US Customs trigger eCommerce crackdown

By Paul Kelly in News Posted: 5th, June, 2024

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has confirmed that it is cracking down on ‘de minimis’ eCommerce shipments, to ensure they are compliant, with several high-profile freight forwarders and customs brokers suspended from access to a program to facilitate low-value import shipments.

With strict inspection of shipments and documents by CBP, in particular from freighter flights originating in mainland China, congestion is likely to build at Customs warehouses and will unsettle the air cargo market on both sides of the Pacific, with some flights and charters paused.

Entry under Section 321 of the Tariff Act of 1930 exempts ‘de minimis’ shipments imported by one person on one day valued at or below a certain threshold from duties and formal entry requirements.

This threshold was increased from $200 to $800 as part of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA), to facilitate trade and simplify customs procedures for low-value shipments.

Type 86 Entry in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) was introduced on a trial basis in September 2019 and allowed for the filing of the required Section 321 dataset within 15 days of arrival.

Earlier this year CBP announced that there were enforcement challenges surrounding low-value shipments entered via the ACE Entry Type 86 Test and these included CBP’s efforts to prevent the importation of:

– illicit substances like fentanyl and other narcotics
– counterfeits and other intellectual property rights violations
– goods made with forced labor

Additionally, CBP’s enforcement efforts for merchandise entered using entry type 86 have brought to light violations such as:

– entry by parties without the right to make entry
– incorrect manifesting of cargo
– misclassification
– misdelivery ( e.g., delivery of goods prior to release from CBP custody)
– undervaluation
– incorrectly executed powers of attorney

To address these challenges CBP announced that from February 15 customs brokers need to file complete, accurate and timely data sets including full product descriptions and HS codes at the time of or before arrival of the goods.

A statement by CBP acting commissioner Troy Miller on Friday noted that the agency was “taking action to ensure compliance and minimise the exploitation of the small package, or de minimis, environment.”

He continued: “While the majority of brokers, carriers and supply chain businesses that participate in CBP’s Entry Type 86 Test are compliant with applicable laws, we are enhancing our enforcement efforts to ensure that all participants are held accountable when they are not.

“To date, CBP has suspended multiple customs brokers from participating in the Entry Type 86 Test after determining that their entries posed an unacceptable compliance risk.”

Global Forwarding keep importers and exporters compliant and free of regulatory penalties, processing declarations through customs and associated border agencies, with dedicated brokerage teams in the USA.

Email Marta and Fernando today and discover how we can optimize your supply chain, eCommerce and trade operations.

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