U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it will start a voluntary pilot to collect advance data related to e-commerce shipments with import values of less than the $800 de minimis.
The Section 321 Data Pilot is scheduled to start Aug. 22 and will last about a year, CBP said.
The agency said it’s conducting the test to determine the “feasibility” of requiring this data from e-commerce importers and service providers and how to more effectively “identify and target high-risk shipments in the e-commerce environment,” such as narcotics, health and safety violations and other criminal activity.
Section 321 of the 2016 Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (TFTEA) raised the de minimis for package shipments to $800 from $200, causing an immediate uptick in e-commerce imports into the U.S. and challenging the agency’s ability to effectively stop illicit shipments. CBP estimates that 1.8 million e-commerce shipments that are valued at under the $800 de minimis arrive in the U.S. each day, with the expectation for this volume to grow.
CBP said participants, which will include eligible e-commerce carriers, customs brokers, freight forwarders and online marketplaces, must electronically transmit certain data elements related to their shipments to the agency in advance of their arrival in the U.S., including the “originator code” of the participant, which is assigned by CBP, and participant filer type, such as the carrier or online marketplace. In addition, one or more of the following details must be provided in the advance filing to CBP, including shipment tracking number, house bill number and master number.
Participating carriers also must electronically transmit the shipment initiator’s name and address, final deliver-to party name and address, an enhanced product description, verification of a foreign shipment security scan (for air carriers only) and known carrier customer, which identifies a shipper as a repeat customer that pays it fees and has no trade violations.
Online marketplaces that are eligible to participate in the pilot must electronically submit to CBP the seller name and address, final deliver-to party name and address, known marketplace seller details, marketplace seller account number or identification, buyer name and address, product picture and description, and the product’s listed retail price.
Under the pilot, the required data elements must be received by the CBP prior to the shipment’s arrival in the U.S. While participants may transmit this data through “existing point-to-point connections” to the agency, they also may authorize a carrier or customs broker participating in the pilot to file the shipment data on their behalf, CBP said.
The pilot will only apply to Section 321 e-commerce shipments entering at U.S. ports of entry by aircraft, truck or rail. It will not apply to postal shipments, those arriving by ocean carrier or e-commerce shipments destined to a foreign trade zone.