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United States Harmonizes its Threshold Value for Low Value Commercial Shipments with Canada

Release Date: 
January 8, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The United States Government announced that it is delivering on a key commitment under the U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border Action Plan through the publication of a final rule in the Federal Register titled "Informal Entry Limit and Removal of a Formal Entry Requirement." The rule increases and harmonizes the value thresholds for expedited customs clearance to $2,500. This change would harmonize the value threshold for both countries, from the current levels of $2,000 in the United States and $1,600 in Canada.

"We are proud to deliver on another Beyond the Border Action Plan commitment," said 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, 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 Merchandise Processing Fees (MPF). 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 MPF amount to $2 for electronic filings.

On October 28, 2011, Treasury and CBP published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to amend title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations to mitigate the effects of inflation and to meet commitments under the Beyond the Border Declaration and Action Plan. The public had sixty days to comment on the proposed rule. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on December 6, 2012 and will go into effect on 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 our shared border. The Action Plan, released in December 2011, outlines the specific steps our countries intend to take to achieve the security and economic competitiveness goals outlined in the Beyond the Border Declaration.