FAQ's

What is an ISF Bond?

The Importer Security Filing (ISF) is an electronic data transfer processed prior to the ocean vessel departure that is a required part of customs entry, and one necessary component of the filing is securing an ISF bond. The ISF bond serves as a financial guarantee that specific data points are provided to CBP in a timely and efficient manner before ever loading the cargo on an ocean vessel. An ISF bond is a particular type of customs bond. Customs bonds are categorized into activity codes that are designed to cover more specific usages common in international trade.

An ISF bond is designated as an “Activity Code 16 – Importer Security Filing (ISF) Bond” by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. An ISF bond is a financial guarantee that exists between three major parties:

  • The Obligee – The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
  • The Principal – The importer of record (IOR)
  • The Surety – The insurance company that underwrites the bond

ISF bonds can either be single transaction or continuous bonds, based on the specific needs of the company. A single import bond is valid for a single transaction, while a continuous bond covers all imports made over the course of a 12-month period. It is necessary to decide what is the most cost-effective option based on the needs of the individual business.

Continuous customs bonds of other activity codes than the ISF activity code 16 may fulfill the ISF bonding requirement. These activity codes include:

  • Activity Code 1 – Import Bonds
  • Activity Code 2 – Custodian of Bonded Merchandise
  • Activity Code 3 – International Carrier
  • Activity Code 4 – Foreign Trade Zone Operator

Related Content You Might Have Interest In

Our Latest Articles

Unlocking Success: The Key Elements of Carrier Vetting and Managing Liability

By: Andrew Johnson, Account Executive, Roanoke Insurance Group Inc. The freight brokerage industry as we know it today began in the late 1970s and early 1980s, around the time of the Motor Carrier Act of 1980. Before the passage of this landmark legislation, regulations were too restrictive to make freight brokerage a viable business segment. […]

Leadership Excellence: Karen Rzeszutko Represents Roanoke on USCIB Board

We are excited to share that Karen Rzeszutko, President of Roanoke Insurance Group Inc. has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) for the 2024-2026 term. This appointment recognizes Karen’s outstanding leadership and her significant contributions to the industry. The USCIB, a prominent organization dedicated to […]

Guarding Against Fictitious Pickups and Cargo Theft: Tips and Training

Fictitious pickups are increasing in North America. In the US, the percentage of cargo thefts due to fictitious pickup rose from 1% in 2022 to 17% in 2023. Strategic theft patterns are also rising, where thieves use identity theft and fraud with fictitious pickup and brokering schemes to obtain loads from freight locations. Combatting this […]

Professional Partnerships

Roanoke is the leading provider of insurance and surety solutions for transportation and logistics providers. In fact, we are recognized as the most reliable source for U.S. customs bonds.

Contact

If you have any questions or need help, feel free to contact with our team.

800-762-6653

US CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS

1501 E. Woodfield Road

Suite 400W

Schaumburg, IL 60173


CANADA CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS

390 Bay Street

Munich Re Centre, 22nd Floor

Toronto, ON M5H 2Y2

Solutions that Go the Distance.

© 2024 Roanoke Insurance Group Inc. A Munich Re company

Better Business Bureau logoCoverholder at Lloyd's logo