In order to qualify as Instruments of International Traffic, the goods must be suitable for repeated use, must either arrive containing merchandise or arrive empty to be filled with merchandise to be exported to a foreign country, and must be covered under a continuous bond filed by either the importer or the carrier on Customs Form 301.
Goods entering as Instruments of International Traffic are free of duty and tax.
To further clarify, an Instrument of International Traffic bond, or Activity 3A, is used to cover the movements and clearances of containers which move internationally. Without this provision, each container moved into the United States would have to be entered as a standard consumption entry and duty would be due to Customs on the container. Containers commonly used in intermodal freight (that is, freight that is moved using various modes of transportation, such as ship, truck, rail) fall into this category. Other “instruments of international traffic” may include shipping pallets, containers for specialized products like chemicals and liquids, or even empty containers returned to the U.S. after being used to deliver goods. The minimum bond amount usually requested by Customs is $20,000.
For Shoreline Members who will require a Type 3a Bond for $20,000, it will also be necessary to apply for a Type 3 Bond for $100,000; however for the Port of Miami in the near future the current limit of $150,000 will increase to $250,000 if a Vessel Owner, Operator or Manager are not Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) Members as per U.S. Customs Information Bulletin No: 18-24. For more formal confirmation or information of the bonding requirements, U.S. Customs at the Port of Miami can be contacted by email or phone as per the referenced Bulletin.
For C-TPAT Members the Bond amount for the Port of Miami will be $100,000 only. It is evident that the US CBP are trying to encourage the C-TPAT partnership, which also allow the C-TPAT members to have the lower Type 3 bond amount of $100,000.
Pricing of the Bonds will be advised in due course.