Is Stacking Exposure Affecting Your Customs Bond?

Written by Marek Zbyszewski
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Is Stacking Exposure Affecting Your Customs Bond

Most people, even many industry professionals, are not very familiar with this term. Learn more about stacking exposure to ensure that you avoid delays in your supply chain, as well as unforeseen and costly changes to your customs bond.


Stacking exposure, or stacking liability, occurs when a surety company has open exposure over multiple bond periods for a particular importer.

In addition to the current bond that is on file with Customs, there can be prior bonds or bond periods that have unliquidated entries keeping that liability open.

A bond period remains open as long as there are unliquidated entries from that bond. The liability adds up, or stacks, and creates significantly more risk to the surety company issuing the bonds.


Sureties are liable for the full bond limit until all entries for that bond period have been liquidated for 90 days (subject to no open claims).

This means that for a minimum $50,000 bond that was terminated five years ago, but still has one unliquidated entry on it, the surety could still be on the hook for the full $50,000!

It is important to consider liquidation patterns when making changes to a bond. Most entries liquidate within a year. By keeping a consistent 12 month bond period cycle, an importer will minimize the stacking of their bond periods.


It is critical to forecast duty volumes as accurately as possible for the year to ensure you get a bond large enough to last the entire year. 

Working with a reputable broker to determine the proper bond amount at each renewal will help alleviate unforeseen and untimely changes to your bond after the renewal.

To learn more about stacking exposure and how to protect yourself, download our free white paper below.

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Blog was originally posted on August 30, 2018 10 AM

Topics: Customs

Marek Zbyszewski

Written by Marek Zbyszewski

Marek has been with Expeditors since 2007 and currently manages the brokered cargo policy accounts at ECIB, Expeditors’ wholly-owned supply chain risk and insurance subsidiary. His previous roles include corporate sales operations and development for Expeditors’ Corporate Risk Management group, managing the Customs surety bond program for the US and Canada, and various operational and leadership roles in the Customs brokerage department at Expeditors’ Seattle branch office.

2 minute read