The value threshold of articles that may be entered into the U.S. (De Minimis) by one person on one day informally and free of duty has been increased to $800 USD (effective March 10, 2016). The old limit was $200 for shipments not requiring a formal Customs entry. This provision (commonly referred to as a Section 321 Release), does not pertain to consolidated/multiple shipments or to one of several lots covered by a single order or contract, which have been sent separately in order to obtain free entry as a Section 321
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will allow most cargo to be cleared as Section 321 for values under $800 USD. However, the regulations on De Minimis do not extend Section 321 clearance to all products. For example, certain products regulated by Participating Government Agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) cannot be cleared under Section 321.
If the carrier does not report manifest information to CBP as a Section 321 Release, then a formal Customs entry must be presented by the customs broker to avoid shipment delays and additional costs (e.g. bond fees, re-manifest fees, waiting time, etc.).
To avoid clearance delays and extra costs for our clients, Universal will prepare formal Customs entries for all carrier manifested freight (even if the value declared is less than $800 USD).
These De Minimis rules apply for U.S. customs clearances only.
In Canada, the De Minimis threshold is $20 CAD (i.e. goods imported into Canada with a declared value of $20 or less do not require a formal entry and are imported duty and GST free). The De Minimis threshold in Canada remains unchanged as confirmed by the Federal Budget of March 22, 2016.
For more information, please call Brian Rowe, General Manager – Customs Consulting Services at (905) 882-4880.