One month into the eBond Test launch, many brokers have raised the question: When should I be issuing eBonds and how are they handled? The short answer is aside from a few special circumstances, only sureties can submit bonds to CBP in the new eBond environment thus it's time to embrace it. eBond was originally designed to start with e-STBs first and then progress to Continuous Bonds and finally ISF single bonds, but that is not how things played out. As eBond programmers from CBP made progress toward the end of 2014, it was continuous bonds and e-ISF bonds that moved into focus for the January 3rd 2015 launch date. In CBP's eyes, e-STBs were hooked to ACE Cargo Release from day one and with so few brokers actually using ACE for cargo release; we see the number of e-STBs issued in the first 2 weeks of eBond as very low (only 3 entry summary matches nationwide). These e-STB numbers will obviously start increasing fast once more entry types are available for ACE cargo release and more ABI Companies and Customhouse Brokers set time aside to make the change.
In the meantime, the immediate benefits of eBond can be seen with the amount of e-ISF bonds submitted in the first two weeks (around 2400). Another major benefit is the speed as to which new continuous bonds are being approved by CBP (a few seconds in some cases). Some other enhancements are brokers for the first time being able to make 5106 name and address change updates instantly through ABI without needing a name or address change rider from the surety. Lastly, brokers will soon have the capability of remote filing entries using an e-STB, although no date is set for this as of yet. If you are wondering about eBond and what it means for your brokerage operation to this point, be patient, stay tuned, and continue to take advantage of new automation enhancements as they become available. Some Important eBond Facts:
You should only use e-STBs if you are filing: Ace entry (simplified entry) followed by ACE entry Summary (2-step process) or Ace entry summary certified for ACE cargo release. All ACS release entries still require paper STBs. If you are unsure when your brokerage will be ready for ACE cargo release, you should contact your ABI representative or ACE client representative.
- Paper Bonds
IB&M will operate a dual system for the issuance of both paper STBs and e-STB's until November of 2015 when eBonds will be required on all entry types . Paper single bonds will continue to be issued from the STB Homepage in the "Manage My Bonds" section of our website.
- Continuous Bonds
There is no need to refile any existing Continuous Bonds due to the implementation of eBond. All existing Continuous Bonds will automatically transfer over and continue to be valid in eBond.
- ISF Bonds
ISF single bond copies are no longer emailed to the ISF mailbox by the ISF filer. IB&M will transmit ISF bond data elements directly to CBP on your behalf. ISF single bonds can be issued from the e-ISF section of our website. If your ISF filing is already considered late and requires a single ISF bond, please email email@example.com for underwriting approval.
- Name and Address Riders
If a continuous bond is on file, Name and address riders are no longer required. Brokers can now make name and address change updates directly through ABI without surety involvement. Changes to name/address can also be submitted manually to RDBT at: firstname.lastname@example.org on a completed CBP Form 5106 using the naming convention of Update IR# in the subject line.
- Secondary Notify Party
You may not realize it but your customs brokerage operation already has an ABI routing code or Secondary Notify Party (SNP) code assigned to it. The number begins with a 4-digit port code followed by your 3 character filer code. Some brokers may also have a 2 digit office code however this code is not mandatory to route messages properly. We encourage brokers to enter their 7 or 9 character routing code (SNP) when creating new eBonds right on our issuance pages to receive live updates in ABI directly from CBP regarding all eBond activity.
- E-STB History
For live status updates of your bond submissions, click on the e-STB History or Continuous Bond History pages. Both links can be accessed easily from the "Manage My Bonds" screen.
- ABI integration
eBond integration design is well under way between IB&M and many ABI providers. It is important to note that ABI bond integration is a value added service that is not required by CBP. Please contact your ABI provider for more information.
- We are making updates to better serve you! Manage My Bonds CBP's eBond page is live:http://www.cbp.gov/trade/trade-community/programs-administration/bonds/ebond
For easy access to all of your daily bond needs, please use the "Manage My Bonds" tool pictured below by rolling your mouse over the icon.