U.S. Customs and Border Protection is modifying an ongoing test designed to expedite the entry of low-value shipments. This test was launched in September 2019 and will continue until further notice.

The test allows Section 321 shipments (those imported by one person on one day and having an aggregate fair retail value of $800 or less in the country of shipment) to be entered via informal entry type 86 in the Automated Commercial Environment, resulting in faster clearance. CBP states that this test allows it to address the growing volume of Section 321 shipments resulting from the increasing use of e-commerce and to utilize a low-value entry process for Section 321 shipments subject to partner government agency data requirements for the first time.

The test is open to all owners, purchasers, consignees, and designated customs brokers of Section 321 low-value shipments, including those subject to PGA requirements, imported by all modes of cargo transportation except mail. However, it is not available for goods subject to antidumping or countervailing duties, goods subject to quota, certain tobacco and alcohol products, and goods taxed under the Internal Revenue Code.

CBP states that it has experienced enforcement challenges in the course of this test related to its efforts to prevent imports of illicit substances, counterfeits and other goods violating intellectual property rights, and goods made with forced labor. For example, CBP has encountered violations such as entry by parties without the right to make entry, incorrect manifesting of cargo, misclassification, misdelivery (e.g., delivery of goods prior to release from CBP custody), undervaluation, and incorrectly executed powers of attorney.

To address these problems CBP is making the following modifications to the test, effective Feb. 15.

- requiring entry type 86 to be filed prior to or upon, rather than within 15 days of, cargo arrival

- clarifying that only specified regulations are waived under the test and that all others (e.g., those allowing CBP to require formal entry) remain in force

- clarifying the types of misconduct by test participants that may result in civil and criminal penalties, administrative sanctions, or liquidated damages

For more information on e-commerce and/or this test, please contact attorney Lenny Feldman at (305) 894-1011 or via email.

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