De Minimis Value Increase
On February 24, 2016, the President of the United States signed the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 which directs the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to ensure that partnership programs provide trade benefits to importers and exporters. A key piece of the Act is an increase in the value threshold for informal entries (Section 321) from the current USD$200 to USD$800. Effective March 10, 2016, a shipment of merchandise imported by one person on one day, up to USD$800, is eligible for duty- and tax-free importation.
Please note that the same requirements, restrictions, and processes that applied to shipments valued under the previous USD$200 threshold are still in place today with respect to shipments valued under the higher threshold of USD$800. And, as always, the U.S. CBP has the right to request a formal entry on any shipment, regardless of value. In addition, the existing rules apply for shipments that are subject to participating government agency (PGA) requirements such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Benefits for qualifying shipments include simplified, expedited customs clearance (informal entry) and an increase in the number of shipments exempt from duties and taxes.
Important: A Commercial Invoice is still required for all product/commodity (non-document) shipments, regardless of value.