA without stopping in the designated airports in FL first that is required for private aircraft under Part 122. This also assumes that an overflight permit applies only to private aircraft and a commercial aircraft would not have to apply for the permit.
Q3: The Customs Bond - There is language for a continuous bond and a single entry bond. Would a single entry bond apply here and what are the costs compared to the continuous ($75,000 bond/$750/yr) bond.
Q4: Is it appropiate to clear US Customs outbound going to the Bahamas. Awhile back I gave notice of our US arrival to Customs on a day trip (US to Bahamas to PBI to Home) and they ended up giving us an outbound clearance number.
 

capnflyright

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Contact your insurance company and tell them that you want to get a Customs bond(continuous). They will have to do most of the work in putting this together. Most of the paperwork requires signatures by the Surety company and the owner of the charter company. I think that a continuous bond is required because it covers you every time you have to clear with Customs. The bond has always been in place and it assures Customs that they will get paid if you screw up and don't send your APIS form or forget something else which results in a fine. We just had a flight from Naples, Florida to Nassau with a return the next day to Baltimore via West Palm Beach for Customs. We didn't have to clear with Customs outbound, but I did call them at PBI to tell them when we would arrive the next day. You need to have an I-92 Form which is a aircraft/vessel report, a crew declaration, passenger declaration forms(1 per family) and Form 178 plus file your APIS form before you leave the states because access to the internet is pretty hard. I hope this helps.
 

cvsfly

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I did call my insurance company. Our agent had to research it and did come to the conculsion that we had to have it, but that they didn't sell them. There is a list of companies that do from the Customs website. How do you pass that cost to the customer? We don't do more than 10 international trips a year and I suppose we could add on a surcharge based on our average, but then we may come up short on trips and eat that cost. That's why I was interested in a single-entry bond that we could charge per flight if that is possible. That APHIS is a pain in the a$$ because the internet is the only access. We did a trip this summer, got to the destination and of course the customer had swapped out a passenger. Tried to call enroute but Customs said they couldn't access the system. I guess we could get a fine. If I confess that we haven't had a Customs Bond in the past to Customs, will that get us in trouble? Also how does your company propose complying with the new requirement for PNR info on international flights that Customs can electronically access?
 

Hawker rider

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This is something i came along in my inbox, forgot that I had it.

SUBJECT: International Carrier Bonds Amendment


In a memorandum dated June 25, 2002, you were advised of the minimum continuous bond amount for international carriers. The following guidelines are to further clarify the international carrier bonding requirements.

1. For all commercial aircraft with 14 or more seats, including crew seats, the minimum continuous bond amount is $75,000.

2. For all commercial aircraft with less than 14 seats, the following applies:

A. $5,000 for each seat including crew seats plus $5,000 for the aircraft.

B. Customs will not accept a continuous international carrier bond for less than $25,000.

Example 1. An aircraft has a total of 10 seats including crew seats. The bond amount is computed as follows:
$5,000 per seat x 10 seats + $5,000 for the aircraft = $55,000 minimum continuous bond.

Example 2. An aircraft has 4 or less seats; the minimum continuous bond amount is $25,000.

Port Directors are cautioned that these are minimum continuous bond amounts only. The prior history of the principal in compliance issues should be used to justify increases above the minimum bond amounts.

- 2 -

Questions on the calculation of bond amounts may be addressed to the Entry and Drawback Management Branch at (202) 927-0390.
 

cvsfly

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Hawker rider said:
This is something i came along in my inbox, forgot that I had it.

SUBJECT: International Carrier Bonds Amendment


In a memorandum dated June 25, 2002, you were advised of the minimum continuous bond amount for international carriers. The following guidelines are to further clarify the international carrier bonding requirements.

Questions on the calculation of bond amounts may be addressed to the Entry and Drawback Management Branch at (202) 927-0390.

Hawker rider where did this come from? Is this a US Customs number? Exactly what I needed, thanks.
 

cvsfly

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Also got advise from NBAA. They said 135 flights (unscheduled) coming from south of 30* N would have to clear according to 19 CFR Part 122 (at airports designated in FL & KILM) like private aircraft. Overflight permit would be required to land at another landing rights airport. Maybe the customs officer I talked to misunderstood my questions, because he contradicted this. Also had one FL charter operator (dispatch) tell me they could fly from Turks & Caicos direct to South Carolina to clear Customs there (2 days before requested flight). I thought they couldn't, but they argued the point.
 
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