Canadian Customs Bond (D120)

A Canadian Customs Bond, often referred to as a D120 bond, is a crucial financial instrument required by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for businesses involved in the importation of goods into Canada. This bond serves as a guarantee to the CBSA that the importer will comply with all customs and trade regulations, including the payment of duties, taxes, and other fees as required by Canadian law. In essence, it acts as a form of security to ensure that the government will receive the revenue it is owed and that businesses will adhere to customs procedures. 


Are there Different Types of Customs Bonds in Canada?

Yes, there are different types of Customs Bonds in Canada to accommodate various import scenarios. The two primary types of Customs Bonds in Canada are:

  • Bond for a Specified Period: These bonds are designed for a specific period of time. When you apply for this bond, you must include the starting and terminating month, date, and year.
  • Continuous Bonds: Continuous Customs Bonds are the more common type suitable for businesses engaged in regular or ongoing import activities. These bonds provide coverage for multiple transactions over a set period, typically one year. Continuous Bonds are renewable and help streamline customs clearance processes for frequent traders.


What is Inside a Canadian Customs Bond?

 Inside a Canadian Customs Bond, you will typically find the following key components:

  • Bondholder Information: This section includes details about the party holding the bond, such as their name, address, and contact information. The bondholder is typically the importer responsible for complying with customs regulations.
  • Obligations and Conditions: The bond outlines the specific obligations and conditions that the bondholder must adhere to. This includes complying with customs laws, paying duties, taxes, and other fees as required, and following proper customs procedures.
  • Bond Amount: The bond specifies the monetary amount that is guaranteed by the bondholder. The amount can vary widely depending on the nature and volume of the importer’s activities. It is important for the bond amount to be sufficient to cover potential liabilities to the CBSA.
  • Expiry Date: Canadian Customs Bonds have a set expiration date. It’s essential for the bondholder to renew the bond before it expires to ensure continuous compliance with customs regulations.
  • Surety Information: The bond typically involves a surety company, which is a third-party financial institution that provides the financial guarantee on behalf of the bondholder. Details about the surety, including their name and contact information, are included in the bond.
  • Terms and Conditions: The bond may include additional terms and conditions that govern its use and the relationship between the bondholder, surety, and the CBSA.
  • Signatures: The bond requires the signatures of both the bondholder and the surety, indicating their agreement to the terms and conditions outlined in the bond.

You can find the Canadian Customs Bond form online with the required information.


Frequently Asked Questions About the Canadian Customs Bond


How Do I Obtain a Canadian Customs Bond?

To obtain a Canadian Customs Bond (D120 bond), you will need to determine the type of bond you need and contact a licensed surety company in Canada. They will assist you in completing the Customs Bond application, including providing business details and bond requirements.

Once all the details have been filled out correctly, pay the bond premium (typically a percentage of the bond amount) to the surety company, who will then issue the official Customs Bond. Submit a copy to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to meet bonding requirements, and remember to renew it before expiry (if applicable). Maintain comprehensive records for customs compliance. The process may vary depending on circumstances and the chosen surety company, so consulting with the CBSA or customs experts can ensure full compliance. 


How Long Does a Canadian Customs Bond Last?

A Canadian Customs Bond typically has a validity period of one year from the date of issuance. This means that the bond is effective for a 12-month period from the day it is issued. In order to maintain continuous compliance with Canadian customs regulations, businesses need to renew their Customs Bond before it expires. Regular renewal ensures that there is no interruption in bond coverage, allowing businesses to continue their import activities without any issues related to bond expiration.


How Much Does a Canadian Customs Bond Cost?

The costs associated with obtaining a Canadian Customs Bond (D120 bond) primarily consist of the bond premium, which is the fee paid to the surety company providing the bond. The premium amount is determined by factors such as the type and amount of the bond, the perceived risk, and the applicant’s creditworthiness. It typically represents a percentage of the total bond amount. Additionally, there might be administrative fees or service charges imposed by the surety company for processing the bond application. It’s important to note that the bond premium is an ongoing expense, as it needs to be paid annually when renewing the bond to maintain its validity. 


What is the Minimum Amount for a Canadian Customs Bond?

The minimum amount required for a Canadian Customs Bond, specifically a continuous D120 bond, is set at $25,000. This amount serves as a baseline financial guarantee to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) that the importer will adhere to all customs and trade regulations, including the timely payment of duties, taxes, and other relevant fees as stipulated by Canadian law.

This minimum bond amount is dictated by the necessity to cover a portion of the highest monthly accounts payable to the CBSA within a recent 12-month period. Specifically, the bond amount should cover at least 50% of the highest monthly payable amount. If an importer does not have a 12-month history of trade, an estimation of the amount of duties and taxes is required to determine the appropriate bond amount.


Can I Use the Same Bond for Multiple Import Activities?

Yes, a Continuous Bond can be used to cover multiple import activities. This is one of the advantages of having a Continuous Bond, which is designed for businesses engaged in regular or ongoing trade operations. As long as the bond remains valid, it will provide coverage for various import transactions within that time frame. This simplifies the customs clearance process for businesses with frequent trade activities, as they do not need to obtain a new bond for each individual shipment or transaction.


What Documentation and Information Are Required When Applying for a Customs Bond?

When applying for a Canadian Customs Bond, you typically need to provide essential documentation and information. This includes details about your business, such as its legal name, structure, and contact information, as well as proof of business registration. Financial information demonstrating your stability, which may include bank statements or financial reports, is required. You’ll also need to specify the bond type and amount, complete the official Customs Bond application provided by the surety company, and be prepared to pay the bond premium, usually a percentage of the bond amount. Additionally, personal identification and credit information may be necessary for individuals associated with the business. The specific requirements may vary depending on your circumstances and the surety company chosen, so consulting with experts or the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) ensures you meet all necessary requirements.



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