U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that beginning Jan. 1, 2019, all commercial truck shipments containing Section 321 goods (those valued below the de minimis level of $800) will have to file an advance electronic manifest. Tom Gould, senior director, customs and international trade, for Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, said this policy change will be important for companies distributing e-commerce shipments from Canada or Mexico.

According to CBP, shipments qualifying for Section 321 release have been exempt from the e-manifest filing requirement due to a policy decision made during the implementation of the Trade Act of 2002. However, the rise in e-commerce and the increase in the de minimis value have resulted in a significant growth in shipments being manifested and released under Section 321. CBP states that the lack of an e-manifest for such shipments prevents it from conducting risk assessments or performing advance targeting, resulting in slower processing times and longer wait times.

CBP will begin phasing in its enforcement of this e-manifest requirement beginning Nov. 26, when non-compliant conveyances will be referred to secondary for processing. As of Jan. 1 carriers that make no attempt to comply will be issued a monetary penalty in the amount of $5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for subsequent offenses.

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