U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) is preparing a regulatory change that would eliminate the $800 de minimis exemption for imports subject to Section 301 tariffs, according to a proposed rule submitted by CBP to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) on September 2, 2020.  Reviews of the proposed rule by OMB and an interagency review are the final steps before the publication of a final rule in the Federal Register.

Section 321 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 USC § 1321) provides for an exemption from duties for certain shipments imported by one person on one day having an aggregate retail value in the country of shipment of not more than $800. Since the de minimis exemption applies only to low-value shipments of not more than $800, the exemption under Section 321 is most commonly applied to e-commerce scenarios where the seller ships directly to the buyer from a foreign country.

We will continue to monitor this situation and provide any updates as they become available. Husch Blackwell encourages those who may have questions or concerns on this issue to please contact Robert Stang and the International Trade and Supply Chain team.