U.S. Harmonizes Threshold Value for Low Value Commercial Shipments with Canada

The following contains excerpts from a press release published on the U.S. Customs and Border Protections (CBP) website on Tuesday, January 8, 2013.

January 10, 2013 | The U.S. is delivering on a key commitment under the U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border Action Plan by publishing a final rule that increases and harmonizes the value thresholds for expedited customs clearance to $2,500. This change harmonizes the value threshold for both the U.S. and Canada, from the current levels of $2,000 in the U.S. and $1,600 in Canada. The final rule is now in effect.

 “We are proud to deliver on another Beyond the Border Action Plan commitment,” said U.S. Deputy Commissioner David V. Aguilar. “By working together, we are improving processes that will have a direct and immediate impact on both our nations’ economies.”

“The harmonization of the value thresholds for customs clearance for both Canada and the United States will not only facilitate and expedite trade between our countries, but will also facilitate trade from other countries into either Canada or the United States,” said the Honourable Vic Toews, Canadian Minister of Public Safety. “Reducing the administrative and paperwork burden on Canadian businesses improves Canada’s competitiveness, especially for our small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy.”

Currently, for any merchandise valued over $2,000, CBP requires importers to provide a surety bond, complete CBP form 7501, and pay a minimum of $25 in processing fees. The final rule increases the limit for which merchandise may qualify for an “informal entry,” thereby eliminating the need for a surety bond, expediting the customs clearance process, and reducing the required processing fees to $2 for electronic filings.

The proposed rule was first published in October 2011; the final rule was published on December 6, 2012 and has been in effect since January 7, 2013.

President Obama and Prime Minister Harper released the Beyond the Border Declaration on February 4, 2011, which articulated a shared vision in which our countries work together to address threats at the earliest point possible while facilitating the legitimate movement of people, goods and services across a shared border. The Action Plan, released in December 2011, outlines the specific steps both countries intend to take to achieve the security and economic competitiveness goals outlined in the Beyond the Border Declaration.