What is a TIB? Temporary Importation Under Bond
Importing goods into the U.S. temporarily? There is an entry type that allows importers to bring certain goods into the U.S. duty-free for up to 3 years - a Temporary Importation Under Bond (TIB).
Two critical points to keep in mind before we dive deeper:
1) Not all temporary imports should be declared as a Temporary Importation under Bond and
2) Only certain goods will qualify for a TIB entry.
Steps to Determine if a TIB is Suitable for Your Import
We first recommend evaluating how much duty and tax you will pay if you import your goods under a standard customs consumption entry.
If the duty and tax amount is minimal, for example, under $200, most likely, it will not make financial sense to use a TIB entry. The administrative costs of filing and closing out a TIB may easily outweigh the duty-free benefit.
It would also be best to consider the time and effort you will need to spend ensuring the goods comply with TIB requirements. Non-compliance could mean potential penalties and liquidated damages.
The exception to the low duty and fees rule is if your goods need to be imported temporarily on a TIB because they would not otherwise be allowed into the U.S.
Check Product Eligibility
The next step will be to ensure your import qualifies for a TIB entry by checking if the commodity and conditions are described by one of the fourteen Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) subheadings specific for temporary imports:
Articles to be repaired, altered, or processed (including processes which result in articles manufactured or produced in the United States)
Models of women's wearing apparel imported by manufacturers for use solely as models in their own establishments
Articles imported by illustrators and photographers for use solely as models in their own establishments, in the illustrating of catalogues, pamphlets or advertising matters
Samples solely for use in taking orders for merchandise
Articles solely for examination with a view to reproduction, or for such examination and reproduction (except photoengraved printing plates for examination and reproduction); and motion-picture advertising films
Articles intended solely for testing, experimental or review purposes, including specifications, photographs, and similar articles for use in connection with experiments or for study
Automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes, airships, balloons, boats, racing shells and similar vehicles and craft, and the usual equipment of the foregoing; all the foregoing which are brought temporarily into the United States by nonresidents for the purpose of taking part in races or other specific contests
Locomotives and other railroad equipment brought temporarily into the United States for use in clearing obstructions, fighting fires, or making emergency repairs on railroads within the United States, or for use in transportation otherwise than in international traffic when the Secretary of the Treasury finds that the temporary use of foreign railroad equipment is necessary to meet an emergency
Containers for compressed gases, filled or empty, and containers or other articles in use for covering or holding merchandise (including personal or household effects) during transportation and suitable for reuse for that purpose
Professional equipment, tools of trade, repair components for equipment or tools admitted under this heading and camping equipment; all the foregoing imported by or for nonresidents sojourning temporarily in the United States and for the use of such nonresidents
Articles of special design for temporary use exclusively in connection with the manufacture or production of articles for export
Animals and poultry brought into the United States for the purpose of breeding, exhibition or competition for prizes, and the usual equipment therefor
Works of the free fine arts, engravings, photographic pictures, and philosophical and scientific apparatus brought into the United States by professional artists, lecturers or scientists arriving from abroad for use by them for exhibition and in illustration, promotion and encouragement of art, science or industry in the United States
Automobiles, automobile chassis, automobile bodies, cutaway portions of any of the foregoing and parts for any of the foregoing, finished, unfinished or cutaway, when intended solely for show purposes
Review TIB Requirements
Your last step is to check if you can satisfy the requirements of a TIB. You need to agree to several conditions before U.S. Customs will allow you to import under a TIB. Importers could be penalized if there is any deviation from the requirements.
The bond amount is for twice the amount of duties and fees that would otherwise be owed on the importation, except for shipments under three subheadings (9813.00.20, 9813.00.25, 9813.00.50), which are bonded at 110%. In the case of restricted / prohibited merchandise, the bond shall be in an amount equal to the greater of two times the duty including fees or three times the value of the merchandise. Often, an importer's continuous bond will be sufficient, but if not, an additional bond may be needed to secure a TIB entry. Refer to our Trade Alert for more information.
Statement of Use
A statement describing the merchandise in sufficient detail and how the merchandise will be used under the TIB classification will need to be provided at the time of import to U.S. Customs, and a statement verifying the articles are not to be put to any other use and that they are not imported for sale or sale on approval.
Export or Destroy
Merchandise must be exported or destroyed within a specified time or pay liquidated damages. Customs also needs to be correctly notified to close out a TIB. Most goods can remain in the U.S. for a one year period and may be extended for an additional year up to two times for a total of three years with permission from U.S. Customs.
After going through the above steps, you should be able to determine if a TIB entry is suitable for your import. Remember, not all temporary imports can be brought into the U.S. duty-free under a TIB. There are other types of customs solutions available depending on your circumstance.