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Importing to the US Under Section 321 Customs

Shipping costs play an instrumental role in online sales. Offering international shipping helps your eCommerce business attract more customers by making products more easily accessible at more cost-effective rates. Section 321 Customs can help reduce import costs by expediting low-value shipments through customs without the need for formal entry, yet there are several key details you must keep in mind when filing Section 321 claims:

Reduced Fees and Paperwork

Importing goods into the US involves several essential shipping considerations that must be carefully evaluated when planning to import from overseas. Customs duties, taxes and import duties all have the power to greatly alter shipping costs; using efficient practices helps businesses save money and secure profits.

Section 321 can help reduce high duty fees on qualifying shipments, however, claiming this exemption multiple times per day could incur penalty fees far exceeding the original tariff costs you were seeking to avoid.

Note that informal entries may only be claimed once per business day. Any attempts at more frequent filing could incur severe penalties from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), so working with an experienced customs consultant can help ensure all claims are submitted accurately and avoid costly mistakes.

De Minimis Value

Delays can be one of the biggest headaches for businesses trying to navigate customs, and that can translate into additional costs that consumers might bear. But by importing to the US under Section 321, your business can bypass this expense altogether for an affordable and speedier shipping experience.

In February 2016, the de minimis value was increased to $800 in line with what US citizens can bring back duty-free, making eCommerce merchants capable of shipping products into the United States without incurring taxes or duties other than those associated with shipping and handling. This allowed many eCommerce merchants to import products into America without incurring taxes or duties beyond shipping and handling charges.

However, it must be remembered that not all shipments qualify for section 321 clearance. Therefore, all parties involved with a shipment’s logistics must work closely together and follow all guidelines strictly so as to prevent unexpected fees and penalties; including filing an eManifest correctly each day as well as making sure only one shipment qualifies under this provision.

Streamlined Shipping Process

Reduced fees and paperwork associated with customs entry under Section 321 can enable businesses to pass savings onto customers, helping to keep costs low and gain an edge when competing against online shoppers who prioritize speed and price above all else.

Customs clearance efficiency also can speed up delivery times for eCommerce businesses, especially given that 87% of shoppers view shipping speed as the second-most influential factor when making their decision to purchase online.

Claim Section 321 requires a well-organized invoice that includes proof of value, consignee details and other pertinent details. If your shipment falls below the de minimis threshold of $800 while still meeting all requirements, customs should clear quickly so your products can reach domestic warehouses or fulfillment centers to complete orders for customers more quickly – the sooner your product reaches customers the happier they’ll be!

Easy Access to the U.S. Market

As the US-China trade war intensifies, businesses are exploring options to reduce shipping costs and speed delivery times. One solution may be Section 321, a CBP Shipment Type that enables goods below de minimis value to bypass duties and taxes before entering domestic commerce without formal entry summary documentation.

Though certain restrictions apply, ecommerce companies with domestic warehouses can import products under Section 321 by filing Informal Entries using the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) eManifest system. These entries bypass traditional customs entry processes and are released directly to carriers for transport to US fulfillment centers.

At the core of optimizing profits from section 321 is making sure your shipping logistics are coordinated well and that all transportation partners remain informed on any regulations updates, such as sending additional shipment details to CBP when filing section 321 to make sure shipments qualify for this program and avoid fees and delays – potentially saving thousands in profits along the way!



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