On Wednesday, February 24, 2016,President Obama signed into law the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (H.R. 644) (TFTE Act). The wide-ranging law, also referred to as the Customs Reauthorization Bill, addresses among other things, the de minimis value of goods on which Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requires entry to be filed. More commonly known as Section 321, the legislative change will allow most goods with a value of $800 or less to enter the United States free of duty and fees and without filing an entry.
It is possible that beginning as early as March 11, most low-value import shipments will not be subject to duties or formal customs procedures.
While CBP will allow most cargo to be cleared as Section 321 for values under $800, the regulations on de minimis do not extend Section 321 clearance to all products. Products regulated by Participating Government Agencies (PGAs) for example, certain products regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA), Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) and Center for Disease Control (CDC), to name a few, cannot be cleared under Section 321.
Please contact Deringer’s Compliance Department if you have imports subject to PGAs and have questions regarding the individual PGA requirements (as they vary by PGA), or for general information about Section 321 clearance and the de minimis value increase. The full text of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 can be found on congress.gov (please see section 901).