U.S. Customs Announces Two Important Initiatives Related to Section 321 (De Minimis) Transactions

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently announced two important initiatives related to Section 321 (De Minimis) imports. The Section 321 program allows low-value (under US $800) shipments to enter the U.S. duty and tax free provided certain conditions are met. The two Section 321 initiatives announced by CBP are as follows:

New Entry Type 86 for Section 321 Transactions Subject to PGA Import Requirements

Beginning September 28, 2019, CBP will begin Automated Broker Interface (ABI) testing of a new Entry type for Section 321 transactions that are subject to Partner Government Agency (PGA) import requirements. Entry Type 86 transactions will be filed through ABI and considered ‘customs business’ for trade compliance purposes. PGAs commonly involved in imports include the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Entry Type 86 will require additional data elements be provided to CBP – beyond those of current Section 321 transactions – such as the full 10-digit USHTS code, an entry number, an importer number and any applicable PGA information. However, an importer bond will not be required or obligated under this entry type. As with other Section 321 transactions, duties and taxes will not be assessed against this entry type.

After testing, it is expected Entry Type 86 will become mandatory for PGA applicable transactions only – though any Section 321 transaction may be processed using the new entry type. Testing will include all modes of transport and Remote Location Filing (RLF) commercial ports of entry. Entry Type 86 should provide each agency with enhanced shipment visibility and improved consumer safety oversight.

Delmar is ready and can help! Our U.S. Customs brokerage platform is presently being updated and certified for Entry Type 86 testing. Both our Advisory Services and Operations teams are ready to support the filing of Entry Type 86 throughout the testing period and beyond.

Customs Pilot to Test Additional Data Elements for Section 321 Transactions

Customs has announced a one-year pilot to test the capture and filing of additional data elements for Section 321 transactions. The pilot will include up to nine participants who will file transactions using enhanced data sets. The goal of this pilot will be to assess the effectiveness and value of having additional data transmitted for Section 321 release purposes, along with the impact to supply chain partners – especially those involved in eCommerce fulfillment.

As part of the pilot, additional data elements shared with CBP may include product images, on-line listed product prices and an enhanced product description. This pilot is open to parties involved in shipping or facilitating Section 321 transactions, including carriers and on-line marketplaces.

Parties currently utilizing the Section 321 program are encouraged to review both of these initiatives carefully given their potential to change current practices and requirements. Delmar will continue to monitor related developments and provide updated information as it is made available.

Please contact your local Delmar Representative or email our U.S. Customs Advisory Services Group for additional information and assistance.

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