Canada & US Customs Increase Informal Entry Value Limit Effective January 8th

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced  that Canada and the United States have increased and harmonized the value thresholds for expedited customs clearance to CDN$2,500 and USD$2,500 respectively. This is an increase from the current levels of CDN$1,600 for Canada and USD$2,000 for the United States. Canada has also increased the low-value shipment threshold to CDN$2,500 for exemption from North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Certificate of Origin requirements, aligning it with the current threshold of the U.S.

A new U.S. rule raising the threshold value to $2,500 for shipments eligible for informal customs entry went into effect January 7th, 2013, eliminating the need for a surety bond, expediting customs clearance and reducing the amount of the Merchandise Processing Fee from $25 to $2 for electronic filings.

Informal entries can be done on spot as they do not require filing a CBP Form 7501 (Entry Summary), posting of a Customs bond, and are liquidated at the time of release. Informal entries are usually used for both personal and commercial importations. The form used for an informal entry is CBP Form 3461, which is completed by the importer and submitted to CBP.

As Canada’s Minister of Public Safety, Vic Toews declared, “The harmonization of the value thresholds for customs clearance for both Canada and the United States will not only facilitate and expedite trade between our countries, but will also facilitate trade from other countries into either Canada or the United States.  Reducing the administrative and paperwork burden on Canadian businesses improves Canada’s competitiveness, especially for our small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy.”
The new regulation will be beneficial to  express delivery companies and their customers, which are expected to see a reduction in document filing and record-keeping activity, as well as lower shipping costs.

The information is provided by  U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).