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March 09, 2016 

US Customs and Border to Increase De Minimis Value of Duty Free Imports from $200 to $800 on March 10, 2016

By Doug Jacobson, Jacobson Burton Kelley PLLC

As as result of a provision contained in the recently enacted Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (Public Law No: 114-125), US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will increase the low value (de minimis) exemption from duties and taxes on goods imported by a single person on one day into the US from $200 to $800. 

The low value exemption can be claimed on goods imported on commercial goods as well as goods purchased by individuals from parties outside the US. 

This is the first increase in the low value exemption since 1993 and makes the duty exemption identical to that which can be claimed by travelers entering the US. 

These low value entries, which are entered as an informal customs entry, are often referred to as "section 321" shipments, since they are authorized under section 321(a)(2)(C) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. § 1321(a)(2)(C)).

CBP has stated that it will publish an Interim Final Rule amending the appropriate regulations (e.g, 19 CFR § 10.151) and soliciting comments from interested parties. However, beginning on March 10, 2016, shipments valued at $800 or less will be eligible for release under the same processes and with the same restrictions as currently apply for de minimis shipments of $200 or less.  

CBP has indicated that it retains the right to require a formal entry on any shipment where additional information, bonding or protection is required.  In addition, CBP stated the low value treatment can be denied "if used for the purpose of avoiding compliance with any pertinent law or regulation."



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