Swimming through a pile of regulations and paperwork is definitely not pleasant, especially if you’re a first time importer (but even experienced importers)! That being said, when starting a new business, we understand that saving wherever you can is critical to your growth, so we’ve decided to take a closer look at regulations that could benefit you.
A common question that we get from customers is: “Seriously. How do I claim Section 321?” And trust us, we get it! We work with businesses of all sizes and are well aware of the issues that can come up with trying to save money by dodging hypothetical regulatory bullets.
It can be quite an endeavour to research rules and regulations that can help you, but in this case, it’s relatively straightforward — promise!
What is Section 321? Let’s take a closer look at the definition:
In March 7, 2019, Section 321 was amended to increase entry limits from $200 USD to $800 USD.
Section 321 refers to a US shipment type for goods to clear customs. This type of entry makes the shipment admissible for entry. It is specifically for shipments that are valued at less than or equal to $800 USD.
In order to claim Section 321 for a release of your shipment, it is essential that your goods are not valued over $800 USD. They must also not be one of several (or more) lots with a single order or contract. The value of which would need to not exceed $800 USD.
However, take note! Because US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can refuse to release the shipment with Section 321 stipulation if they consider the goods may cause some sort of risk or danger.
This is certainly something to look into further, as shipments released as per Section 321 are free of duty and tax!
Okay. Now what? How do I declare Section 321?
In most cases, goods valued at less than or equal to $800 USD can enter duty free without formal entry into the US. However, if your shipment of goods happens to require an eManifest, this is how you indicate to CBP that a Section 321 may be in order.
In the event that an eManifest is required, follow these simple steps:
- Make sure to select “Section 321” in your eManifest
- Indicate the number goods
- Include all details such as the shipper, consignee, value, and country of origin.
- Submit the eManifest to CBP
It’s crucial that you make sure that the carrier doesn’t make multiple Section 321 claims at the same time. With the daily allowance, they are only allowed to claim 321 once per day. To avoid penalties resulting from multiple transactions in one day, importers should be sure to clearly identify the particular shipment for the 321 claim.
If communication is good between the logistics partners (carriers, forwarders, and customs brokers) then you can clearly discuss when your shipment will be making the claim.
Are you sure I can claim Section 321? I heard there were restrictions.
Like with most regulations, there are restrictions to pay close attention to. Of course, we briefly mentioned above that there is a daily restriction in which importers can only claim for one shipment transaction per day.
Beyond that, there are certainly types of goods that are restricted. Here’s a list:
- Goods that need a conditional inspection
- Goods that are subject to Anti Dumping Duty or Countervailing Duty
- Goods that are regulated by the following government agencies: FDA, FSIS, NHTSA, CPSA, USDA
Working in the regulatory space can be difficult, but luckily this regulation is pretty easy to decipher. But you could possibly be leaving more money on the table, when you consider the other rules that may be in your favor.
Partnering up with a customs broker can help you make sense of it all, save you money, clear your goods faster, and more. Interested in learning more about teaming up with us? Click here to get the conversation started!